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Conor McGregor divulges extent of knee injury before Chad Mendes fight

Interim UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor says he went into his most recent fight, a July tilt against Chad Mendes, with a partially torn ACL.

McGregor (18-2) won the interim title July 11, when he knocked out Mendes in the second round of a featherweight bout at UFC 189 in Las Vegas. During a recent Q-and-A session in Ireland, McGregor confirmed he suffered a significant injury before the event.

"Fourteen weeks before the fight I tore 80 percent of my ACL," McGregor said. "I could barely walk. I could barely kick.

"But I have a lot of experience coming back from that injury. I was aware of my body, and I was aware of my balance. I have a good team around me, and I trusted everyone that was there. That's how I performed. I train with people that I am safe with and that would allow me to get to that fight. I had a lot of adversity to overcome but honestly, I went into that fight and beat Chad on one leg, and now that I have gone through that adversity, I feel I have gained three new legs."

In the buildup to UFC 189, rumors of a McGregor knee injury ran rampant in MMA circles. The Irishman was even asked about the injury both before and after the fight. During a postfight news conference, McGregor said he was going to "let that be." He confirmed there was some type of injury but declined to go into detail.

The 27-year-old featherweight was sidelined in 2013 with a torn ACL that he suffered during a three-round win against Max Holloway in August of that year. He managed to return in an 11-month time frame.

McGregor, who fights out of SBG Ireland, is scheduled to face undisputed champion Jose Aldo (25-1) at UFC 194 on Dec. 12 in Las Vegas. The two were originally supposed to fight in July, but Aldo was forced to withdraw with a rib injury.