Nik Lentz on Conor McGregor: Beat A Few Guys Before You Start Sounding Off

Posted on September 12, 2013, 03:03 PM by Mike Drahota
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There’s been a ton of people who’ve been quick to anoint Conor McGregor the next big thing in the UFC at Featherweight, but No.8-ranked Nik Lentz is definitely not one of them. Lentz recently met up with Bloody Elbow for a candid interview, and he did not mince words when clarifying his feeling about “The Notorious”:

“First order of business is to slow your stroll, sonnyboy. Beat a few guys before you start sounding off. You had the perfect venue, a receptive crowd, and all the time in the world to prepare. And what did you do? What did you prove? You landed every punch you know how to throw and the guy didn't blink. “

“Same with your dazzling arsenal of impact-free kicks. Then you went to your so-called "wrestling skills" and did absolute squat on the mat as well. Then you got HURT! So you have no punching power, your kicks wouldn't stagger a baby flamingo, you can't wrestle, and you're as fragile as an overdone egg. You blew your knee out PLANTING YOUR LEG to KICK. And you think you can stand up to the wear-and-tear of genuine, top-level competition? Please.”

Lentz has a highly varying view from the sentiment of those who think McGregor has one of the most dynamic skillsets at 145-pounds. But it’s hard to deny Lentz’ claims, as McGregor did unleash a varied torrent of strikes upon Max Holloway to little fanfare at last month’s UFC Fight Night 26 from Boston. McGregor also ended up on the disabled list with a major knee injury that will sideline him until 2014, so it wasn’t exactly a rousing U.S. debut for the UFC’s Irish-born prospect.

There’s no doubting that McGregor has a front row seat on the UFC’s hype train thanks to his ultra-marketable heritage and personality. However, he’s called out virtually everyone in the stacked division while turning in a rather pedestrian performance against Holloway, at least compared to the hype he was carrying.

That hype may have been impossible to live up to in some ways, but a finish would have at least kept it rolling quite substantially.

Perhaps McGregor should own a victory over a Top-10 opponent before he anoints himself the next big thing in MMA. There’s nothing wrong with being confident, just like there’s nothing wrong with being pushed by the UFC. But when you fail to live up to the massive hype, a letdown can be imminent. Unfortunately McGregor was hurt so he’ll have to wait  quite some time before being able to prove his worthiness to hang with the Featherweight division’s elite.

Lentz’ statements may be a bit overblown, but they may also have some good weight behind them. As usual, the truth is usually in between both sides of the tale, but we’ve seen highly touted fighters rise and fall like the temperature in a desert. Good examples of this are Brandon Vera and Brock Lesnar, whom Dana White actually compared McGregor’s hype to.

McGregor may come back and win the title to prove Lentz wrong, but he’ll have to fight a top name and win in order to do so. Obviously Lentz is targeting McGregor, so that could be a good place to start. But that’s a long way off right now. Do you agree with Lentz that McGregor is overrated, or is the hype still justified?


Comments

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  • TheRealDeal
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    Apparently "sounding off" is the way to get the big matches. Just ask Uncle Chael.

    Reply 7 months ago
  • bantam
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    I wouldn't call his last performance "pedestrian," he dominated the fight in every aspect for three rounds, despite hurting his knee. I would agree there is a lot left to be desired as far as his potential goes, but lets not forget he's still really young. Even Jon Jones went the distance with Gusmao and Bonnar when he first got into the UFC. McGregor is very well-rounded in addition to probably the best boxing in the division. Does he have what it takes to get the belt? I don't know, but he definitely has the skill set to get there and do it.

    Reply 7 months ago
  • Mike Drahota
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    Yeah, I hear ya there. It was a good effort. I just think it was pedestrian compared to the amount of hype he received. Anything but knocking Holloway's head into the stands would have been when compared to the amount of press he was receiving.

    Wasn't even on the main card. And McGregor could very well take the Featherweight division by storm when he gets back to health, but there's a lot of talent standing in his way. 2014 should be a very interesting year at 145.

    Reply 7 months ago
  • IGMBurninPiff
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    I think he's in a bad division to talk about a belt with Mendes being so young and only improving. I'm a HUGEEEEE Aldo fan and probably only a year ago was saying he was the best fighter behind Silva and couldn't lose to anything other than a fluke. Chad Mendes is for real. He got caught in the 1rst fight, the 2nd fight will be different and with the pace and cardio Mendes has I think he could take a UD and possibly finish Aldo. I also think he'd dominate McGregor, on the feet and the mat. Edgar's wrestling would be to much for McGregor also I think and he's also not near ending his career. If Aldo moves up to 155 I also wouldn't rule out Barao looking to hold 2 belts if he gets passed Cruz upon return and then the winner of Faber McDonald again. I think Barao is greatly underrated.

    Reply 7 months ago
  • IGMBurninPiff
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    oh and Aldo himself would dominate McGregor standing. McGregor looked fast and flashy but I didn't see the most power in his strikes either like Nik Lentz. He was impressive against a game Max Holloway though. Impressive but not ultra impressive.

    Reply 7 months ago
  • techno2005
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    you didnt see his power because holloway hits an runs doesnt trade, mcgregor has most power when they trade or he is on the backfoot, he slips punch then hits back with accurate lethal punches of his own, he landed punches in the holloway fight, impressive strikes, some combo's as hollway was running but you can only really catch someone with a freek looping strike for a knockout that way, he has alot of knockouts 12 out of 14 fights so deffinetly alot more to come, when he is in with someone that wants to fight.... deffinetly going to be champ, strong minded, amaizing skills, really young & ambitious & the heart of a lion

    Reply 7 months ago
  • SatelliteMan
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    Great analysis

    Reply 7 months ago