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The Hard Fists of Conor McGregor

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— May 30, 2018

The Hard Fists of Conor McGregor

  • Conor Mcgregor is notoriously known as a hard-hitting knock out artist. What is the secret to his results?
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If there’s one name you associate with MMA, it’s probably Conor McGregor. After all, the charismatic Irishman’s nickname is “The Notorious,” and his reputation echoes both within the octagon and outside of it. He was the first fighter to hold the title in two weight classes—featherweight and lightweight—at the same time. He even held his own for 10 rounds against Floyd Mayweather last year. There’s something unique about McGregor and his fighting style that makes him a great MMA athlete: He’s known as a hard-hitting striker. While other fighters’ punches may push you back, McGregor’s will knock you out. “He hits like a ton of bricks,” says Renzo Gracie Academy’s Brent Bartley. McGregor isn’t known as a grappler and he’s more susceptible to those with a stronger ground game. “If he keeps the fight standing, he’s super-dangerous,” says Bartley. But McGregor is not just a brute force in the ring; he doesn’t swing wildly or throw a barrage of punches. Instead, he uses timing and precision to his advantage. “He’s a calculating fighter,” says Ken Ng, owner of Class One MMA (c1mma.com) in Brooklyn, New York. “He can pinpoint his target at the right time. He may be timing when he steps in and steps back and walks his opponent right into a cross.” Plus, he’s an “elusive southpaw striker,” says UFC Gym’s Rob McCullough, himself a former WEC World Extreme Cagefighting champ. Since most athletes are right-handed, lefties present a unique tactical challenge and forces opponents to adjust their plan of attack. “He finds his range via footwork angles to then exploit his opponents with punches and flashy kicks,” says McCullough. Instead of attacking head-on, McGregor finds new angles to use, seeing an opening and attacking from the side. He covers a lot of ground and moves dynamically, too. McGregor’s training style, once considered unorthodox, has now become the industry norm, “using capoeira, taekwondo, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, wrestling and boxing as his main martial arts style blended with fluid movement and footwork that can attack or evade both left- and right-handed stances,” says McCullough. Road biking, swimming, yoga, and functional training give McGregor strength and conditioning. Still, McGregor’s greatest asset may not be his raw power and speed. It’s something you can’t quantify or put a value on—his mental strength and confidence. “His firm belief that he can achieve greatness is probably what separates him from everyone else,” says Ng.

 

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