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Graph Illustrates McGregor’s One Major Flaw And One Immense Asset

LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 20: Conor McGregor (L) hits Nate Diaz with a left during their welterweight rematch at the UFC 202 event at T-Mobile Arena on August 20, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)

As hype surrounding UFC 205 ramps up with each passing spine-tingling promo video or bogus Twitter rumour regarding sparring, it can be tough to find detailed, level-headed analysis.

But ESPN’s Reed Kuhn this week delivered some fascinating insight into the fighting habits of all of the participants at the upcoming New York event.

Kuhn tweeted out the below graph earlier this week, which documents how many significant strikes every fighter both absorbs and dishes out on average.

The figures are mixed news for McGregor fans, as while he is second only to straweight champion Joanna Jędrzejczyk on the offensive side of things, he also takes more significant strikes than anyone else listed.

Unsurprisingly, Eddie Alvarez is more conservative on both measurements as he does tend to work in a lot of wrestling into his fights. It is a cause for concern, however, that this stat seems to legitimise the Philadelphia native’s claim about McGregor that, “his offence is good but his defence is atrocious.”

Fans of The Notorious should not panic too much though – a lot of this can be chalked up to two factors. Firstly, as a striker first and foremost, McGregor is bound to ship a certain amount of punishment. It’s part of the reason he has become such a big star as his style leads to very exciting, action-packed fights, which ignite a crowd rather than the grapple-fests that sometimes draw the boos out like Daniel Cormier’s smothering victory over Anderson Silva at UFC 200.

LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 20: Nate Diaz (L) and Conor McGregor battle during their welterweight rematch at the UFC 202 event at T-Mobile Arena on August 20, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. McGregor won by majority decision. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)

The second reason, or even excuse, that fans can use to reassure themselves that this graph is not shining a light on a massive weakness is that one has to acknowledge that having just gone through two fights with Nate Diaz, McGregor’s strikes taken stats are bound to be a little skewed.

Diaz is known for being one of the most high-volume strikers in the UFC so McGregor would have been on the end of an awful lot of strikes in those match-ups. It is unlikely that Alvarez will be able to match the Stockton man’s cardio or frenetic style of landing flurries of punches over and over again.

Vincent Whelan, Pundit Arena

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.