Chad Mendes
IN PHOTO: Chad Mendes (red gloves) fights Nik Lentz (blue gloves) during the featherweight bout of the UFC on FOX 9 at Sleep Train Arena. REUTERS/Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship featherweight contenders Conor McGregor and Chad Mendes have begun to turn their attention on each other and setting aside champion Jose Aldo for good. After being tapped to replace Aldo for the interim featherweight belt for UFC 189, Mendes started his pronouncements of finally getting the belt for himself after two failed attempts at the title opposite Aldo.

McGregor has always been dismissive of Mendes’ abilities and has often pointed out the handicap of his upcoming opponent in terms of height and reach. He is so confident of his abilities that Dublin, Ireland native even predicted a technical knockout victory by the four minute mark of the fight. After “Notorious” came up with a bold prediction, Mendes did him one better by saying that the Irishman will never see past beyond the first three minutes of the fight.

"Yeah, Conor I’m going to give you a little more respect buddy," Mendes said. "I’m going to finish you within the first three."

The 30-year-old Mendes who is also the No. 2-ranked featherweight champion already had two shots of finally unseating Aldo. The last one was memorable because it was the first time that anyone knocked Aldo to the floor and it also planted the roots and animosity between McGregor and Mendes. Mendes revealed that it was not the low blows to his height which agitated him but the unprofessional manner by which McGregor promised to put “balls to his head” prior to the Aldo rematch at UFC 179.

"But, for me it was we had to do an interview right before my Aldo fight and he was talking about putting balls on my head and just being very unprofessional. This is something that, that made it personal,” Mendes added.

All animosity will be settled when both fighters face-off in one of the cards of UFC 189 on July 11 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Both fighters have relayed their displeasure of potentially fighting Aldo in Brazil for a unification bout and have maintained that the injured champion should not be afforded with home court advantage.