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Conor McGregor on Why UFC 246 Win Was Rebuttal to “so-called Experts”

Over the years, there’s been no shortage of talk regarding Conor McGregor’s [1] game in terms of its strengths and its weaknesses. Since he was submitted by Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2018, however, questions whether McGregor can reclaim the lightweight title have made the rounds. But, on account of McGregor’s jaw-dropping victory over Donald Cerrone, Saturday, the star believes at least some of the questions regarding his game have been answered.

Image Credit: UFC / YouTube

McGregor says win showed he has more weapons than his left hand

The former featherweight and lightweight champ needed less than 60 seconds to finish Cerrone on Saturday. After McGregor charged out at Cerrone, the latter countered with a level change and the two clinched up. During the clinch, McGregor bloodied and dazed Cerrone with several shoulder strikes. Then the heavy-handed fighter cracked Cerrone with a head kick, and follow-up punches from McGregor eventually prompted the stoppage. [2]

While talking about his performance afterward, McGregor used the opportunity to fire back at his doubters. In particular, he responded to folks who have argued McGregor’s weapons are limited to his booming left hand (quotes via MMA Fighting [3]):

“You know they say I’ve just got a left hand,” McGregor said. “They’ll have to say I’ve just got a left shoulder as well. A left hand and a left shoulder. The so-called experts of the game, when they’re breaking down my skillset, they’ll be saying I’m just a fighter with a left hand, which is highly disrespectful and uneducated.

“You’d be surprised at so many of the supposedly knowledgeable people, they’ll be claiming it as that. It’s a good shot in the clinch. You can really catch a man. I know I caught him the first one off-guard, and I caught him with one or two more and when we separated, the nose and the eye was busted.”

It’s hard to argue with McGregor here. While most would agree that his left hand is his most dangerous weapon (and he’s very skilled at setting it up), even before UFC 246, McGregor showcased effective kicks. Sure, he may not have scored a head kick KO in the Octagon, but his front kicks and leg kicks have played roles in other victories.

McGregor comments on Cerrone’s feared head kicks

Speaking of head kicks, Cerrone has used the technique to deliver him multiple wins over the years and McGregor took notice. While discussing that element of “Cowboy’s” game, McGregor stated this:

“I knew Donald has the most head kicks,” McGregor said. “That’s the equivalent of a world title to me. I knew this was what Donald would have been envisioning on his team; they would have been practicing how to set me up with high kicks. But at the same time, Donald has many discrepancies and leans that can set him up for the high kick. So the high kick was something I thought I could catch him with.”

There you have it. Could we see more of McGregor’s head kicks moving forward?