We saw a highly anticipated fight between Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor fall through and on very short notice Chad Mendes was given another crack at a belt. We saw Conor time and time again say it didn’t matter who he fought. That he would even fight both on the same night and win with ease. I think Conor is a great fighter and has shown that he can stand with other skilled fighters.
However, I also believe that Conor is more hype than he is an excellent MMA fighter. Please don’t get me wrong, he is very entertaining, if sometimes very disrespectful to his opponents, but as we saw at UFC 189, he has some very big holes in his game.
Is Conor McGregor Really That Good Or Is He Just A Good Fight Promoter
Let’s take a step back and look at his record, he is 18-2 with all of his wins coming via KO/TKO except for two, a unanimous decision win over Max Holloway and a submission win over Dave Hill where he won the Cage Warriors Featherweight belt. The two blemishes on his record came early in his career, but both losses due to being submitted.
Now let’s look at who he has fought, before the UFC there was Joseph Duffy who submitted Conor in 38 seconds before he started his 14-fight win streak. Once in the UFC, Conor was only given a few top ranked fighters Dustin Poirier and Max Holloway. Conor of course has won all of his UFC fights, but never faced a truly skilled wrestler until Chad Mendes.
Chad Mendes was able to take Conor down with ease and was able to keep him down for almost the entire second round. I believe that if Mendes had a full camp to train for Conor, he wouldn’t have gassed near the end of the second where of course he got TKO’d.
I heard Forrest Griffin once say, “you’re not a champion unless you can defend your belt”. Let’s put this in perspective, Conor McGregor is a 3x Champion (Cage Warriors Featherweight and Lightweight, UFC Interim Featherweight) who has NEVER defended a belt. After submitting Dave Hill for the Cage Warriors Featherweight belt, he moved up to Lightweight where he KO’d Ivan Buchinger to win that belt. The UFC then picked him up.
Let me reiterate I think Conor is a good fighter and he can sell fights like a mini version of Chael Sonnen, but is he really the great fighter that the UFC portrays him to be? I would say no. Put him in the cage with any MMA fighter with a strong wrestling background and his back will hit the mat all day long. Many will disagree and many will fire hate, but haters gonna hate. What can you do?