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Dublin: 5 °C Monday 17 February, 2020

Roddy: 'He's on fire... I've been struggling to go 25 minutes with him on the pads'

Owen Roddy, Conor McGregor’s striking coach, says the Dubliner will have “way too much” for Eddie Alvarez.

Conor McGregor works out with Owen Roddy prior to his bout against Nate Diaz at UFC 196.
Conor McGregor works out with Owen Roddy prior to his bout against Nate Diaz at UFC 196.
Image: Raymond Spencer/INPHO

– Paul Dollery reports from New York

CONOR McGREGOR HAS been so sharp in the build-up to this weekend’s bout at UFC 205 that his striking coach has struggled to keep up with him.

Owen Roddy says he expects McGregor to deliver his best performance yet when he takes on Eddie Alvarez in Saturday night’s main event at Madison Square Garden in New York.

McGregor is hoping to cap a historic show with some history of his own. Should the reigning UFC featherweight champion get the better of Alvarez in the headline bout of the UFC’s inaugural event in New York City, he’ll become the first fighter ever to hold two UFC titles simultaneously.

It would provide the perfect ending for the Dubliner to a year that didn’t begin according to plan. However, he bounced back from March’s defeat to Nate Diaz by gaining revenge in their rematch in August, aided by the introduction of a strict training regime.

“The training has been great,” Roddy told The42. “Since the Diaz loss, everything has changed. We’re a lot smarter in how we’re training in terms of energy. We always trained smart in regards to sparring and jiu-jitsu or whatever, but Conor was running himself into the ground.

Now the way we’re training, Conor is at his optimum all the time for every training session.”

Roddy, who was a successful fighter himself until his retirement in 2013, is tasked with keeping McGregor’s striking sharp, in addition to his role as the head coach at the Straight Blast Gym branch in Charlestown.

He’ll get his first glimpse of Madison Square Garden at around 4.40pm Irish time today, when McGregor is due to go through an open workout for what’s likely to be a substantial gathering of fans. It’s a process that’s familiar to Roddy by now, but he insists that McGregor is looking better than ever ahead of his UFC lightweight debut.

Doing rounds on the pads with him, he’s absolutely on fire. He’s so fast, his timing is so good. He’s actually been laughing at me. I’ve been struggling to go 25 minutes with him on the pads.

“He sets the pace, I’m trying to keep up with him and he’s just on fire,” said Roddy. “I really think we’re going to see the best McGregor ever now and I think he’s going to have way too much for Alvarez.”

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Paul Dollery

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