Tuesday, July 14, 2015

How Good Is Conor McGregor?

I am a Conor McGregor hater. I think the term is relative, but it seems that if you don't love Conor McGregor, you are deemed to be one of his haters. I can admit I was more of a hater in the past, as I thought he was a well-protected fighter who found the right style matchups to help him keep moving up the ladder, but after his last few fights, I had to give the guy some credit, as he's incredibly compelling to watch. Still, I thought Jose Aldo would smash him when that fight was announced, and I thought Chad Mendes was an even worse matchup for McGregor when he was brought in as a replacement.

And McGregor proved me wrong.

Good for him. He's super good, and although he talks a lot of shit, people who are around him seem to think he's a good dude. Does he seem like a sociopath? Of course he does, but it takes a very special person to rise to greatness without being a little mentally off. Michael Jordan was a sociopath, and his career turned out just fine.

Coming into the fight I wondered how good Conor McGregor was. After the fight, I still find myself asking: How good is Conor McGregor?

After watching that fight, you could come to so many conclusions. If you're a fan, you could say that McGregor proved that he can handle good wrestlers. A hater could just as easily say that he has shit takedown defense, and had Mendes not gassed super early, it could have been a very painful night for McGregor. Even with his striking, I think we can all agree that it is elite, but he got hit by some heavy shots from Mendes, and can he really count on his chin to absorb that much punishment without his lights going out? I really don't know.

The one thing that nobody can take away is McGregor is so smooth on his feet. I honestly think he is as smooth of a striker as anyone outside of prime-Anderson Silva. Now, I won't say that he's the best striker, as I think there are other guys who are more effective, and one of those guys is Jose Aldo. What Aldo lacks in smoothness (which isn't much), he more than makes up for in pure violence. Also, as I mentioned earlier, the hands down striking works well against guys who are not on your level as strikers, but Aldo can turn somebody's lights out with one mistake, as he has proven on many occasions.

So how good is Conor McGregor? Unfortunately, I don't really know if I learned much of anything about McGregor in that fight. He solidified his spot in the top-5 featherweights, but is he the best? It's impossible to say until he fights Jose Aldo, and that is why that fight will be one of the biggest in UFC history.

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