- Georges St-Pierre’s former coach Firas Zahabi shared his analytical take on Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler
- Zahabi thinks “The Notorious” could utilize his reach advantage as he did with other shorter opponents
The Ultimate Fighter’s Season 31 finale bout between Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler is one of the most highly-anticipated UFC matches this year and fight fans just couldn’t stop talking about it. Among the MMA personalities who recently shared his insights on the fight was Firas Zahabi, a veteran MMA coach who trained Georges St-Pierre and is now a co-instructor of GSP at Tristar Gym.
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According to Zahabi, “The Notorious” will enjoy a huge advantage over Chandler because of his reach and remarkable counter-punching.
Conor could KO Chandler
Speaking on Tristar Gym’s YouTube channel, Zahabi said it is very likely that McGregor ends up flattening out Chandler because the former UFC champ-champ has found massive success against counter-punching shorter guys who like to strike.
“That’s very possible [that McGregor KO’s Chandler]. I’ll tell you why because Conor does really well when he has a reach advantage. Notice all his big wins all his blowout wins and he’s a brilliant guy… he’s a great puncher, he’s a great counter puncher. Even if Chandler takes him down, I’m just playing devil’s advocate here, Chandler is known for his ground game well he’s got powerful strikes, powerful ground and pound but he’s not a sub guy, he’s not a pinner. He’s usually gonna end up in a scramble. Guys have scrambled up from underneath him. So, what does Chandler have? Chandler has big punching power. He kind of like level changes and pounces on you well. Guess what? McGregor loves that. When Aldo pounced on McGregor, [he] got knocked out, when Eddie Alvarez pounced on McGregor, got knocked out. You pounce on McGregor you get counter punched. McGregor loves that, he plays a long game and when you throw a heat missile towards him, he counters you. You’re feeding him what he wants,” Zahabi explained.
He continued, “Chandler’s also got a good leg kick. He’s not dumb. He’s a very intelligent guy. He might tell himself, ‘Hey I’m gonna surprise him with some strikes with shooting his legs, double leg him, make him scramble.’ He’s a scrambling machine. If he gets McGregor scrambling, I’m not saying Chandler can’t win, I’m just saying stylistically, this can really benefit McGregor because he’s shorter and he’s a puncher. McGregor does really good against short guys who throw punches. Go look at his career, every guy was a puncher got all punched by McGregor, especially when they were shorter… we call it reach advantage for a reason.”
Chandler wants to beat Conor so bad
Contrary to what many expected, Chandler said he learned to respect McGregor more at TUF 31. As they go along, “Iron” admitted that he now wants to beat “The Notorious” in every competition, especially in the finale showdown.
TUF 31 season premiere will be aired on May 30 on ESPN and is expected to end on Aug. 15.