Conor Mcgregor (22-5) is the last man in the fight game deserving of MORE attention. At Tap In we like to highlight the fighters we think deserve more shine; however this week brings arguably Conor’s most pivotal bout to date at UFC 264. A win brings “The Notorious” back to familiar territory, on the doorstep to a title and many matchups available far and wide. A loss means the end of a storybook prime career, big fights would still be on the table, but title chances gone in the wind.
The relationship between McGregor and MMA fans has fluctuated quite a lot since 2016. After the knockout of Eddie Alvarez people were convinced Conor was supremely talented and possibly a mystic. Aside from one loss to Nate Diaz in crazy circumstances, the Irishman enjoyed a perfect storybook rise to double champ status. Conor won his second UFC belt, becoming the first to hold two belts simultaneously. He had dominated champion and consummate veteran Alvarez pillar to post in the most dominant show of boxing prowess I’ve seen in MMA.
The fandom, never the fame, came to a slowed to a halt when Conor lost three out of four dating back to 2017 and running into legal trouble in the process. Dustin Poirier bested McGregor in January 2021, getting even one knockout a piece over their two-bout series. Nowadays, MMA fans are so divided on Conor’s level of skill you might think he was the head of his own political party.
The truth lies somewhere in between, he’s not the messiah of MMA who will knockout anyone and talk the most trash doing so. He’s far better than the over-simplified fighter fans make him out to be. He’s a truly athletic freak who has major power in his left hand, ultimately being his greatest downfall. At this point in his storied career he’s gotten predictable, partly because every bout is analyzed to a “T”. Dustin Poirier’s a fantastic veteran striker who won’t fall victim to shots Conor has previously landed.
For McGregor to be successful in this fight, he needs to switch up his gameplan and get more creative. Kicks need to return into his arsenal, especially the left front and high kick coupled with a leg strike. With Conor’s power, I think it would be smart to get into a kicking battle with Poirier, open up another avenue for strikes to make your left hand even more dangerous. Furthermore, a constant jab rather than a feint at distance would set up his left hand and high kick. Conor got picked apart at distance in their second fight and these switches makes him more dangerous at range. The UFC landscape will change a whole lot after Saturday night and UFC 264, get all of your popcorn ready.
Conor “The Notorious” McGregor | 22-5 | 5’9 155 lbs. | Age 32 | Reach 74” | Southpaw Stance | Fighting Out of Dublin, Ireland
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