The power of McGregor's punches 'has to be felt to be believed'

The interim UFC featherweight champion’s training partners have their say ahead of UFC 194.

UFC 189 Mixed Martial Arts Conor McGregor lands a shot against Chad Mendes at UFC 189. Source: John Locher

DURING HIS JOURNEY to a world title shot, Conor McGregor’s left hand joined Jose Aldo’s leg-kicks as one of the most feared weapons in the UFC’s featherweight division.

McGregor has stopped five of his six opponents in the UFC inside the distance, and it was the southpaw’s punching power that signalled the end for Brimage, Brandao, Poirier, Siver and Mendes.

If the Dubliner can add Aldo to that list of victims in Las Vegas in 10 days’ time, he’ll be crowned the undisputed UFC featherweight champion at UFC 194.

“Conor has been in amazing shape; the best I’ve seen him,” said Straight Blast Gym fighter Peter Queally. “He’s always sharp but this time he’s absolutely on fire. He’s really strong, physically fit and he’s injury-free, which is a big thing.”

Queally, who’s nicknaked ‘The Showstopper’, is also preparing for a fight on 12 December — for the Venator FC promotion in Italy — so he and McGregor have been putting in the work together at the SBG gym on the Naas Road in recent weeks and months.

Queally competes at welterweight (170lbs), two weight classes above McGregor who’s in the featherweight division (145lbs). However, what the interim UFC champion lacks in size against bigger opponents and sparring partners, he makes up for with the power of his hands, Queally explains.

“He’s like a middleweight or a light-heavyweight the way he hits. It’s incredible. As you move down the weight classes, guys might be faster but they don’t have as much power. But Conor is an exception to that.

“He’s got the speed, the fitness, the stamina and all the attributes you’d associate with a featherweight, but he also has the power of a much, much bigger guy. It has to be felt to be believed.”

Brian Moore is another training partner who has been working alongside McGregor as he prepares to face Jose Aldo a week from Saturday.

“I have to say, Conor has looked absolutely unbelievable over the last few weeks,” Moore said. “It surprises me how much he can improve from fight-to-fight, but he does. Every time he finds a way to get even better. It’s phenomenal to see.”

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1800230_741149275905242_4445708352856283733_n Brian Moore Source: Dolly Clew

Of course, both Moore and Queally are backing their team-mate to get the job done against Aldo. And not only do they expect him to end the Brazilian’s 10-year undefeated run, but they believe it won’t take long either.

“I expect a really exciting first few minutes in the fight, but then Conor will take over and beat him quite easily, I think,” Queally said. “I’d say it’ll be a late first-round or early second-round KO. It’ll be over as soon as Conor starts to land his shots.”

Moore added: “I think it’ll only take one or two rounds, to be honest, for Conor to finish Aldo. Conor is on a different level right now.”

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Paul Dollery

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