BOTH Conor McGregor and Tyson Fury have started revolutions in their respective sports. Dublin’s McGregor has introduced mixed martial arts to a new audience with his exciting style and carefree personality, while outspoken traveller Fury has made a similar impact in boxing. Fury won the world heavyweight title by deposing a champion who had not lost in over a decade; to emulate this ascent to the throne McGregor, already Interim ruler, must do the same. He challenges UFC featherweight king José Aldo on Saturday night and the Brazilian has not suffered defeat since November 2005. Perhaps, then, it is a good omen that Owen Roddy, McGregor’s striking coach, sees parallels between the two men.
“Conor is just being himself,” Roddy told Boxing News. “He is very honest and he speaks his mind. People are definitely attracted to that and I think it’s great that he is bringing so much attention to the sport. The more people that become interested in the sport the better it is for everyone. I think both Conor McGregor and Tyson Fury are doing great things in their respective sports and they have big personalities. They are both not afraid to speak their minds and say what they want.
Roddy has worked with McGregor for around a 10 years and the Irishman, who came from an amateur boxing background, has seen his early striking talent develop while other elements of his MMA game have commanded more attention.
“He was a very good boxer back then but limited with his other weapons.” Roddy explained. “When Conor started at SBG [Straight Blast Gym] he had no ground game at all, so his wrestling and BJJ game were the first areas he needed to address. I believe Conor’s striking game is different to most UFC fighters and professional boxers because he is not limited in the way he moves, unlike many fighters, they stick to a boxing stance, a Thai boxing stance etc. He adopts many different stances and fighting styles which makes him very unpredictable and hard to read.”