It’s very easy to say that McGregor is a one-trick pony, of course. But just as the many elite fighters who fell to his signature shot would have drilled for countless hours in preparation, realising exactly how complex his attack is paramount in keeping him at bay.
We’ve seen Nate Diaz successfully use his length and boxing IQ to stifle Conor where it mattered most but at the same time, even he was forced to rely on his legendary chin to save himself from being another feather in the former champion’s cap.
Either Conor catches him early or Donald outlasts him over the five rounds.
Of course, fighting is never as simple as it seems but, in the eyes of the American’s team, his reliance on delivering the knockout could well be his undoing.
According to Cowboy’s coach Jafari Varnier, the key to defeating the Irishman lies in understanding the approach that got him to the dance.
Speaking during a recent edition of Cerrone’s Amazon documentary series More Than A Cowboy, Varnier explained how his fighter can pull off the shock of the year.
“If I were to look at the two, he’s got a lot more to worry about than we do.
“We’ve got multiple submission victories, head kick knockout victories, we’ve got decisions. He’s just got a left hand. You don’t see Conor submitting anybody. You don’t see the guy going on the ground, very rare. Not saying we’re going to force the fight to the ground but what I’m saying is he’s got a lot more to worry about than we do.
“We just have to worry about a left hand and that first round, him coming out on fire. You’ve never really seen Cowboy ever gas. After the first round, round and a half, Conor fades. There’s not a lot of pop on that left hand anymore. Footwork goes down, his hands are heavy. These are things that you can watch and see so these are no secret to what’s going on.”
Considering that the fight will be contested at 170lbs – a weight-class that Cerrone seems a lot more physically comfortable at these days – the level of power that McGregor can bring with him up from 155lbs will obviously play a pivotal role in deciding the outcome of this fight.
Fans were concerned and excited in equal parts upon seeing McGregor boasting a noticeably larger frame – something that seemed to indicate that his gameplan for this bout will revolve around making a quick, emphatic statement.
Thankfully, we shall not be forced to wait for too much longer to find out exactly how this one goes down.
January 18th cannot come quick enough!