At several times over the course of his illustrious MMA career, we’ve seen Conor McGregor get tired in fights. It seemed to happen in both of his unforgettable scraps with Nate Diaz, and also in his blockbuster 2017 boxing match with Floyd Mayweather. Highly respected Tristar MMA head coach Firas Zahabi feels he knows why this happens.
He broke it down during his recent appearance on the JRE MMA Show.
“It think it’s partly genetic,” Zahabi told Joe Rogan (transcribed by Milan Ordoñez for BloodyElbow). “I call it the touch of death. He’s got that left hand, it’s the touch of death. That touch of death comes at a cost.”
“How do you have the touch of death? Where does power come from? Number one on the list, number one, is where your muscle is attached to the bone. It’s genetic. So, Mike Tyson, he has a powerful left hook not because his coach taught him how to hit a left hook. He could have hit a left hook like that if he had a mediocre trainer.”
“It has to do with the leverage of his bones,” he continued. “So, for instance, imagine a really heavy pole that weighs a hundred pounds, and I want to stand it up. Well, depending on where I grab it, I’m gonna have more resistance or less resistance. If I grab it near the end, I have more leverage. So where your muscles are attached to the bone is gonna dictate how much leverage you get out of it.”
Firas Zahabi continued with his assessment of Conor McGregor:
“If you have a fast-twitch muscle fiber, you can hold less oxygen, but it can twitch faster. Hence the name,” he said. “So, if you’re a slow-twitch muscle fiber guy, you can metabolize more oxygen, but you can’t twitch as fast. So, there’s a give and take.”
“So you have a guy like Nick Diaz who needs to knock you out with volume. He can’t knock you out with one shot,” he added. “Look at BJ Penn. If round one, he doesn’t knock you out, the likelihood of him knocking you out in round two is less. Diaz is the opposite. The likelihood of him knocking you out in round three is higher than round one, because of the cumulative attack.”
“McGregor, look at his stats. It’s all round one knockout, round two knockout (using) his fast-twitch, high-leverage left hand. If you take him into deep waters, his fast-twitch muscle fibers cannot metabolize with Mayweather. Mayweather’s so smart, he let McGregor work for three rounds.”
“’I knew you’re getting excited, keep working. And when you have nothing left, I’m gonna put you out.’ That was such a brilliant strategy.”
What do you think of Firas Zahabi’s comments on Conor McGregor?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/21/2018.