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Dublin: 4°C Wednesday 3 March 2021
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McGregor is capable of beating Aldo by submission, insists Gunnar Nelson

The Icelandic UFC star knows all about McGregor’s grappling.

SBG team-mates Gunnar Nelson and Conor McGregor.
SBG team-mates Gunnar Nelson and Conor McGregor.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

CONOR McGREGOR’S DETRACTORS have often raised questions about the quality of his grappling, but Gunnar Nelson is in a better place than anyone to answer them.

Nelson’s impressive ground-game has played a key role in his own success in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and the pair are currently training together in Las Vegas for their upcoming bouts at UFC 189.

McGregor will fight Jose Aldo for the UFC featherweight title in the main event on 11 July, while Nelson is due to face John Hathaway earlier in the evening.

McGregor’s elite striking has helped him to climb the rankings in the UFC’s featherweight division, and although Aldo is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, Nelson doesn’t expect his SBG team-mate’s grappling to be exposed as a weakness.

He told Submission Radio: “He [McGregor] is very good on the ground and he’s even better when it’s grappling for MMA because that’s a lot of difference. Grappling or jiu-jitsu is not the same as wrestling or grappling in MMA. And he’s really good there.

“He’s got good submissions and he’s very fast. He can move in most directions and he’s getting better every single day. If a good black belt forgets himself for a second, [McGregor] is on you. He’s probably going to submit you.”

When asked if McGregor is capable of submitting Aldo, a fighter with a seemingly more decorated grappling background, Nelson said: “Oh, 100% he can.”

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Paul Dollery

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