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05th Dec 2016

Dillon Danis details how he prepared Conor McGregor for Eddie Alvarez challenge

The specifics

Darragh Murphy

After being submitted and upset by Nate Diaz in the main event of UFC 196, Conor McGregor knew that he needed to make a change.

Realising that he would have to work day-in, day-out with one of the greatest grapplers walking the planet prompted ‘The Notorious’ to draft in Marcelo Garcia black belt Dillon Danis for the next training camp.

Danis replicated the submission threat posed by the Stockton fighter and the requisite hours were put in on the mat prior to McGregor’s redemption at UFC 202.

Once the pair of fights against Diaz were in the books, McGregor decided to stick with Danis and the duo have grown closer as the months have passed.

And when the Irishman’s next fight was booked in the form of a lightweight title fight against Eddie Alvarez, a very different set of skills had to be mimicked but Danis was up to the task and he has since revealed how he prepared McGregor for the UFC 205 headliner against a hard-nosed wrestler.

“This time it was a little bit more wrestling,” Danis said on the MMA Hour.

“People think just because you’re a Jiu Jitsu guy that you can’t do other things. It’s a weird little thing that people think.

“But during this fight (camp), I could be a wrestler. I wrestled before so I could be the guy that shoots on doubles and holds in the guard and doesn’t pass guard.

“All I did was mimic Eddie’s style and I studied a lot of tape on him to do that.

“I was used for this camp a lot. I would do three rounds or two rounds with Conor, just straight trying to take him down and then hold him. Not as much as a Jiu Jitsu guy where I’m trying to take the back and doing stuff like that.

“Just more being a stocky wrestler and then they would have Artem (Lobov) come in and throw hands. I was more there for the grappling.”

SPOILER ALERT – McGregor came out on top at UFC 205 and put on the perfect performance in the process.

The fact that he was able to stuff all three of Alvarez’s takedown attempts was testament to the work put in by Danis.

McGregor’s flawless victory meant he became the first fighter in UFC history to hold a title in two different weight classes simultaneously but that glory was short-lived as he saw his featherweight strap stripped less than a fortnight after lifting the lightweight belt.

And Danis gave his baffled reaction to the decision to force ‘The Notorious’ to relinquish a belt and reinstate Jose Aldo as the undisputed champion.

“It is sad and it doesn’t make any sense to me,” Danis said.

“There have been champions who have been out for longer and Conor’s one of the most active fighters on the roster so it doesn’t make any sense.

Conor McGregor celebrates winning 20/8/2016

“At the end of the day, I know the way he thinks and I know the way I think – we’re very similar in our thoughts – and the way we see it is that it doesn’t matter what they do. They have to come take it off us.

“Nobody is going to go and get that belt from him and Jose Aldo can say he’s the champion but everybody knows what happened.

“The belts really mean nothing. He’s out to be the best fighter in the world and everybody knows that so, at the end of the day, that’s what matters to him is being the best in the world.”

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