Georges St-Pierre’s coach says Floyd Mayweather will be lightyears ahead on in-fighting and certain boxing ranges, and Conor McGregor will have to make up for it with other techniques and strategies.
A month ago, Firas Zahabi mentioned that Conor McGregor will have to do some “borderline illegal stuff” in his bout with Floyd Mayweather. The famed MMA coach said that he should use that size and wrestling to try and wear down and rough up the boxer to bridge some of the technical gaps.
Zahabi recently released a new video to analyze the match up, and he cleared up some of his comments on the topic. While Marcos Maidana tried to rough Mayweather up on the inside, he says McGregor shouldn’t follow a similar game plan as they’re completely different fighters. He also expects the MMA fighter to struggle trying to box inside like that with Mayweather.
“McGregor is a sniper. He’s going to snipe the first few rounds, but there’s going to be a point where in my opinion, he won’t be able to keep up with the boxing pace,” Zahabi explained.
“The distance is different. McGregor is not used to having somebody so close to him, because there’s no kicks allowed. So when there’s no kicks allowed, we’re a little bit closer to each other and in boxing and in fighting, an inch is a mile. There might be just a few inches of difference but that’s a mile in fighting.”
Mayweather is used to boxing from inside, and dealing with far more technical boxers at that range, while numerous aspects from that distance are not really as applicable to mixed martial arts. Zahabi states that McGregor should try to use some of his own skills and physical advantages to try and avoid that range at all costs.
This is where the ‘borderline illegal stuff’ could come in, especially in the later rounds when Conor has trouble picking his shots and controlling distance.
“When Mayweather gets close, he better tie him up,” he said. “Use his physicality, use his background in wrestling to push him back out and keep the fight at a distance. Not to try to do what Maidana did.”
“He’s going to have to control the range, but there’s going to be a boxing range and in fighting range where Mayweather is just going to be lightyears ahead, and McGregor has no chance in that range. McGregor has to use tie-ups, his experience in wrestling, his physicality of wrestling, his athleticism that he built from wrestling, to push Mayweather out, use his distance and reach, and beat Mayweather conceivably from the outside.”
Zahabi made sure to state that he doesn’t exactly think McGregor has a very good chance to win from the outside, but if the UFC champion manages to shock the world and pull it off, it will likely be from those distances that he’s more comfortable in.
“He’s gonna beat him by fatiguing him in the clinch or from the outside, sniping like he always does. McGregor is a distance fighter, mostly.”