Gilbert Burns Praises Conor McGregor’s Ground Game
Conor McGregor's ground game has been scrutinized pretty heavily, but Gilbert Burns beleives the star's jiu-jitsu is actually, quite good.
If you ask fans, fighters and pundits what is the weakest part of Conor McGregor game, chances are you’ll hear his grappling. But, according to Gilbert Burns, a lot of people are underestimating what the feared striker can do on the ground.
Burns praises McGregor’s jiu-jitsu
While McGregor’s striking game has received heaps of praise over the years, the same cannot be said about his ground skills. A key reason being that all four of McGregor’s losses have come via submission, and the decorated fighter has just one, submission win on his record.
“He’s good. People think he’s very bad. He thinks he’s very good.
If people don’t remember, he swept Nate Diaz in the first fight. Nate Diaz took him down in the beginning and he was able to sweep him, invert the position, (and) get on top.
I remember a couple of other things, too. I remember he escaped from the guillotine from Chad Mendes when they first fought.”
“…“People think you can just take him down,” Burns added. “First of all, when the guy controls the distance the way Conor controls the distance, it’s not easy to take the guy down.
Another thing that people don’t realize is those guys that kick a lot, they develop a lot of power in the hips so those hips are very flexible and very strong.
It’s that type of flexibility or strength that they use to defend the takedowns. …
They have certain mobility on the hips and the hips are very strong that it’s very hard to take these guys down.
The welterweight contender, also had this to say about McGregor’s abilities on the floor.
“To take Conor down is not an easy task,” Burns said.
“… He’s not a white belt. The guy has been in there a couple of times against the best, Khabib, Nate Diaz, Dustin Poirier, and many, many others.
He’s not that easy. People think, ‘Oh just take this guy down.’ He’s not that easy. The point is, I think his jiu-jitsu is good.”
Does Burns have a point?
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It’s hard to argue with Burns here, and it’s also worth noting he knows what he’s talking about. After all, he’s one of the most accomplished grapplers in the game.
McGregor’s submission losses in the UFC have come against Khabib Nurmagomedov and Nate Diaz, who are both, highly regarded grapplers.
Further, following Conor’s loss to Nate in 2016, it was widely reported he started focusing more time training and improving his ground skills.
So, is Conor going to go win the ADCC? Probably not. But to say he’s a slouch on the ground is likely, far from accurate.