Behind every great team and every great athlete is a great strength and conditioning coach where they can build a solid base for their athletes to perform. John Connor co-founder of the Irish Strength Institue is the man who is responsible for overseeing the strength and conditioning for SBG athletes Cathal Pendred, Paddy Holohan, Aisling Daly, Gunnar Nelson as well as the current UFC interim champion Conor McGregor. John has been working with team SBG since 2008 and says they have the perfect balance when it comes to getting there conditioning right.
‘When the guys first started working with us I think we went too far with the conditioning we were training 4-5 times a week on top of there MMA training and it was too much, so we changed it but ended up going too far back we were only doing maybe one session a week but we learned from it we now have the perfect balance. If you train to much with the strength & conditioning side of it you lose some of your technical qualites, yes you look great and are in great shape but against a very technical fighter you don’t stand a chance but I now believe we have it perfectly balanced’.
John who has worked with world renowned trainer Charles Poliquin says that other teams outside SBG are doing too much strength and conditioning which is causing them injuries. John also says long strenuous camps before a fight are also another reason for injuries.
‘ I believe a lot of other teams do way too much strength & conditioning which is causing a lot of injuries you need to train smart. All of our guys at SBG are in shape all year round and do 1-2 sessions a day but some of these sessions can be very light so in the lead up to a fight it’s just all about the fine tuning the small details. If they need a day or two off with a small injury it’s no problem because all the hard graft is done. In other cases in other teams they will do very little and then try to fit an enormous amount of training into a 8-12 week training camp which can be too much on the body, also if these guys pick up a small injury they don’t have the luxury of taking a day or two off for recovery because they have so much to do’.
With the UFC clamping down on the use of IV bans to help fighters rehydrate after weighing in John says that it won’t really effect any of the fighters at SBG as they make weight quite easily.
‘I think they will cause problems for fighters who need to cut a lot of weight which will probably result in them going up a division. Our guys are quite smart when it comes to weight cutting. Conor for example cuts weight a lot easier now than he did when he was in cage warriors he’s really dialled into his nutrition and supplements. Cathal’s last fight he only had to cut 1.5 – 2 kg of weight. For the water loading stage Paddy likes to use tea instead of water. With weight-cutting our bodies need periods of famine and our bodies get used to it also with weight cutting you learn for example my body needs to be at a certain weight by this time’.
John who also helps train world champion boxer Carl Frampton but how does the training between a boxer and a mixed martial artist differ?
‘Well with a boxer they would focus a lot more on strength & conditioning as they have less technical things to work on. Carl for example has been boxing since he was seven don’t get me wrong they still obviously do a lot of boxing but they work a lot on conditioning and just tweaking small things. The guys at SBG on the other hand need to do less S&C as they have a lot of things to work on technically ie boxing, wrestling, BJJ etc. But in terms of S&C training they are quite similar’
With Conor and Carl both world champions in their respective sports how does one improve athletes who are now already on top? John says they are always looking to improve.
‘We are always looking for ways to improve. If you have made it the top and think your the finished article you just get complacent. For example look at Conor’s early fights even when he fought first in the UFC against Marcus Brimage and see the difference in his back, glutes and hamstrings then and now there is a massive difference is size and definition. Even Conor’s leg kicks now are way superior to his previous fights. Same with Carl he’s always looking at small things to improve these small things can win you fights. What people don’t understand is how obsessed these guys are with what they do they are always looking to improve’
McGregor defeated Chad Mendes at UFC 189 to win the UFC featherweight interim title, many people have argued the fight could have gone differently if Mendes had a full training camp but John disagrees.
‘I don’t believe a full camp would have made any difference. Urijah Faber said Chad is in shape all year round and afterwards said he needs a full camp. Fitness is the fastest thing you lose but also the fastest thing you gain. The second the whole drug testing situation came out with Aldo Mendes should have started training. I personally think it was the body shots that killed Chad nobody realises how hard Conor hits until they are in there with him, he only needs a few seconds on his feet to KO you. Cathal who fights at welterweight trains and spars with guys heavier than him and still says nobody hits with the power Conor does’
McGregor will finally take on Aldo on December 12th at UFC 194 and John can’t see anything other than KO win for McGregor, John also predicts McGregor being a champion in the lightweight division.
‘I honestly can’t seeing it go past the second round. The way Conor moves and picks his shots and judges distance is unbelievable and his speed is key, speed is the hardest quality to train in a fighter. You may have a very fast fighter but doesn’t judge distance well or doesn’t have great accuracy, Conor has all of them. I also see Conor being lightweight champion he’s got the size he’s a lot bigger than a lot of those guys in that division and hits a lot harder.
To check John’s great facility check out www.ISIPersonaltraining.com For all your latest news in MMA be sure to follow MMA Latest News on Facebook and Twitter.
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.
- Interviews3 months ago
Exclusive: Alexander Gustafsson eyeing summer 2018 return- wants title shot next
- Opinion4 months ago
A list of fighters who fought Michael Bisping – while on steroids
- Interviews4 months ago
Sage Northcutt on Moving to Sacramento and Life at Team Alpha Male
- Cage Warriors4 months ago
EXCLUSIVE: Matt Inman Talks Cage Warriors 87, His Love For Fighting And Craig White Possibly Tiring Himself Out.
- Rumours3 years ago
Proto MMA History: The Day Antonio Inoki Almost Killed The Great Antonio
- BAMMA3 months ago
BAMMA 32: Official Results and Live Stream
- Interviews4 months ago
Tim Means on Lawsuit Against Supplement Companies “I’m Going to Shut Them Down”
- Interviews4 months ago
Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”