MMA FIGHTER OF THE YEAR
CONOR NOR IS AN EFF EFFICIENTCIENT FIGHTER WHO EMP EMPLOYS HIS PUNCHES AND KICKS VERY TACTICALLY AND ECONOMICALLY.” — LITO ANGELES
C ould there be anyone else in the running for 2017 MMA Fighter of the Year? No matter how his much-ballyhooed boxing bout with Floyd Mayweather turns out — it could take place as early as this fall — you have to admit that Conor McGregor is setting the mixed martial arts on �ire.
The energetic Irishman has amassed a UFC record of 21-3. At 1 pounds, he currently wears the organiation’s lightweight belt. e previously held the featherweight title and has fought as a welterweight. e’s renowned as a striker and a strategist, but there’s so much more to this martial artist that deserves mention.
A) Mc regor, 28, is smart — inside and outside the ring. “I believe that Conor has achieved uncommon success due to his uncommon thought patterns,” said Black Belt all of Famer Burton ichardson. “e thinks differently about how he trains and how he �ights. e’s a superb example of how a razor-sharp internal philosophy can lead to an extraordinary external manifestation.”
Just how sharp is Mc regorǫ “ere’s a guy who has never had a single boxing match but who has maneuvered himself into position to �ight for the world championship while earning upward of $0 million,” ichardson said. “That says it all.”
Black Belt all of Famer Kelly McCann agrees. “Conor Mc regor’s biggest accomplishment is to have �igured out the business of MMA to his advantage,” he said. “e would never have been in the position to make that matter �inancially if he wasn’t winning �ights against top contenders in three weight divisions.”
B) And then there is Mc regor’s physical skillǣ “Conor is an ef�icient �ighter who employs his punches and kicks very tactically and economically,” said ito Angeles, author of Fight Night! A Thinking Fan’s Guide to Mixed Martial Arts. “e’s predominantly a striker, a southpaw. is stances are karatebased — wide front and side stances. is straight left hand is a hybrid boxingȀkarate punch. It’s his bread-and-butter punch and his most powerful.
“Conor is a skilled counterpuncher who ef�iciently exploits the openings that his opponents give him when they attack. e is especially adept at using a straight left or overhand left to counter an opponent’s right-hand punch.”
C) Mc regor’s record bears a few blemishes, but there’s a good reason for what’s perhaps the most noteworthy oneǣ “Conor’s loss to ate Dia was mainly due to strategic errors that affected his cardio,” ichardson said. “e went up a weight class, which means he was burning more energy than usual. hen he landed some good punches, he pushed too hard, thinking that he could knock Dia out. e was wrong and gassed by the end of the �irst ȏroundȐ. e seems to have learned from that experience — as evidence, he went �ive full rounds with Dia and earned a decision victory.”
D) And then there’s the bravadoǣ “I am not a big fan of it, but I believe Conor knew that this was the way to become a megastar,” ichardson said. “e backs it up with phenomenal �ighting skill and has used it brilliantly to make the value of his stock skyrocket. If the point of being a prie�ighter is to make money, then Conor Mc regor has shown the way.”
Angeles summed it upǣ “Mc regor is on top because he has exceptional skill, will and charisma all wrapped in one person. hile his unorthodox style is unique and obviously very effective, his greatest strengths are his sharp mind, his willpower, his total con�idence and his unwavering belief in himself. e lives, eats, sleeps and breathes martial arts.” For these reasons, Black Belt presents its award for 2017 MMA Fighter of the ear to Conor Mc regor.