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26th Jul 2017

Sparring partner’s assessment of Conor McGregor’s power may surprise you

Former foes have said similar things

Ben Kiely

When Conor McGregor demolishes opponents with his left hand, it’s understandable to conclude that he hits like a Mac(k) Truck.

It’s the natural assumption to make that Conor McGregor’s ability to turn granite chins to rubble is the product of superhuman-like power in his fists.

But, remember what the man himself famously uttered about the art of fighting all those PPV buys ago?

Precision beats power, timing beats speed.”

Those aren’t the words of a man who believes that his knuckles land flush with the force of the hammer of Thor, and this theory is backed up by Paulie Malignaggi’s recent comments on the Big Brown Breakdown.

The two-time boxing world champion went eight rounds with McGregor in preparation for the Money Fight against Floyd Mayweather on August 26. He explained to host Brendan Schaub that although McGregor can throw a decent haymaker, he’s not the hardest puncher he’s ever faced. Not by a longshot.

“Do you want to know if he hits hard? Yeah, I mean, he’s not a weak puncher. I’ll say that.”

“People are dying for me to say, ‘Oh he hits hard!’ Oh, his big left hand.’ Listen, if Conor hits you, you’re going to feel it. He’s a grown man. I’d say he’s an above average puncher. If he lands a shot with 10 oz gloves, it will probably get your attention.”

Malignaggi admitted that McGregor has ‘respectable power’ that definitely has the potential to cause rock opponents if he’s wearing the lighter gloves. However, it’s nothing extraordinary, it’s nothing he’s never dealt with before.

“Is it ‘Oh my God power’? No, ‘Oh my God power’ is very rare. I’ve sparred thousands of rounds in my life, I’ve sparred hundreds of people in my life… the amount people that I sparred that had ‘Oh my God power is probably only a handful.”

This assessment of McGregor’s power is nothing we haven’t heard before. Aside from Dustin Poirier, who claimed that McGregor is the hardest hitter he’s ever faced, most of the Dubliner’s former foes have drawn the same conclusion.

After losing to McGregor via second round TKO at UFC 189, Chad Mendes claimed it was accuracy rather than power that overwhelmed him in the fight.

“More than anything he’s accurate and I think that’s what plays into the success he has with his punches. Nothing was like overwhelmingly powerful. I mean, he’s got power. He’s more accurate I’d say than anything.”

As for Eddie Alvarez, who lost his lightweight strap to McGregor at UFC 205, it was the speed that caught him off guard.

“It was more his speed. I got dropped a couple of times, the first time I got dropped I remember being on my butt and thinking, ‘Wow, that was quick. Whatever that was it was fast. His speed and timing were very good, you could tell he’s got years of boxing behind him.”

There you have it, folks. The best knockout artists aren’t necessarily the hardest hitters.