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05th Dec 2016

Joe Rogan explains what it takes to achieve Conor McGregor’s elite countering ability in simplest possible terms

Timing beats power, precision beats speed

Ben Kiely

It’s been nearly a month since UFC 205, but Joe Rogan is still gushing about Conor McGregor’s incredible stand-up display in the main event.

It’s really hard to blame the UFC colour commentator for still harping on about McGregor’s stunning performance against Eddie Alvarez on the historic New York card.

It wasn’t just that he made history by becoming the first fighter to simultaneously hold two UFC belts in separate divisions that made it so jaw-droppingly brilliant. Nor was it the fact that he beat one of the all-time great lightweights and crumbled his granite chin to dust with that trusty Celtic cross.

What really stood out from that fight was the manner in which McGregor secured the victory. Alvarez knew exactly what the Notorious was going to throw at him, he knew exactly the likely shot that would finish him and he thought he had the perfect gameplan to nullify it. Despite all this, the Underground King lost, and in truth, he was never in the fight.

As you’ll notice from the highlights, McGregor’s elite timing with his counters were key to his victory over Alvarez. Each time the Philly native tried something offensive, McGregor punished him with a devastating combination. As Rogan explained on the Fight Companion for the TUF 24 Finale, it was perfect execution of the technique.

“It’s so clean, it’s so fast, it’s so accurate. What Conor has is this ability to slide back and counter with incredible precision. It’s beautiful precision too. The technique’s perfect, he plants it right on your chin, it’s super accurate, he’s so fast you gets surprised.”

When asked by regular guest Eddie Bravo what it takes to achieve this insane ability to beat your opponents to the punch nearly every time, Rogan broke it down in very simple terms. In short, it can be broken down into two building blocks – work ethic and natural ability.

If you took a guy who had almost no kicks whatsoever, you’d say, ‘Ok, let’s forget the kicks. What I want you to do is just check kicks, we’re going to work on punches. Can you throw elbows? I don’t want you off balance throwing kicks.’ When you see Conor’s counters, his counters are so precise. You only get that through that 10,000 hour principle.”

“They’d have to be obsessed and they’d have to be genetically gifted, because there are certain punchers that did not have that kind of snap to be counter guys.”