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How Much Can Conor Improve for UFC 264?

UFC 264 is a week away which means we’re getting closer to the trilogy fight between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.

In their last fight earlier this year, Dustin won by KO in round 2, a win that was setup by the low calf kicks which restricted Conor’s movement and allowed for Dustin to close distance and portray his excellent boxing. Conor after the fight said that he didn’t know much about the technique saying, ‘That calf kick, that low calf kick – I’ve never experienced that before. It was a good one.’

When I heard this back in January, I was shocked because if I fighter fighting Conor, that would be the first thing I’d try and do. Conor always carries such a wide stance, which should makes him susceptible to calf kicks. However, if you look at Conor’s previous fights, he finished Cerrone in 40 seconds and Khabib mauled him. I think if Conor didn’t beat Jose Aldo in 13 seconds, he would’ve learnt about the technique earlier as Aldo is one of the best calf kickers in the UFC.

Anyway, how much can Conor improve in 6 months in order to win the fight? I think Conor will improve a decent amount going into this trilogy, but so will Dustin. Dustin has talked about taking Conor down so he’ll have to consider what to do if the fight goes to the ground. He’ll have to check the leg kick as I’m sure Dustin will test the waters with them again. Furthermore, I think Conor will have to change/adapt his stance going into this finale fight. The wide southpaw/karate type stance is helpful as it keeps him light on the feet and helps defend takedowns but with the moderately recent popularity of the calf kick in MMA, having your lead leg so far ahead is suicide. However, changing stance for defensive reasoning means Conor will have to find a better stance that will help in his offensive game. Conor will have to switch stances mid fight to give Dustin different looks as he’ll know what to expect with the striking at this point.

There’s a lot of things for Conor to improve on if he wants to be victorious in the trilogy fight next week. I’ll drop my predictions in a few days.

I know there’s a lot of hype going into this fight, because of the two names, but this might be one of the most exciting fights of the year from a tactical and psychological perspective, especially because both fighters haven’t had much time to improve from their last fight.

By TheWrestlingFallacy

I talk and rant about Wrestling and MMA
(All image rights go to their respective companies)

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