Heading into his blockbuster bout against longtime featherweight champion Jose Aldo in the main event of July 11’s UFC 189, Irish contender Conor McGregor has only lost two fights in his entire mixed martial arts (MMA) career.
Both of them came by submission, and both of them came early in his career, with his first loss coming to an Artemij Sitenkov kneebar in his third-ever bout, and the last came against Joseph Duffy via arm triangle back in 2010.
That might suggest that ‘Notorious,’ who technically owns the rank of brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, could be at a distinct disadvantage against a Nova Uniao-trained black belt like Aldo, but McGregor’s training partner Gunnar Nelson doesn’t think that will be the case at all. Speaking up to Submission Radio, the Icelandic grappler offered the opinion that McGregor is wholly lethal when an MMA fight hits the ground:
“Oh he’s very good on the ground, and he’s even better when it’s grappling for MMA, because that’s a lot of difference. You know, grappling or Jiu-jitsu is not the same as the wrestling and grappling in MMA, and he’s really good there; and he’s got good submissions, and he’s very fast and he can move in most directions, and he’s getting better every single day. So yeah I’m sure you’ll….if a good black belt forgets himself for a second, he’s on you and he’s probably going to submit you.”
It sounds like incredibly high praise from the experienced striker and grappler, who recently experienced his first MMA loss against Rick Story in the main event of last fall’s UFC Fight Night 53. Nelson will return to the Octagon when he squares off against John Hathaway at UFC 189, but when that fight is over, he’ll obviously be watching McGregor’s title fight with a vested interest. And when he does, Nelson said he wouldn’t be surprised to see ‘Notorious’ submit Aldo:
“Oh one hundred percent he can.”
That’s a bold, bold prediction from Nelson, who could understandably be a bit biased towards his longtime training partner and good friend.
Do you agree with it?