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Owen Roddy On Conor McGregor’s Future

Owen Roddy, the striking coach for UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor, joined Submission Radio recently to discuss what might be next for “Notorious.”

On Ferguson beating Lee at UFC 216

“It’s looking like Dana White wants Conor to defend the belt against Ferguson. I think it’ll be a good fight as well, it would be an interesting fight and yeah, but I don’t know what’s next. But either or, if Conor fights Ferguson or if he fights Diaz or whoever, you know yourself it’s just gonna be an unbelievable experience and I’m looking forward to it.”

How Ferguson’s striking would compare to McGregor’s in a fight

“He’s good, obviously. He wouldn’t be the interim champion if he wasn’t good. His style is, you know, it’s not traditional, it’s a bit unorthodox and stuff, but I just honestly think that Conor’s going to be way too clean for Ferguson. If Ferguson tries to stand with Conor for an extended period of time it will be lights out, in my opinion. You know, he’s tough as well, he’s tough and durable, so he may take a couple of smacks, but at the end of the day Conor’s going to be way too clean and too technical to… he won’t get touched. That’s my opinion. But yeah, it will be an interesting one and it will be an exciting fight as well because Ferguson does come to fight and he’s aggressive, he goes in, he looks to finish fights, so it will be exciting. But yeah, without a doubt if he wants to stand and bang with Conor it’ll be lights out fairly quick, I think.”

If Tony being a tall, lanky guy will be a problem like Nate Diaz was for McGregor

“Well, I think because we came through those two Diaz fights we’d be a bit more capable of dealing with the tall, rangy guy. I think the one unique thing that Diaz has is just that unbelievable chin, and like, I don’t think Ferguson would be able to take the shots that Diaz took. Do you know what I mean? I think he would be asleep or the ref would have stepped in and have stopped the fight if Conor lands. Where Diaz, like, Conor was landing all the shots on Diaz as well and all the other stuff that we came up with worked against Diaz, it’s just he kept coming and coming and coming and coming. I don’t think Ferguson is as durable as Diaz, so I think we’ll be well able to land the shots. You know, there’s plenty of holes in there in Ferguson’s game and I think we can capitalise and land any shots that we need to land.”

What fight appeals more to Team McGregor

“I honestly think that people would rather, like, I think people would rather see Conor vs. Diaz. I just think it’s a more exciting fight for everybody, you know what I mean? It’s the trilogy, the first two fights, the back and forth between the guys and the way the fights went. You know, who wouldn’t want to see the third fight? But of course, it makes sense that he fights (Ferguson), he defends the belt. Whatever happens, I don’t know, but I said this already, I would like to see Diaz three. The Ferguson fight is an interesting one as well. Like, he’s an exciting fighter so it will be an exciting fight. So either or, either or.”

“I’d just be happy to get Conor back in the UFC, fighting in the cage and doing what we do best. I just can’t wait for that first to go again or, you know? So I just want to see him back in there sooner rather than later.”

If there’s a chance McGregor goes to boxing instead of returning to the UFC

“Well, there was a lot of talk about potentially boxing again and there was talk of Malignaggi and there was a lot of talk of boxing and stuff like that, but I think even Conor said himself that he’s got unfinished business in the octagon and he wants to go back and defend his belt. So yeah, I think that’s what’s going to happen. Is he done with boxing? Probably not, you know what I mean? If the right fight comes up and the right money’s on the table I’m sure he would jump in and go again. You know, without a doubt. So who knows what next year is going to be like anyways. It’s going to be bigger than 2017 anyways, that’s what I imagine.”

What Ferguson’s interim belt means

“I’m sure it means a lot to Ferguson. To Conor, Conor has his belts at home and he’s never lost them, so in his eyes it’s not real, like, you know what I mean? But, you know, at the end of the day the UFC have to – if Conor can’t defend the belt in the same amount of time, they have to put out a belt to obviously keep people excited and give the people that are coming through, the number one contenders and stuff like that, give them their opportunity. You know, Conor had to fight for an interim belt himself, so you know, that has to be done. But Conor’s always got his belts at home, and nobody’s came and beat him to get those belts, so in his eyes he’s still the featherweight champion and he’s still the lightweight champion. And I think the Ferguson fight will be exciting, whether it comes earlier next year or whenever, but I think it will be an exciting fight.”

When McGregor will return and if December is enough time for Owen to prepare Conor for a potential Diaz trilogy or Ferguson fight

“Yeah, I would like more time off, definitely. But at the end of the day, if Conor sits down and he goes, “alright, look, I have to fight, this is the fight, it is December,” we go straight into camp again. But ideally you want to be back training, enjoying your training, improving. You know, when you just go from camp to camp there’s very little learning in camp. Camp is just, you’re just fine-tuning what you already have. It’s when you’re fighting, when you’re training out of camp is when you improve, when you work on new techniques and you develop new areas of the game. So yeah, no, for us, I’d just like to see him back training in like the next week or two or whatever and then training through the Christmas or whatever, enjoy his training and then go into camp after the Christmas and fighting whatever, the first quarter of next year.”

“I’ve always said that Conor has this amazing ability to pick up techniques very, very quickly, and because we focused on boxing for, whatever, 10 weeks non-stop and we were working different shots and different angles, everything got so much sharper. His hand-speed is, his shot selection was on-point, he was landing shots that I’ve never seen him land before just because we’ve been working on them consistently, and I think when you see him back in the cage, I think you will see the difference in his hands. But his hands were always good, he’s always been able to land those strikes, I just think he’s going to look a lot sharper, and then we’re going to be adding in the rest of the tools, the kicks the knees and the elbows as well. So yeah, his striking, his hands have got way better in that camp. In that 10 weeks he gained years’ experience, and just working on the hands. So yeah, big knockouts when he gets back into the UFC again.”

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