Conor McGregor is the biggest star in the UFC. He’s just over a week out from his return against Donald Cerrone in Las Vegas. The Irishman hasn’t fought since losing to Khabib Nurmagamedov last year. Then you have to go back to 2016 for his previous MMA fight before that.
In short, ‘The Notorious’ is out to prove that he still has the hunger to compete. The Irishman is in the news more for breaking the law than anything MMA related. He needs to put this right but Cerrone is not an easy opponent. In fact, many believe that if the fight hits the ground then it will favour Cowboy.
However, his teammate and training partner Dillon Danis is adamant that McGregor’s ground game is excellent. Only time will tell whether or not he’s right. All of the Irishman’s losses have come via submission. So it’s going to take something ridiculous to break that image. Can he do it?
McGregor is renowned for his missile left hand. Meanwhile, his ground game is regularly called into question. However, he is a brown belt in BJJ under John Kavanagh. The SBG Ireland head coach was the first BJJ black belt in his country. Danis is a world no-gi champion and insists his teammate is brilliant on the mats.
“Conor’s been one of the best jiu-jitsu guys that I’ve ever rolled with, like MMA-wise since I started training with him,” Danis told The Schmo. “His jiu-jitsu is on another level, and it always has been. I think people just underestimate him for some reason, but if it does go to the ground, they’ll see. They’ll see how good he is.”
The problem is that Danis said the exact same thing McGregor fought. You can see a clip of his only submission win above. That’s when he captured the Cage Warriors featherweight title by beating Dave Hill.
Donald Cerrone has also confronted the media about the alleged rivalry between him and McGregor. He denies that there is any bad blood between them and that it would take something dramatic for him to get angry with the Irishman. Cowboy is treating this fight as a job.
“That’s just you media boys digging and shoveling for sh*t to bring up,” Cerrone told MMA Fighting. “That’s all that was. Conor hasn’t said anything bad about me so you’ve got to go get old sh*t out.
“He’s the best at it. He is the best,” Cerrone said of McGregor’s trash talk. “The thing is you’d really have to go low, talk about my grandma or my kid and then it would put it on another level. You understand what I’m saying? Then I’ll just come f*ck you up in the lobby type sh*t. I don’t think it’s ever going to go that way. He understands that. We’re fighting, he can talk about that all he wants but don’t low blow.”
In fact, McGregor has been very respectful towards Cerrone. In stark contrast to his previous fights with Khabib Nurmagamedov and Eddie Alvarez, he’s stayed out of the media and kept the trash talk to a minimum. Furthermore, he acknowledged that Cerrone has set a number of remarkable records.
“I know Donald’s a good fighter,” McGregor said of Cerrone in an interview with The Mac Life. “He has great records. Most knockdowns, most head kicks, most fights, most rounds. He’s got a lot of UFC records under his belt.”
Wouldn’t it be hilarious if Cerrone wins?