As far as his preparation for the Floyd Mayweather fight goes, the most we have all seen from Conor McGregor is through his social media posts. His coaches will not divulge any valuable information about their strategy heading into the August 26th bout - rightfully so.
Fans believe that McGregor’s only chance against the former top pound-for-pound boxer in the world is if he suddenly switched to MMA mode and began throwing some kicks, knees or elbows. These tactics, of course, have been contractually forbidden, and could cost Conor a huge chunk of his money from the fight, if violated.
The contract, however, seemingly did not state anything about implementing some wrestling and grappling techniques, and according to renowned trainer Firas Zahabi, these actually can work towards McGregor’s advantage.
“I would take it a different approach. I would rough Mayweather up. Rough him up, physically,” Zahabi said. “Grab him, throw him, drop him on the floor, do borderline illegal stuff. Get him thinking ‘what is this? I don’t know how to grapple with this guy. I don’t know what an overhook is. I don’t know what an underhook is. I don’t know what this type of clinching is.’”
“And he’s gonna get tired. Mayweather would get tired from clinching. If you haven’t done a lot of clinching in your life, it’s extremely exhausting.”
Zahabi, who has trained former world champions and title contenders such as Georges St-Pierre and Rory MacDonald to name a few, further explained how fighting through the clinch could take a lot from a fighter, especially from one that has little experience with it.
“After a certain period of clinching, you build up that lactic acid, your muscles have less pop, they’re less explosive. And all of a sudden, you’re trying to punch, but it doesn’t feel right. Do a hundred push-ups then go hit the heavy bag, you’re gonna see that your muscles aren’t feeling right.”
While the overall strategy if you asked him is to play rough, Zahabi is not forgetting about McGregor’s patented weapon.
“If McGregor was my student and I was coaching him, I would tell him every time, ‘you can can rough him up. Grab the back of his neck. Trip him. Shove him into the ropes. Shove him through the ropes, whatever. Rough this guy up, make him forget about boxing. And of course, look to land the left.”
In less than eight weeks, Mayweather vs. McGregor will be taking place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.