Firas Zahabi believes Conor McGregor is the best puncher in the UFC — however, he still sees Jorge Masvidal beating him if they were to fight.
Masvidal’s stock has exponentially risen in 2019 following emphatic victories over Darren Till, Ben Askren and Nate Diaz. There is now talk of him facing McGregor next with the two going back-and-forth ever since UFC 244 this past weekend.
Participating in a recent AMA session on YouTube, Zahabi — head coach of Tristar Gym — praised the Irishman’s skills but ultimately believes there are some bad matchups out there for him with Masvidal being one of them:
“I honestly would tell you that probably McGregor is the best puncher in the UFC,” Zahabi said on his YouTube channel (via Bloody Elbow). “If I had to choose one guy off the top of my head, I would pick McGregor right now. However, there are guys out there who are very dangerous punchers, and I would say Jorge is among the elite.
“I think (Masvidal) beats McGregor. I think McGregor is a great fighter. I just think Masvidal is too big. He’s a great puncher and has a great chin. If he takes McGregor past the two rounds, it’s going to be the Masvidal show.”
It’s an opinion that many seem to share now, especially given how Masvidal was able to dominate Diaz with relative ease for as long as their UFC 244 headliner lasted.
He’s not completely ruling out McGregor’s chances. However, he still sees it going the way of “Gamebred”:
“I think he’s [Masvidal] very smart. He’s gonna do it,” Zahabi added. “I’m not saying McGregor has no chance of winning, but he’d have to win early and he’d have to connect with the left — and everybody kind of knows now what McGregor does. I think Masvidal’s gonna have a really good game plan, come really prepared, and he’s a lot bigger.
“If McGregor had a hard time with Nate, he’s going to have a tremendously difficult time with Masvidal.”
Do you agree with Zahabi’s view?