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Conor McGregor's reach: How the Irishman uses his superior reach to gain vital edge over opponents

Conor McGregor at UFC 229
Conor McGregor at UFC 229
Tarun Bhatt
Modified 30 Mar 2021

Conor McGregor's counter striking ability has been lauded by many MMA pundits as one of the best in the business. Courtesy of his 74-inch long reach, the Irishman has mastered the art of managing distance against his opponents.

While making his run for coveted double champ status, Conor McGregor enjoyed a reach advantage over most of his opponents in the UFC. So far, the Notorious One has faced 11 fighters with an average reach of 70.5 inches.

Conor McGregor made his promotional debut in 2013 against Marcus Brimage, who had a 71-inch long reach. The SBG protege stamped his authority with a ravishing display of distance control against Brimage.

McGregor kept Brimage at distance throughout, and ultimately finished the up-and-comer with a left hook followed by an uppercut.

Conor McGregor usually adopts the Southpaw stance while striking with his primary weapon being the left hand. The former double champion uses his right hand to jab at his opponents while also gaging distance.

Prancing in a bladed karate-like stance (sideways posture), Conor McGregor also uses his leg reach to land the oblique kick and keep the opposition at bay. McGregor then pivots to his left foot to generate a torque that adds to the power of his left punch. The rotation of his shoulders to extend the arm forward, makes the straight left even more lethal.

Here is a video of UFC welterweight Stephen 'Wonderboy' Thompson giving his take on Conor McGregor's superior distance management skills:


Which fighter had a reach advantage over Conor McGregor in the UFC?

UFC superstar Nate Diaz possesses a 76-inch long reach, two inches more than Conor McGregor's 74-inch reach. The Stockton native faced McGregor at UFC 196 and UFC 202, and on both occasions it was evident that Diaz enjoyed a slightly bigger reach.

In their first fight, Nate Diaz went toe-to-toe with Conor McGregor when it came to striking. In the end, McGregor couldn't keep up with the patented Diaz pace. In the second round, Nate caught the then featherweight champion in a rear-naked choke and ended the fight.

For their rematch at UFC 202, Conor McGregor came ready for Diaz's relentless pressure, as the fight went on for five full rounds. Although McGregor was lacking in the reach department, he out-struck the durable Diaz for the first three rounds. After a tough back-and-forth, McGregor was awarded a split decision victory.

Published 30 Mar 2021, 12:16 IST
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