Conor McGregor is not leaving any stone left unturned in his preparations for his much-anticipated rematch with Nate Diaz in UFC 202. Rumors are swirling that the feisty Irishman has sought the help of Ireland boxing champion Conor Wallace.
McGregor is trying to bounce back from his stunning setback in the hands of Diaz at UFC 196. With Wallace’s help, he will be very equipped in their scheduled rematch. McGregor had sparring sessions with Wallace at the SBG gym in Dublin under the guidance of his coach John Kavanagh with the hope to strengthening his boxing skills which would be one of his arsenals against Diaz.
Aside from boxing, McGregor has also been training in jiu-jitsu to give him more confidence. Diaz is also a student of jiu-jitsu.
McGregor even posted pictures after their sparring match, which also had Olympic bronze medallists Patty Barnes and Michael Conlan in attendance. McGregor wants to maximize all artillery he could pose to avenge his second round loss to Diaz due to a rare naked choke that halted his seven-fight winning streak.
“Thank you, Michael Conlan, Paddy Barnes, and Conor Wallace! Great to train and spar with our Olympic boxers today!” McGregor posted on his Instagram account.
After the sparring sessions, Wallace noted that McGregor has what it takes to be a boxer as well and thank McGregor for the opportunity to have helped him in his rematch preparations. The Independent.ie reported that aside from Wallace, McGregor also enlisted the services of former IBF intercontinental welterweight champion Chris van Heerden in a sparring session held in Los Angeles last month.
“I think he is a very skillful operator, his boxing skills is of very high level. He definitely has what it takes to be a boxer. I’m privileged to be given the opportunity,” Wallace added.
The McGregor-Diaz was supposed to take place at UFC 200 but was then shelved after McGregor refused to fly to Las Vegas to promote the fight that got the ire from UFC president Dana White, who pulled the plug.
It was at UFC 199 when the highly anticipated rematch was announced and that they will meet anew inside the Octagon on Aug. 20 at the Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Meanwhile, one fighter is hoping that McGregor wins at UFC 202 as featherweight contender Frankie Edgar plans to beat Jose Aldo to claim the interim featherweight title and unify them with a showdown with the Irishman.
In an interview with The MMA Hour as reported by MMAFighting.com, Edgar sees that he will beat Aldo in their UFC 200 meeting to be able to set a match with McGregor in New York to beat him in front of the Irish community.
“You can’t write something better than that. Why wouldn’t Conor want to fight at MSG? There’s definitely a big Irish contingency in New York and it could be possibly biggest fight UFC history,” Edgar explained.
— BJ Penn (@bjpenndotcom) June 15, 2016
Now that McGregor is going back inside the Octagon, he also becomes a hot commodity as a fighter would want a crack at him and with his preparations focused on the much-anticipated rematch with a win to keep him in the welterweight division while a loss will definitely give Edgar a chance to unify the featherweight titles.
— Bobby~Slifer (@Slxfer) June 16, 2016
Photo Courtesy: Andrius Petrucenia/Flickr