McGregor vs Alvarez: Will Conor McGregor gas at UFC 205?
In Conor McGregor’s 20 wins to date, 18 have come by knockout or submission.
Only 2 of his victories have been via decision, one of which came in his most recent fight with Nate Diaz.
(Image courtesy of Sherdog.com)
In the aforementioned bout against Diaz, McGregor struggled endurance-wise. In fact midway through the second round, McGregor already seemed to be at 'death's door' prior to getting a second wind of sorts and hanging on for a decision win.
Non unlike after their first encounter in which McGregor gassed out in the second round and was submitted by Diaz, Conor's cardio was a big talking point following the rematch.
In the second fight, Conor adopted a more conservative approach, trying to pace himself for the long haul instead of going for the early knockout.
But even then, McGregor still managed to fade cardio-wise in the second and third rounds.
So why is McGregor gassing out in fights? Here are some possible factors:
Bad weight cut
The cut to reach the Featherweight weight limit is a seemingly grueling experience for Conor and it surely did not have a positive effect on his conditioning. Still, McGregor had a minimal weight cut in his last two fights with Nate Diaz and still displayed poor cardio.
No Plan B
Of McGregor’s 18 finishes, 17 have come by way of knockout in the first or second round. This strategy works great when you’re able to finish a guy early but when you don’t, there has to be a plan B.
McGregor vs Alvarez
Date: Nov 12, 2016
Venue: Madison Square Garden
Location: New York City
If you spend all of your energy trying to knock a guy out who won’t go away, you better have a plan B. So far in Conor’s career, he’s had no plan B, thanks to his insane knockout rate.
Step-up in competition
Of McGregor’s 18 finishes, 12 have come against less-than-elie opponents. Now that McGregor is in UFC, he has obviously seen much stiffer competition. The knockout won’t come as easy. Now granted, McGregor has faced good competition but with each fight he is taking on a rise in competition.
Simply bad cardio
If cardio is a poor attribute, it’s not something that’ll improve overnight. It’ll probably take years of proper conditioning.
If that's the case, McGregor is just going to have to adjust his style and continue to better himself in that department.
Even with all of these factors in play, he still was able to win a decision against Nate Diaz. And while he gassed midway through the fight, he eventually picked up his second wind and was able to do what it took to win.
Unfortunately for Conor, he’s fighting another well-conditioned cardio guy in Eddie Alvarez next. If he’s going to win, his cardio must be top-notch; He absolutely cannot gas early in this fight.