What makes Conner McGregor so special? There is no question the man has talent, an unorthodox style, and a first class work ethic. But he is far from the most technically gifted fighter in the UFC. I am a huge McGregor fan but even I wouldn't put him in the top 5 all time best fighters even though he is the only fighter to hold two championship belts at the same time in two weight divisions in the UFC.
On his feet, he ranks as one of the best the UFC has seen, but it's common knowledge that his ground game is average at best. Many would argue George St Pierre had a better all round game and if we focused on present day fighters few would argue Mighty Mouse aka Demetrious Johnson and Jon Johns are more complete fighters. So what makes McGregor so special?
I can provide the answer with two words - Self Belief!
There hasn't been a fighter in MMA history with the self-belief he possesses - Period. His ability to visualise the outcome of a fight is quite simply amazing. Put positive thinking, motivation and desire aside, because, in my opinion, they are overrated attributes to possess, because they alone won't necessary get you to your desired outcome. To be able to effectively visualise your desired outcome is a gift only the true greats possess. Micheal Jordan, Arnold Schwarzenegger and many of the worlds most successful entrepreneurs are all able to define a clear picture of their desired outcome no matter what challenges they face in the process. Much like Conner they openly admit they were not the most naturally gifted in their chosen art.
Conner McGregor only made his debut in the UFC back in 2013 and has quickly gone on to become a two weight world champion and has single handily raised the profile of not only the UFC but also MMA as a sport. So much so that he has attracted the attention of arguably the greatest boxer of all time Floyd "The Money Mayweather". Undefeated and boasting a 49-0 record speaks volumes.
However, Mayweather has never been trashed talked like he has over the last few months by McGregor and I honestly believe it's rattled him. It's part of McGregor's game plan for sure. While other boxers have trashed talked Mayweather they have always retained a level of respect for his achievements. But Conner has got personal on a much deeper level.
And on top of that, I feel that Mayweather secretly seeks approval. The whole flaunting of money, success, and power in many cases is a smokescreen for an underlying insecurity. Could he be lacking his father's approval from childhood? Was he bullied? Or maybe never had the love he truly craved from his mother? Who knows and who cares. This isn't a blog post about life coaching.
A clear indication that Mayweather is feeling intimidated is that fact that he chose to wear a pair of platform trainers that clearly leveled the height difference. But even that backfired because it was noted by McGregor and he went on to ridicule the Money Man. The trash talking being fired at Mayweather is like nothing he has experienced before. There is no respect or acknowledgment of his achievements. It is just downright insult after insult. The way he dresses, his supposed tax bill, his child like backpack, his age, brittle hands and his physical size. Yes, the press conferences were not far off of a WWE show but it is surely going to be the biggest fight in history. I personally think Conner has already won one round 1 in the build up to the fight.
On paper, McGregor shouldn't stand a chance but it only takes one punch to end it all. Admittedly Mayweather is extremely difficult to hit but look at Conner's record and it speaks for itself. His stance and movement are like nothing Floyd has never faced before. Add the pressure on him going into the fight at 49-0 it really does sum up the fact that Floyd has absolutely everything to lose and Conner absolutely nothing.
The power of self-belief and visualisation
What Conner has achieved in a relatively short space of time in the UFC has been outstanding. That said, what Floyd has achieved over the last 20 years is even more impressive. But does Floyd have the hunger as much as Conner? Does he possess the mental clarity that Conner seemingly has? I don’t think he has if I am being honest. Floyd has always picked the right time to fight the large majority of fighters who could have potentially posed a threat, which is why boxing purists refrain from labeling him the greatest of all time. But, I think this is the worst time to fight a guy like Conner. He is in his absolute prime at 28 years old, physically superior and at the top of his game. One of Conners biggest attributes is being able to take a hard punch and absorb it like a cushion. People fail to mention that when he beat Jose Aldo, he actually took a big left hook himself from Aldo at the same time of connecting and knocking Jose out. Yet he absorbed it like it barely touched him. If he can take that with 4oz gloves then I don't think Floyd has the power to cause him a problem.
The other problem Floyd is going to face is that typically boxers try to avoid getting hit when they counter. Conner will not take the same approach. If he has to take one to land one then I can't see him hesitating in the slightest. This is going to be a new proposition for Floyd.
So that is my two bobs worth on the Mayweather V McGregor fight. I know a lot of armchair boxing fans will disagree but isn't that the beauty of sporting events. I would love to hear your view on the fight. Leave your comments below or you can always hit me up on Twitter or Instagram