Tristar Gym coach, Firas Zahabi, has a very interesting theory related to The Notorious fatigue issues. He blames genetic factor. As well as you probably know, cardio and endurance are something you can train and boost, alongside explosiveness and reaction time, while sprint speed is highly related to your genes. The number of slow-twitch fibers can be influenced but maybe Conor didn’t work on it in his early 20s. (via bloodyelbow.com)
Conor McGregor might have worked on his explosiveness a lot since he has one-punch knockout power, which he demonstrated versus Jose Aldo. However, he lost fights versus Nate Diaz at UFC 196 and boxing match versus Floyd Mayweather Jr due to his cardio issues. Many people pointed out to poor conditioning, but here is what Firas Zahabi has to say:
“I think it’s partly genetic,” Zahabi told Joe Rogan during the recent episode of the JRE MMA Show. “I call it the touch of death. He’s got that left hand, it’s the touch of death. That touch of death comes at a cost.”
“How do you have the touch of death? Where does power come from? Number one on the list, number one, is where your muscle is attached to the bone. It’s genetic. So, Mike Tyson, he has a powerful left hook not because his coach taught him how to hit a left hook. He could have hit a left hook like that if he had a mediocre trainer.”
“It has to do with the leverage of his bones,” he continued. “So, for instance, imagine a really heavy pole that weighs a hundred pounds, and I want to stand it up. Well, depending on where I grab it, I’m gonna have more resistance or less resistance. If I grab it near the end, I have more leverage. So where your muscles are attached to the bone is gonna dictate how much leverage you get out of it.”
Firas Zahabi has a deeper explanation related to the touch of death, bone leverage, and position of McGregor’s muscles and tendons. Firas Zahabi also points to the type of muscle fibers, claiming Mystic Mac has more fast-twitch than slow-twitch fibers, which could be a good explanation for his stunning one-punch knockout power.
But it still doesn’t explain completely why Conor faces cardio issues. For example, Francis Ngannou is a brutal puncher but he maintains the great pace during all five rounds.
“If you have a fast-twitch muscle fiber, you can hold less oxygen, but it can twitch faster. Hence the name,” Zahabi explained. “So, if you’re a slow-twitch muscle fiber guy, you can metabolize more oxygen, but you can’t twitch as fast. So, there’s a give and take.”
“So you have a guy like Nick Diaz who needs to knock you out with volume. He can’t knock you out with one shot,” he added. “Look at B.J. Penn. If round one, he doesn’t knock you out, the likelihood of him knocking you out in round two is less. Diaz is the opposite. The likelihood of him knocking you out in round three is higher than round one, because of the cumulative attack.”
“McGregor, look at his stats. It’s all round one knockout, round two knockout (using) his fast-twitch, high-leverage left hand. If you take him into deep waters, his fast-twitch muscle fibers cannot metabolize with Mayweather. Mayweather’s so smart, he let McGregor work for three rounds.”
“’I knew you’re getting excited, keep working. And when you have nothing left, I’m gonna put you out.’ That was such a brilliant strategy.”
Firas Zahabi has given a solid explanation which could be backed up with scientific facts very easily. It only remains a good question whether The Notorious will accept this “recommendation” or he will start throwing jabs at Firas Zahabi for trolling and attacking his personality. Don’t forget he is The Burger King, and anybody who stands in his way becomes his victim.
Conor’s next possible rival could be Khabib Nurmagomedov, who is a master of grappling and dragging. It would be a collision of two fighters with very high percentage of fast-twitch fibers. Firas Zahabi could have helped Eagle’s team discovering these facts. On the other side, McGregor’s coach Owen Roddy claims Conor could be able to maintain Khabib’s pace.
Please leave us comments – do you agree with Firas Zahabi or not?