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Duke Roufus: Let’s test Conor McGregor’s left hand versus ‘Pettis-kwondo’

Duke Roufus is curious about how a matchup between known strikers Conor McGregor and Anthony Pettis would play out.

UFC 229 Khabib v McGregor: Open Workouts Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Right after Anthony Pettis’ resounding knockout win over Stephen Thompson a couple of weeks ago, Conor McGregor responded with an indirect challenge. Pettis already accepted, stating how it would be an “amazing” stylistic matchup, given their backgrounds as two known excellent strikers.

Pettis’ head coach Duke Roufus sees the same thing, and is now offering to go against McGregor’s best weapon.

“The fight honestly that’s trippin’ my trigger, Conor commended Anthony after the fight and then said, ‘Who wants it?’ You know what, we want it,” Roufus told MMA Fighting. “No disrespect, I like Conor a lot, I think he’s funny, he’s charismatic, obviously a great fighter. I think it’s just one of those fights that just like this ‘Wonderboy’ fight, it’s a fun fight.

“Just the stage of the career that Team Pettis is at, we want to close out the twilight of Anthony’s career over the next many years with ‘legacy brawls’, if you will.

“Let’s test some theories,” he added. “Let’s test Conor’s left hand versus ‘Pettis-kwondo’, or as I call him, ‘The real life Ong-Bak’.”

For Roufus, Pettis fighting McGregor is the only sensible next move to make, in terms of elevating fighter status. He even mentioned a potential fight date.

“When I say we want to fight Conor, we want to fight him because he’s one of the best. That’s why we’re in this,” Roufus said. “We’re not cherry picking. These are things that get us motivated to sacrifice the way we do and the way Anthony had to to win this fight. I just think it would be a fun fight. They’re both a lot alike. They’re charismatic, they’re flashy, dapper guys, they’re both great for this sport.

“I think the time is right and let’s do it July 6 on International Fight weekend.”

McGregor is currently “retired” and has not made any definite plans of returning to action.

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