Throughout his UFC career, Conor McGregor was only defeated twice. Those two losses seemingly broke his aura of invincibility, giving more confidence to opponents like his next one in Donald Cerrone.
MMA veteran and Bellator fighter Josh Thomson gave his assessment on how to possibly edge out “The Notorious”, a strategy he’d seen in past fights.
“I would have probably tried to strike on the outside, close the distance, get in on a takedown,” Thomson said on the Weighing In podcast (transcript by The Body Lock MMA). “But after watching him as a fan and not so much as a fighter, I have a different outlook and perspective.
“I watched him against Nate [Diaz] and a couple of other guys. Him against the fence. I feel like there’s less likeliness of him to do a lot of damage. People have a hard time getting to the fence and that’s what the issue is.
“But I think if you want to have a chance is to rough him up against the fence,” he added. “Take away his reach and his range as well as his kicks. Fight him in that clinch.”
Another one of Thomson’s frame of reference is McGregor’s UFC 205 against Eddie Alvarez in 2016, when the Irishman won the UFC lightweight title.
“I was watching him and Eddie fight. I think Eddie should have just kept him pressed to the fence,” he explained. “I would have made it a focus to try to keep him as pressed to the fence as possible.
“Never giving him the space to use his punching and his power as well as his kicks. That would have been my game plan.”
McGregor will return from a 15-month layoff at UFC 246 on January 18 in Las Vegas.