Conor McGregor’s wrestling coach, Sergey Pikulskiy, might be one of the lesser-known quantities in the Irishman’s team — but according to striking coach Owen Roddy, Pikulskiy is one of the most important.
Pikulskiy is tasked with preparing McGregor for the wrestling onslaught of Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229, but the Dubliner believes that McGregor is in capable hands with the Moldovan.
“Sergey’s a Moldovan wrestler, he’s been wrestling and coaching for many years,” Roddy told Peter Carroll on the latest episode of Eurobash podcast.
“He has coached in the States as well. He is just phenomenal. He knows the game inside out. He’s brought in some Moldovan guys and we have a lot of high-level Eastern European wrestlers in SBG. People don’t know that, they don’t see much of them, but these are some of the best wrestlers in the world. We have a huge team of them and Conor has been working with them, not only for years, but for many, many years.”
Roddy revealed that Pikulskiy’s wrestling class is one of the most frequented by McGregor on the SBG schedule.
“It’s one of the regular classes that Conor will [attend]. He will rarely miss the wrestling class. And Conor’s takedown defense is phenomenal and that’s down to Sergey and some of the stuff that John [Kavanagh] does on the wall.”
While many believe that Nurmagomedov’s wrestling is the biggest advantage he holds over McGregor, Roddy is confident that the Dubliner will be more than capable of dealing with what the Russian brings to the table.
“People don’t really see [McGregor’s wrestling] because they don’t get a chance to see it because [his opponents] are usually asleep before it gets there, but you’ve seen some of it with the likes of [Eddie Alvarez]. His takedown defense for the Alvarez fight, for the one or two times Alvarez did get him up against the cage, he couldn’t get him down,” he said.
“He has the skills there and Sergey is a phenomenal, phenomenal wrestling coach. We’re very lucky to have him onboard.”
Check out Owen Roddey on the Eurobash podcast below. MMA Fighting’s Peter Carroll is joined by former Cage Warriors flyweight champion and UFC veteran, Neil Seery, and Off The Ball’s Niall McGrath to discuss all of the recent developments on the European MMA scene. The Owen Roddy interview begins at 46:00.