Former UFC referee 'Big' John McCarthy doesn't believe Conor McGregor's titanium rod implant will be the advantage the Irishman is making it out to be. The renowned combat sports official claims that, if anything, it's going to be a deterrent.
Speaking with former UFC lightweight Josh Thompson on the Weighing In podcast, McCarthy said he's interested in seeing how McGregor performs after he recovers from his broken tibia.
"[Conor McGregor] talked about how he's got a titanium rod in his leg," McCarthy said. "He goes, 'I have a titanium leg. Now when I kick people, now watch what happens.' Oh I'm gonna watch what happens because I guarantee you, it's gonna hurt you a whole lot more than it hurts them."
Thompson, who has a titanium implant in his left ankle, confirmed that kicking with a surgically repaired leg could be painful. The retired MMA fighter said:
"It's gonna f***ing kill you. I've got a titanium plate in my ankle, my left ankle with nine screws. If you kick the bag the wrong way, that shit hurts. It hurts bad!"
In addition, Thompson revealed that the presence of a titanium rod takes away from the leg's functionality. He shared his own experiences to inform listeners what could be in store for Conor McGregor once he returns to training:
"There's no flexibility either on your foot. In your ankle, there's no flexibility because those screws and that plate don't move. They f***ing hold it. So when you think your foot is gonna flex or that bone is gonna bend at all, it doesn't do it anymore. The titanium rod keeps it there."
Conor McGregor's recovery
Former two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor recently went into detail about the surgical procedure on his left leg. In a video he posted on Instagram, the Irishman gave his fans an update regarding the injury he suffered at UFC 264.
“What I needed was a titanium shin bone and now I’ve got a titanium rod from the knee to the ankle. The doctor says it’s unbreakable. Once I keep building back, playing with the balance, then build the strength – and I have an unbreakable titanium leg."
The 33-year-old MMA superstar vowed to return stronger than ever before ending the video. Due to a medical suspension, the earliest McGregor can return to action is January 2022.