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15th Jun 2019

Conor McGregor proved Dillon Danis’ inspiration after awful knee injury

Patrick McCarry

“95% of fighters would have pulled out of this fight”

Dillon Danis took 117 seconds to win on his Bellator debut, back in April 2018.

14 months later and Danis was finally back at it.

Harshly suspended seven months for fighting back, at UFC 229, after Khabib Nurmagomedov plunged off an Octagon and towards him, the 25-year-old made up for some lost time.

Danis called out Bellator weltwerweight champion Rory MacDonald and UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones after he defeated veteran Max Humphrey in the first round to move to 2-0 in his professional fight career.

After declaring himself to be the world’s best MMA fighter, in the press conference, the New Jersey native spoke with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani about the fight and the woeful knee injury that befell him just a week beforehand.

Danis bemoaned his lack of fluidity and set-ups for take-downs but did enjoy the ground-and-pound element of the fight. He explained:

“[Last] Friday, I tore my LCL [lateral collateral ligament] completely. I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t stand. It was terrible. Man, I didn’t know if I could do it, I swear… but I did it and I took it as a life experience and pulled it off. It makes it all the sweeter.”

“95% of fighters would have pulled out of this fight,” Danis added. “I just kept telling myself, ‘You’re different’. You are going to be the best.”

Danis trains closely with Conor McGregor, his Straight Blast Gym stablemate, and says ‘The Notorious’ was a great source of support and advice heading into his fight.

McGregor famously defeated Chad Mendes at UFC 189, in 2015, just weeks after badly tearing 80% of his anterior cruciate ligament [ACL]. Danis commented:

“We talked about it a lot and Conor said, ‘You know what man, you can do it’.

“We obviously talked back and forth. He was asking how was this and that. He’s always there for me with advice. He’s been through it all. The mental side and the physical side. He’s a great mentor for me.”

Danis told Helwani that he could not walk much before and after the fight, yet declared he would fight again next weekend if there was a good fight on the go.

Rocking the D&G too. McGregor would be proud.