UFC Fantasy Fight: Can Conor McGregor jump up in weight class and beat Kamaru Usman?

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Conor McGregor has teased the idea of jumping up in weight and facing Kamaru Usman, in pursuit of the first ever three division world champion

Conor McGregor’s boxing training has been the grist for the gossip mill, ever since the Irish MMA fighter released a video of him working the mitts. Since then, the Irish superstar has been much more regular with his training regime, and with every passing day is inching closer to his much awaited return.

Kamaru Usman Conor McGregor
Kamaru Usman and Conor McGregor

Former two-division UFC champion, McGregor had been sidelined for the last several months due to a broken tibia injury he suffered against Poirier. The UFC mega star has been teasing a potential return, but also confirmed that he’s not rushing into fighting again and wants to make sure that he’s completely fit before he makes that walk again.

During an interview with The Mac Life, Conor McGregor had confirmed that he will not be returning to the lightweight division and that he has set his sights on Kamaru Usman. Mcgregor is chasing the ground-breaking ‘Triple Champion’ status and the ‘Nigerian Nightmare’ stands on his way.

Both fighters have poked fun at each other on various occasion, and Kamaru had even offered to fight Mcgregor in the past. The ‘Notorious’ one ridiculed Kamaru’s claim as the P4P king by commenting with a laughing emoji on Twitter. This sets up the foundation for the question can Conor Mcgregor jump up in weigh and beat Kamaru Usman?

What are the chances that Conor Mcgregor beats Kamaru Usman?

Kamaru Usman has been on a rampant run in the welterweight division. The P4P best fighter has been dismantling every challenge the UFC has presented him with, even beating some of them twice. Usman, and NCAA division two wrestler, utilized his phenomenal wrestling skills to capture the title from Tyron Woodley.

Since then, Usman has shown a refined and reformed approach to his striking, working with one of the best striking coaches in Trevor Wittman. In his first battle against rival Colby Covington, Usman showed brilliant resilience and composed striking, eventually winning the bout via TKO. Conor Mcgregor is one of the sharpest strikers in the game, and much like his famous quote ‘Precision beats power, and timing beats speed’, the Irish man always has his famed left hand loaded to be hurled.

Take Usman’s fight against Jorge Masvidal for example,

The pair had earlier met at UFC 251 when Masvidal stepped in as a last-minute replacement to Gilbert Burns. ‘Gamebred’ had a dreadful weight cut and showed up in the worst shape of his life. Usman managed to wrestle Jorge for five rounds and scored a unanimous decision victory. However, promise of a rematch was made inside the octagon after the fight concluded. The pair would eventually meet at UFC 261 in a packed card and sold-out arena in Jacksonville, Florida.

Usman had made a switch in gyms before his fight vs Gilbert Burns at UFC 258. Now training with Trevor Wittman at the ONX labs, Usman showed an impeccable and stellar improvement in his striking game, knocking Burns out in the third round.

Masvidal showed up at UFC 261 in probably the best shape of his life and was prepared for the wrestling onslaught of Usman. He began the fight taking the centre of the octagon almost immediately, and touching up Usman with some blitzing lead leg kicks.

Usman managed to take him down in the first round, but failed to do any damage much like their encounter in UFC 251. Masvidal was visibly fighting with a low guard stance, to stock takedown attempts and sprawl as Usman shoots. This opened up his defense and left his chin wide open.

Kamaru Usman saw an opening and made the perfect read by throwing some lead hand jabs to calculate Jorge’s counter. When he finally had the information dialled in, Usman closed the distance with a jab-feint and charged with a straight right down the pipe, that knocked Masvidal out dramatically. He followed up with a few punches, but his opponent was already out.

Mcgregor on the other hand is one of the most elusive strikers in the sport. Take his fight against Eddie Alvarez, Mcgregor used his distance to keep Alvarez at bay. He created a sort of imaginary fence around his range, and every time Eddie tried to enter it, Conor would counter him hard with quick combinations, that would completely dismantle the American. An absolute master of illusion, Conor at times gave Eddie a false sense of security by intentionally missing punches and faking his range. Once Eddie got comfortable, he would charge in range and hit him with his powerful left hand, dropping him on multiple occasions.

In conclusion, the idea of this matchup favors Usman much more than Conor on paper, however, it does make for an exciting matchup.

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