With the UFC 194 headliner between McGregor vs. Aldo only a day away, we caught up with Conor McGregor’s striking coach Owen Roddy regarding his work with Conor. In every camp fighters look to improve, be it their striking, wrestling or their BJJ. McGregor has seemed to have only gotten better and better every time he steps inside the Octagon. Compared to his last time where does his coach believe McGregor has improved?
“I think, Conor has improved everywhere compared to his last fight, as he does in every camp but for me it’s his speed and flexibility that has improved the most and you can see it when he is moving around during sparring or hitting pads.“
In previous fights, it has been evident that Aldo’s leg kicks have been very effective against his opponents and thereby has become world renown for them. Now in the build up to this fight many have spoken about Aldo’s furious leg kicks, however, will they have much of an effect on McGregor in this fight and where does he have the upper hand over his opponent?
“I don’t think it will have much effect on Conor at all. Conor has dealt with many good kickers over the years. He is very good at checking and evading kicks and coming from back in with lightning fast combinations, also being a southpaw does limit Aldo’s attached.”
“I believe Conor does have a significant advantage. Conor can find his range very quickly and lands shots before you think he is in Range. He is also very good at reading people’s movements. He know what combinations are coming and counters them very quickly”
Roddy also was part of Team Europe’s coaching team on TUF 22, now with the season over, he has had time to speak about his experience and it is clear he enjoyed his time both working alongside McGregor and the fighters.
“The experience on TUF 22 was amazing. We had a great bunch of lads. They were all very skilful and, more importantly, they were open to our approach of coaching, which was keep the sessions very relaxed, keep the body and mind fresh and sharpen some of the guys skills. We didn’t try to change anyone’s game we didn’t force them to train. Conor was an amazing coach he gave the guys very simple things to work on, but more importantly, he brought the best out of all the fighters on team Europe and I think that showed in the Series.”
With the final episode of the series airing on Wednesday, fellow Irishman and SBG teammate came out successful against Julian Erosa to earn himself a place in the TUF finale which takes place later today. However, due to visa issues his original opponent was forced to withdraw from the fight, making way for Ryan Hall to take his place. After spending time with both men in and outside of TUF what does coach Roddy make of this fight?
“I think the fight with Artem and Ryan is your typical striker v grappler scenario, but the advantage is the fight starts standing and Artem is not a guy you want to be standing with. Artem is good enough to defend the takedown and grappling and land his shots on the feet. ”
Back to the fight tomorrow, in July McGregor had to enter the cage carrying an injury, still coming out on top, was there any changes in his camp to avoid this type of problem happening again?
“There was no real change in this camp to prevent any further injuries. We always train relaxed and with control in every camp. This one was exactly the same. It went perfect from start to finish and I believe you will see that Saturday night.”
SBG head coach John Kavanagh spoke out earlier in the week, stating that part of him could see this fight being over in 60 seconds, Roddy seems to also believe that the most highly anticipated fight of the year won’t last long.
“I believe it will be a short fight. I think Conor will land his shots early and will finish Aldo late in R1 or early R2.”
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Dana White gives an update on the lightweight title picture
When it comes to the lightweight division there is always a lot of talk with very little clarification. But now it seems Dana White has had enough of waiting for champion Conor McGregor and plans to move on in his absence.
“The Notorious” Conor McGregor won the UFC lightweight title back in November 2016 at UFC 205 where he became the first fighter to hold two belts simultaneously, however, he has not competed in MMA since.
Speaking on Sunday night’s after UFC Fight Night St. Louis UFC President Dana White said “Conor has said he is thinking about coming back in September if he comes back in September that’s almost two years, that can’t happen. It’s not fair to everybody else. Love Conor, respect Conor, love everything he’s done for this company, everybody knows that I say it all the time. The belt would have to move on.”
White also spoke about the two men that would fight for the lightweight belt saying “You do Khabib versus Tony, we’re working on that fight now and if and when Conor comes back he would get the first crack at the title.”
