It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday. There was time long ago, like three whole months, when playing with pool noodles and working movements was the best preparation for a professional cage fight. That bygone era of mixed martial arts training was affectionately dubbed “touch butt in the park” by noted scholar Nathan Donald Diaz.
Pool noodles, jumping onto wooden planks, dancing barefoot in the sand were all part of Conor McGregor’s training camp for his title fight with Jose Aldo and more importantly his grudge match with Nate Diaz at UFC 196. Now in a shocking and some would say distressing news, McGregor is saying he may abandon the ways of master movement coach Ido Portal.
Speaking with ESPN McGregor implied that his days of training with pool noodles and gym rings may have come to an end
“Swinging on gymnastic rings on fight week isn’t the best thing. Usually, I wrap myself in bubble wrap and only do fight-specific things, but just because of that weight, no weight cut, I had put it in my head that, ‘I’m free.’ I had energy to burn. I was doing so much bounce footwork, the balls of my feet were burned to a crisp. Looking back, it was ridiculous. I don’t know what I was thinking.”
McGregor prefaced this with a statement ton his first fight with Diaz
“The first eight minutes of the fight was easy,” McGregor said. “Let’s be honest, I slapped the head off him. Once the gas tank went, that was it. I drowned. He landed that one punch that rang the bell and went, ‘[Gasp,] I’m back.’ He was close to being done. One or two more shots and he would have been wrapped up.
If what McGregor says is true parks, playgrounds, beaches, and jungle gyms across the United States and Ireland may be forced to close due to lack of activity. Think of the pool noodles and the children McGregor.