UFC lightweight Kevin Lee revealed earlier this week that Floyd Mayweather Jr’s people have reached out to him about helping ‘Money’ prepare for a potential boxing showdown with Conor McGregor.
Lee, who is currently riding an impressive four fight winning-streak in the world’s leading MMA promotion, often trains at the Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas and the 24-year-old suggested that he is more than happy to assist the former pound for pound number one adjust to the movements of a martial artist.
However, former UFC heavyweight Brendan Schaub feels that Mayweather’s decision to court Lee’s services is a mistake and shows his lack of knowledge when it comes to the sport of MMA.
“That’s how you know this shit is getting real, when Floyd Mayweather is bringing in UFC fighters to mimic Conor McGregor. And I’ll tell you this right now, I would not say that Kevin Lee is a good mimic of Conor McGregor,” Schaub said to guest Joey Diaz on a recent episode of ‘Big Brown Breakdown’. “[Lee’s] a wrestler. His base is wrestling. This is just [Mayweather] not knowing the sport.”
Lee is admittedly a slightly bizarre choice, perhaps picked for the fact that he has a connection to the Mayweather camp more than anything else. While ‘The Motown Phenom’ is the same height as McGregor and has similarly long arms, he is orthodox rather than southpaw and doesn’t move anything like the Irishman. Plus, as Schaub pointed out, he is, first and foremost, a wrestler.
“If they should do anything, because obviously money isn’t a fucking issue to Floyd Mayweather, they should fly in that Brazilian cat that Jose Aldo used to mimic Conor McGregor,” Schaub suggested. “Granted it didn’t work out for [Aldo], but he does move very similar to Conor McGregor. I’ve never seen anyone move like Conor McGregor. This guy in Brazil that Jose Aldo used, he is very similar, very unothodox. That’s what [Mayweather] needs, very unorthodox strikers to prepare for Conor McGregor.”
The man to whom Schaub was referring, as he confirmed later in the show, is Jonas ‘Speed’ Bilharinho.
In suggesting that Mayweather should seek out unorthodox movers and strikers, as opposed to one often trained in the pugilistic arts by Floyd’s own associates, Schaub once again had a point.
Perhaps Bilharinho isn’t the ideal alternative to Lee either, though. As Schaub stated, using Bilharinho as a McGregor mimic didn’t help Aldo, nor did it help Eddie Alvarez, who subsequently used the 7-1-1 Team Nogueira featherweight as a sparring partner ahead of his own date with ‘The Notorious’ one in November of last year. Aldo and Alvarez lost their UFC featherweight and lightweight titles respectively, both succumbing to McGregor’s strikes in rather short order.
Moreover, while the Brazilian does indeed move in somewhat similar fashion to McGregor, it’s his kicking game that is most reminiscent of the UFC lightweight champion, rather than his boxing. Thus, his mimicry is unlikely to benefit Mayweather all that much.