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Owen Roddy: Conor McGregor probably finishes Max Holloway in rematch

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Owen Roddy doing pad work with Conor McGregor
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The first time Conor McGregor and Max Holloway fought, they went the full three rounds and it was McGregor who walked out with the unanimous decision win.

That was over four years ago and both men have gone on to enormous success since. McGregor is currently the UFC lightweight champion having moved up after capturing featherweight gold, and Holloway picked up where McGregor left off, becoming the undisputed champion at 145 pounds in the midst of a 12-fight win streak dating back to their fateful August 2013 encounter.

It’s only natural that one would speculate over how a rematch between the two might go should McGregor ever make the drop back down to featherweight. His coach Owen Roddy was asked about this scenario during a recent interview with Submission Radio, and he predicted that McGregor would do even better against Holloway a second time around.

“I think Conor would probably put Max away,” Roddy said. “I think Max would probably be way more confident in his ability, and if you go in there a little bit overconfident with Conor you’re gonna go to sleep. Whereas, he was a little bit more… he stood back in the first fight — and obviously Conor injured himself, he couldn’t put him away — but yeah, I think it would be a great fight.

“Max has done, he’s done so well since the Conor fight. He’s been on a tear, and even John Kavanagh said it back in the day, he called that Max would have been the next champion after that fight with Conor. You could see it in Max, and I think everyone sees it. He’s a great fighter, but I think Conor’s on another level compared to him as well.”

Both McGregor and Holloway battled through injuries in their first meeting — McGregor tore up his knee during the fight and Holloway competed with a bad foot — and that has only added fuel to the fire of a potential rematch.

McGregor was actually rumored to be replacing Holloway at UFC 222 on March 3, when the featherweight champion was forced to withdraw from a scheduled title defense against Frankie Edgar after suffering a leg injury. That bout did not come to fruition, but Roddy says that McGregor got back in the gym and was serious about taking his first MMA fight since November 2016.

“I got the call off Conor almost a little under a month out, just kind of out of the blue, ‘oh yeah, look, Holloway’s out of the fight, they’re looking for a replacement to fight Frankie so I’m up for it, I’m thinking of doing it’ ‘So I was like, ‘well, alright, let’s see what the craic is,’ and we went in and he sparred,” Roddy said. “He hadn’t sparred too hard in a while, so like went in and had a good, tough spar with one of the guys similar to Frankie’s size, similar style and stuff like that, and then looked amazing. And he’s like, ‘yeah, what do you think?’ I was like, ‘you look fresh. You know what to expect from Frankie, you’re not going to get anything like, his stand-up before in the past, you know, all his career, the kind of style of fighter he is, you know what you’re gonna get with him and you look great.’

“So yeah, he’s like, ‘look, I’m gonna reach out and see what we can do.’ He got back the next day saying that the fight’s gone, that the fight was unavailable now. So yeah. But he was up for it and he was ready to go. And you know, he was putting it in as well. Conor’s been training up here, so he’s got the bug again which is great, but unfortunately that one didn’t come to pass.”

Roddy also offered a prediction for how McGregor would fare against Holloway’s next challenger, Brian Ortega. The 27-year-old Californian ended up taking Holloway’s spot at UFC 222 and he jumped to the front of the contender queue by knocking out Edgar in round one.

Ortega has developed a reputation as one of the UFC’s most dangerous finishers, but Roddy likes McGregor’s chances should the two cross paths.

“He has a lot of tells about him, a lot of good skills,” Roddy said of Ortega. “But him and Conor, I always say the same, no matter who Conor fights, he’s just gotta touch you on the chin and you all go to sleep.”

Listen to Roddy’s appearance on Submission Radio below: