UFC: Firas Zahabi explains why Conor McGregor has cardio issues, says it’s ‘partly genetic’

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Conor McGregor is known for the brash attitude and trash talk he uses to promote the fight. However, he ‘walks the talk’ as he backs the trash talk with outstanding performances which makes him the greatest superstar of the MMA world.

McGregor is known for his illusive striking style. Instead of the traditional flat footed stance, McGregor uses more of a calm and relaxed approach which gave him the titles against two of the future hall of famers in Jose Aldo and Eddie Alvarez.

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However, McGregor has been found to have one hole in his game which is cardio. His poor gas tank got first exposed in his fight against Nate Diaz. McGregor got tired after expending too much energy in the first round which led to Diaz submitting him in the second, handing McGregor his first and only loss in the UFC. This weakness was further translated in his boxing super fight against Floyd Mayweather which he lost via round 10 TKO.

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People point to poor conditioning, but according to Tristar Gym head coach Firas Zahabi, there might be a different origin to this problem.

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“It think it’s partly genetic,” Zahabi told Joe Rogan during the recent episode of the JRE MMA Show. “I call it the touch of death. He’s got that left hand, it’s the touch of death. That touch of death comes at a cost.”

“How do you have the touch of death? Where does power come from? Number one on the list, number one, is where your muscle is attached to the bone. It’s genetic. So, Mike Tyson, he has a powerful left hook not because his coach taught him how to hit a left hook. He could have hit a left hook like that if he had a mediocre trainer.”

“It has to do with the leverage of his bones,” he continued. “So, for instance, imagine a really heavy pole that weighs a hundred pounds, and I want to stand it up. Well, depending on where I grab it, I’m gonna have more resistance or less resistance. If I grab it near the end, I have more leverage. So where your muscles are attached to the bone is gonna dictate how much leverage you get out of it.”

“So you have a guy like Nick Diaz who needs to knock you out with volume. He can’t knock you out with one shot,” he added. “Look at B.J. Penn. If round one, he doesn’t knock you out, the likelihood of him knocking you out in round two is less. Diaz is the opposite. The likelihood of him knocking you out in round three is higher than round one, because of the cumulative attack.”

“McGregor, look at his stats. It’s all round one knockout, round two knockout (using) his fast-twitch, high-leverage left hand. If you take him into deep waters, his fast-twitch muscle fibers cannot metabolize with Mayweather. Mayweather’s so smart, he let McGregor work for three rounds.”

“’I knew you’re getting excited, keep working. And when you have nothing left, I’m gonna put you out.’ That was such a brilliant strategy.”

Reportedly McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov is being discussed. If McGregor’s cardio issues prevail, it can be extremely difficult for him to handle the relentless wrestling style of ‘The Eagle’.

Read also:

UFC : Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Conor McGregor reportedly in the works for UFC 229

UFC: ‘Khabib doesn’t think Conor deserves it’ – Manager Ali Abdelaziz


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