Conditioning and the ability to push through fatigue are of paramount importance to professional athletes, especially those in combat sports.
Throughout his two bouts with Nate Diaz, Conor McGregor, a two-division titlist in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, dealt with fatigue issues, and at times, showed signs of slowing down late in bouts. But the proud native of Ireland vows that conditioning will not be a problem in an upcoming boxing match against 12-time world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr.
“You’re talking about a 200-pound man there,” McGregor said on the four-city press tour promoting the fight. “You’re talking about grappling exchanges. You’re talking about elbows, knees, kicks. You’re talking about a hell of a different contest.
“A little boxing fight where there’s a referee to save the day every time there’s a tie-up and a clinch? Twelve three minutes is nothing. I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but this game is very easy. It’s a very easy game compared to my game.”
Prior to his retirement in 2015, the 5-foot-8, 151-pound Mayweather won the WBC super featherweight, lightweight, welterweight and light middleweight crowns, along with the IBF welterweight title, WBA (Super) light middleweight and (Super) welterweight titles and WBO welterweight championship.
On his way to the 49-0 record, Mayweather defeated Manny Pacquiao, Canelo Alvarez, Miguel Cotto, “Sugar” Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez, Marcos Maidana (twice), Arturo Gatti, Ricky Hatton and Oscar De La Hoya, all of whom are current or were former champions across several weight classes.
And while all those fights came with different styles, McGregor promises to bring something Mayweather has never seen before when they square off at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on August 26.
“I will come out and I will paint many pictures,” McGregor said. “I can fight in many stances. I can fight in many styles. I can take a Capoeira attack. I can take a Taekwondo attack. I can take a karate stance. I can take a boxing stance. I can take a Thai boxing stance. I can take a Greco-Roman, freestyle wrestling stance.
“I can stand and fight in many, many ways, and I will fight in all of them. I will paint many, many pictures in this fight, dazzle him, and then, the shots will find their home.”
Last November, McGregor came to Madison Square Garden in New York City looking to make history and become the first simultaneous two-division champion in the history of the UFC, and that is exactly what he did.
Courtesy of a knockout of Eddie Alvarez in the main event of UFC 205 at "The World's Most Famous Arena," the 5-foot-9, 155-pound McGregor added the UFC lightweight championship to his resume, going along with the featherweight title he won in December of 2015.
“Look, I love a true fight, elbows, knees, shin bone, foot,” McGregor said. “You ever bounce a shin bone off a nose bone? You ever dug an elbow into the temple? It’s an unusual feeling. It’s an unusual feeling when the elbow bone digs into the temple. It’s a nasty little one, but it’s just something I enjoy. It’s something I love to do, so I look forward to going back to MMA and have a true fight after this.”
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