On Tuesday evening, the recently retired Paddy Holohan posted a wonderful picture and an inspirational accompanying message to his Instagram account.
The photo features Holohan himself, UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor and UFC women’s strawweight Aisling Daly standing in their gi’s, brown belts wrapped tightly around their waists. The trio’s coach, Brazilian jiu-jitsu black-belt John Kavanagh, poses proudly next to his students.
“Once upon a time the 3 of us were white belts….1000’s of hours later we roll as brown belts,” Holohan wrote alongside the shot.
It’s a post that serves as another reminder of the remarkable nature of the Straight Blast Gym story, one defined by dedication and friendship.
One person whose heart might not be warmed by the post however, is UFC flyweight Ian McCall.
“Uncle Creepy” made a guest appearance on a recent episode of “The Neutral Corner”, a Sherdog Radio Network show hosted by former UFC fighter Yves Edwards, and he didn’t hold anything back when it came to critiquing the jits repertoire of one of the 3 fighters pictured above.
While Daly and Holohan are known primarily for their grappling abilities, Conor McGregor’s ground game is regularly disparaged. Few have been as severe in assessing the Dubliner’s skills on the deck as McCall though.
“I think that he’s really good. He’s better than really good — he’s incredible,” began McCall, before quickly taking things in a slightly different direction. “But his jiu-jitsu is dog shit”.
The 31-year-old veteran even suggested that he was somewhat offended by the fact that McGregor has attained a higher grade than he has in BJJ, referring to the finish of “The Notorious” one’s UFC 196 battle with Nate Diaz in an attempt to illustrate his point.
“I know Nate Diaz is a savage, but Conor didn’t do anything against Chad [Mendes either]. He got molested by Nate. Maybe his jiu-jitsu is really good. But for him to be a brown belt, that’s a slap in the face to someone like me who’s been a purple belt for 10 years(Transcription via Sherdog)”.
“He got cracked. If I get cracked I’m still gonna take a good shot. If I get cracked and we get on the ground, you’re still not gonna do that stuff to me”.