Then when presenter Karyn Bryant pushed for clarification and asked: “So you’re saying that Conor could possibly be stripped of his title?” Dana responded without hesitation “absolutely”.
"Conor has said he's thinking about coming back in September. If he comes back in September, that's almost two years…that can't happen." — @danawhite
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) January 15, 2018
The news will excite UFC fans across the globe who have been clamoring for the Ferguson vs Khabib matchup which they have been denied on three separate occasions. No date was confirmed for the potential matchup but rumors have been circulating that the UFC is targeting UFC 223 in April.
Conor McGregor reacts to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s win at UFC 219
On Saturday night the world watched as Khabib Nurmagomedov dismantled the striking expert Edson Barboza at UFC 219. The reactions were filled with praise for the undefeated Russian fighter. Media members and fans alike were calling Nurmagomedov one of the best lightweights in the world, but there is one man the world was waiting to hear from, UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor. McGregor was silent following the fight between Nurmagomedov and Barboza, that is until Monday morning when he took to Twitter to state his opinion about the Number one contender.
That Dagestani was dog shit the other night you's are all nuts. Game full of sloppy bums asking to be slept. Pay me my worth and Kings back.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) January 1, 2018
Truly truly truly get on your fucking knees and beg me. Otherwise I don't give a bollox.
My whiskey is out this year and thats Diddy bread.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) January 1, 2018
“Truly truly truly get on your fucking knees and beg me,” McGregor wrote on Twitter. “Otherwise, I don’t give a bollox. My whiskey is out this year and that’s Diddy bread.” The whiskey that McGregor is referring to is his very own grand that he announced would be coming out following his loss to Floyd Mayweather this past August.
Rumors about McGregor’s return have ranged from him retiring from fighting to live a life of wealth with his family, to expect his return to the UFC this summer. No one really knows if McGregor will ever defend his UFC lightweight belt, but if he is to do so UFC President Dana White has said that it will be against interim champion Tony Ferguson.
Ferguson was also seeking a fight with Nurmagomedov prior to winning the interim belt against Kevin Lee. It is entirely possible that we will see these two battle for the interim title in the octagon before we see the return of Conor McGregor. Of course, these days there are no guarantees in regards to title contention, McGregor and his camp have publically stated that they would like to face Nurmagomedov in his home country of Russia.
Conor McGregor has ‘Every intention of fighting in 2018’
Despite being inactive since his historic boxing bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in August, Conor McGregor is never far from the headlines. Recently his out of cage antics have got people questioning if he’ll ever be back.
Thankfully the UFC lightweight champion appears to have cleared up any rumors about his fighting career.
Speaking to his sponsor Betsafe, the “Notorious” Conor McGregor said “My focus is getting back into the right ring or octagon. 2017 was historic. I have transcended both the sport of MMA and boxing. At this stage of my career, as it has been for the majority of my UFC career, potential opponents must lobby for fights with me. We could see Conor McGregor anywhere. I run the fight game, the fashion game, the whiskey game or whatever the next business endeavor might be”.
McGregor added, “I have every intention of fighting in 2018 if my compensation and business development endeavors accurately reflect my influence on combat sports.”
This comes just two weeks after UFC President Dana White told reporters “Conor might never fight again. The guy’s got $100 (expletive) million. I’ve got guys that made less than that and were lawyers and went to school their whole life and quit working.”
White went on to say “Try to get up and get punched in the face every day when you’ve got $100 million in the bank. Money changes everything with a lot of people.”
White also told reporters that the “Notorious one”, “can’t be paid enough money” and that he is “worth every penny and more.” McGregor’s recent statement suggests he knows that and won’t be back till his demands are met.
The UFC lightweight division has been stalled in the absence of the champion McGregor and now the interim champion Tony Ferguson has undergone surgery. The UFC has been known the remove belts from fighters who have been delayed for extended amounts of time, this would be highly unlikely with the popularity of McGregor.
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