A Superfight for the Ages
Connor McGregor’s UFC lightweight title fight marks the most interesting fight of the year by a long shot. For starters, McGregor currently stands as the UFC’s featherweight title holder, making his fight against the Lightweight champion, Rafael dos Anjos, a true superfight between two champions. This has happened only one other time, back in 2009 when the lightweight champ BJ Penn challenged the then welterweight champ in Georges St. Pierre. However, the main difference between these fights is the fact that McGregor actually has a great chance of winning. While some Vegas odds makers putting the two champions at virtually equal odds of winning, I personally disagree with these odds.
I believe Connor McGregor will smash dos Anjos to dust, but there is merits towards betting on the lightweight champ. For starters, dos Anjos is indeed larger and tends to cut down from around 195lbs to McGregor’s usual 170lbs. Even though they will both weigh the 155lbs limit for lightweight title fights you can be sure that dos Anjos will have more weight behind his punches on fight night. Also, where the soft factors may look identical statistically speaking, any fan in their right mind will tell you there is a clear advantage in wrestling for the lightweight champ. Dos Anjos tactically smothers his opponents with constant pressure making his opponents fear the takedown possibility. This leaves his opponents open for monstrous shots to the undefended face, which as of late has resulted in KOs of very talented strikers similar to McGregor. In many important facets of the fight game McGregor could easily be outmatched, but I believe he has a few key elements that will assure him decisive victory against dos Anjos.
Precision and timing: McGregor advocates weekly that precision and timing beats speed and power every time. He says it so much that at this point you’re almost foolish not to believe it, especially with the evidence he’s provided. Both his last two opponents, Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes, were widely regarded as both stronger and faster than McGregor, yet he easily dispatched with both of them is highlight reel fashion. In fact, his technical striking took down Aldo, a man that had previously been undefeated in 10 years, in all but 13 seconds. The other glaring advantage McGregor possesses is his cardio. dos Anjos fades in later rounds, which will be a problem when he can’t outmatch McGregor in speed and must resort to his technique. This will result in sloppy strikes opening him up for some truly brutal counter punches from the Irish featherweight champ. McGregor will use his range and timing to counter punch dos Anjos into submission while making it look almost effortless. On March 5th, Connor McGregor will be the first fighter in UFC history to hold two belts simultaneously.