According to Gilbert Burns, UFC superstar Conor McGregor doesn't get enough respect for his grappling. The Irishman is better known for his left hand and his striking. However, Burns believes his grappling is underrated.
Burns is the current No. 1 ranked welterweight globally, and he will face Kamaru Usman sometime in early-2021 for the title. The Brazilian previously fought at lightweight, where McGregor currently competes, but since moving up to 170lbs, he has gone 4-0. His last win was a dominant decision over former champion, Tyron Woodley.
In a recent video on his YouTube channel, Burns explained why he believes McGregor's grappling deserves more respect.
"I think his grappling is good. I heard from a friend of mine that he went to Atlanta a couple of times and he grapples a lot and trains. He's good, he's not [bad], people think he's very bad, but I think he's very good if people don't remember he swept Nate Diaz. In the first fight, Diaz took him down in the beginning and he was able to sweep him and reverse the position. He escaped the guillotine from Chad Mendes when they fought... I think he is very underrated, people say you can just take him down. First of all, the guy controls the distance; it is not easy to take the guy down. Another thing that people don't realize is those guys that kick a lot they develop a lot of power in the hips so those hips are very flexible and very strong. It is that type of flexibility and strength you use to defend the takedowns," Burns said.
Conor McGregor's next fight
Conor McGregor can get a chance to show off his grappling on January 23 when he faces Dustin Poirier in the main event of UFC 257. It will be the first time the Irishman fights since he beat Donald Cerrone in 40 seconds at UFC 246 in January 2020.
If McGregor can beat Poirier again, there is an excellent chance his next fight will be for the belt. There is no way you can get to the top of a division in the UFC without having some sense of grappling. Burns knows the Irishman has enough grappling acumen to keep fights standing and win them that way.
Gilbert Burns, meanwhile, does not have his next fight booked.Published 31 Dec 2020, 01:43 IST