Now that Tony Ferguson is holding the interim lightweight belt, talk about how he”ll fair against Conor McGregor has ratcheted up a notch. While many believe that Ferguson will provide a stiff test for McGregor, clearly the latter’s striking coach isn’t one of those folks.
Ferguson tapped out Kevin Lee at UFC 216 this past weekend in the third round, and in doing so, won the 155 interim title and extended his winning streak to 10. Since Ferguson is a threat standing, has good wrestling and is ridiculously dangerous with submissions, many observers believe McGregor will need to be at his absolute best, if and when they fight.
McGregor’s striking coach, Owen Roddy was a guest on Submission Radio recently, and of course, he was asked for his take on how a bout with Ferguson might unfold. Here is some of what he had to say (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“His style is, you know, it’s not traditional, it’s a bit unorthodox and stuff, but I just honestly think that Conor’s going to be way too clean for Ferguson,” Roddy said.
“If Ferguson tries to stand with Conor for an extended period of time it will be lights out, in my opinion…”
“I don’t think Ferguson is as durable as Diaz, so I think we’ll be well able to land the shots,” added Roddy, while referring to McGregor’s epic bouts with Nate Diaz. “You know, there’s plenty of holes in there in Ferguson’s game and I think we can capitalize and land any shots that we need to land.”
Now, many would agree with Roddy here, in that Ferguson does tend to get tagged in his fights. So, questioning whether he could battle through a big left from McGregor is certainly a fair question. But, in terms of Ferguson’s chin, it is important to note that he’s never been KO’d in his 25 fight plus career.
Further, since questions remain about McGregor’s wrestling abilities and ground game, one would think “El Cucuy” would be busting out the Imanari Rolls and takedowns fairly quick, or attempting to clinch up. It certainly has all the makings of a fascinating fight. Hopefully we get to see it sooner than later.