In little over a week Conor McGregor steps inside the octagon against lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 and will attempt to make UFC history as the promotion’s first fighter to hold two division titles simultaneously.
Throughout McGregor’s rise through the UFC ranks, we’ve seen him completely dominate the 145-pound division and test the waters at welterweight against Nate Diaz on two separate occasions.
However, the Irishman is yet to lay claim at lightweight and if prior fights at 155-pounds outside of the UFC are anything to go by, we should be in for a treat.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with TheMacLife.com recently, McGregor’s head coach John Kavanagh and striking coach Owen Roddy spoke about the Irishman’s upcoming bout, with the latter adamant that lightweight is the best weight for the 28-year-old.
“At 70 kilos (155 pounds) he is at the best weight that suits his body”, Roddy said.
“For me just working on the pads with him, he just seems a lot sharper, a lot faster. I don’t feel like he’s lost any power and he’s gained a bit of speed.
“This is the weight he should fight at and should have always fought at. I think we’re going to see the best Conor.”
Following his first loss inside the octagon to Diaz at UFC 196, McGregor and his team drastically changed how they approached the rematch with the Stockton native at UFC 202, ending with an enthralling split-decision win for the Dubliner.
That template hasn’t changed much in the lead up to his fight with Alvarez, with Kavanagh confident that the Conor McGregor that makes the walk in New York will be the most developed version of the fighter yet.
“Routine, routine, routine. This was always my way”, says Kavanagh.
“Conor is more flowy and artistic and does things as he feels is the right time to do them but he has seen the benefit of it as well. For the last few months now, I could tell you six weeks in advance what today’s session was going to be.
“It’s paid dividends. It did in the last fight and we’ve continued it on to this one.”
While McGregor feels prepared physically, he certainly isn’t short on confidence either, stating during the UFC 205 media call on Thursday that he plans to retire Alvarez after 13 years of fighting in the sport.
If that does happen and we find ourselves with a new 155-pound champion, UFC president Dana White has made it abruptly clear that McGregor will not hold a weight division ransom and will have to vacate one of the belts if victorious.
UFC 205 takes place on November 12 at Madison Square Garden arena in New York.
James McDonald, Pundit Arena