Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) two-division champion Conor McGregor has four professional losses as a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter, all four of which came by way of submission. But that doesn't mean you should underrate his grappling.
That’s according to top welterweight contender Gilbert Burns.
“He’s good. People think he’s very bad, but he’s very good. People don’t remember he swept Nate Diaz in their first fight,” Burns said on his YouTube channel (via Middle Easy). “I think he’s very underrated. People say ‘All you have to do is take him down.’ First of all, when the guy controls the distance like Conor, it’s not easy to take the guy down.”
McGregor swept Diaz but was also submitted by Diaz, so I’m not sure if we’re supposed to count that as a moral victory or some kind of feather in his Irish cap, but Burns believes “Notorious” shouldn’t be underestimated on the ground.
“Another thing that people don’t realize, is those guys that kick a lot, they develop a lot of power in their hips. So those hips are very flexible and very strong,” the Brazilian continued. “It’s that type of flexibility and strength that is the same one that you use to defend the takedowns. The point is, Conor’s jiu-jitsu is not bad. People underestimate that, but he is a good grappler the way I see.”
I doubt we’ll see much grappling — at least from McGregor — when he collides with former interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier in their UFC 257 pay-per-view (PPV) main event later this month on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi.
For more on that upcoming showdown click here.