This weekend at UFC Fight Night 59, Irishman Conor McGregor faces Dennis Siver and gets a chance at the featherweight title. Many fight fans believe that Siver’s superior grappling and striking skills may be quite a challenge for McGregor – and possibly, his most challenging fight yet.
According to a fight prediction from Bleacher Report, McGregor is favored to win via technical knockout in the first round. A self-proclaimed movement master, McGregor will utilize his versatility on both the ground and on his feet to his advantage. Which leads us to the question: Why is McGregor just so damn athletic?
UFC fighter Conor McGregor has the aerobic capacity of a Premier League footballer plus the strength endurance of an elite rugby player,” says sports scientist Professor Greg Whyte.
Whyte tested McGregor at an EA Sports UFC Event, showcasing the Human Force of a UFC Fighter. The results were nothing short of amazing:
In 30 seconds, McGregor did 23 full extension pull-ups and burpees. Try doing that at home!”
His VO2 max is similar to a Premier League midfielder. They run 10-12km a game with short breaks whereas Conor competes for up to 25 minutes. That is all-out effort and his endurance capacity is right up there with the best midfielders. It is his ability to recover before returning to his peak which is impressive and those values are similar to those of footballers.”
Whyte was clearly impressed by McGregor’s strength, which exceeded that of his 5’8″ and 145-pound frame. In UFC Rising: Conor McGregor, his athleticism was again put to the test. Incredibly, he beat pro surfing champion Keanu Asing in balance, and ESPN’s Sport Science Newton Award winner and UFC fighter Vitor Belfort in angular velocity (for spinning kicks).
Although it is clear that McGregor belongs to the upper echelons of athleticism, there is no telling what will happen this Sunday. MMA fans have waited long enough for a formidable enough opponent for McGregor. May the best man win!