UFC welterweight contender Gilbert Burns believes Conor McGregor has “very good” Brazilian jiu jitsu, despite perceptions to the contrary.
McGregor has long stood out as one of the most lethal strikers in MMA, with a long list of knockout wins to his credit. Yet many of the Irishman’s detractors—both fans and fighters—have suggested he’s lacking in the grappling department.
Burns begs to differ.
Speaking on his YouTube channel recently, Burns praised the grappling skill of McGregor, adding that the Irishman’s striking style makes him difficult to take down.
“He’s good,” Burns said of McGregor. “People think he’s very bad, but he’s very good. People don’t remember he swept Nate Diaz in their first fight. I think he’s very underrated. People say, ‘all you have to do is take him down.’ First of all, when the guy controls the distance like Conor (McGregor), it’s not easy to take the guy down.”
“Another thing that people don’t realise is those guys that kick a lot, they develop a lot power in their hips,” Burns added. “So those hips are very flexible and very strong. It’s that type of flexibility and strength that is the same one that you use to defend the takedowns. The point is, Conor’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is not bad. People underestimate that, but he is a good grappler the way I see. For sure, he’s not a grappler. It’s not a natural thing. It’s not his natural thing, but for sure he’s put a lot of focus on that.”
Gilbert Burns is slated to challenge Kamaru Usman for the UFC welterweight title at UFC 258 on February 12. Conor McGregor, on the other hand, is currently gearing up for a fight with Dustin Poirier, which seems to be rife in lightweight title implications. The bout, which is a rematch of a 2014 featherweight fight McGregor won by knockout, headlines UFC 257 on January 23.
What do you think of Burns’ comments about McGregor?