At the launch of the all-new SBG Charlestown gym, Roddy compared the fan interest in a clash between the Irishman and “The Eagle” with last year’s boxing event that pitted Floyd Mayweather against “The Notorious”.
As far as Roddy is concerned, what the fans want to see is always a good indicator as to what fights will come to fruition.
“I’d love to see [the Diaz] fight again — a trilogy fight would be awesome — but I always [think about] what’s getting the most attention and the Khabib fight seems to be brewing up nicely. The fans are really getting behind it,” Roddy told Mike Sheridan at a Q and A at SBG Charlestown on Saturday morning.
“I never thought the Mayweather fight was going to happen, but when the fans got behind it and then when Mayweather started talking you knew it was going to happen.”
There are some that put McGregor’s antics down to choreography and promotional fodder, but Roddy is adamant that the animosity that we see between McGregor and his opponents is very real right up until the fight ends.
“It’s not staged at all. At the end of the day, especially if you’re fighting Conor, he’s going in to kill you. If you’re at a press conference with him he’ll go at you; it would take a lot for him not to go at you. The only thing that would stop him is if he’d lose a few bob [some money] for it, and rightfully so,” said Roddy.
“If you sign to fight him he’s looking to inflict as much damage as he can, as quickly as he can. After the fight, he gives every one of his opponents the respect they deserve. A lot of fighters make excuses but he’ll stand by what happens in any fight and he’ll give you the respect you deserve, but beforehand he doesn’t like you and he’s going in to dismantle you.”
Another matchup that’s getting batted around is McGregor versus Georges St-Pierre. While Roddy acknowledged that both GSP and Nurmagomedov are “tricky” counterparts, he believes he and the rest of McGregor’s team can concoct a plan to beat both fighters.
“[GSP] is one of the best to ever do it. He has a tricky code to crack, most definitely. Same with Khabib, that style is [tricky], but you can come up with plans to beat them. Nobody is perfect. There are flaws in everyone’s game — there are flaws in Khabib’s game and there are flaws in GSP’s game.
“They both do what they do really well, but at the end of the day, for me, what Conor has over all of them is he’s so good at landing shots, he lands a shot within the first minute and 99 percent of people can’t take it. In those small gloves, he is going to catch you, he’s going to catch you on the chin or on the temple and there are very few people who can deal with that.
“Once that happens it doesn’t matter how good you are anywhere. Once you’re rocked everything goes out the window and you’re on autopilot. You don’t want to be fighting him on autopilot because he just sets traps and he puts people away.”
Roddy further discussed how Team McGregor prepare for challenges:
“Every fight is exciting, it’s like, ‘How do we approach this guy? What’s he going to come up with? What threats does he have and where are his flaws?’” Roddy explained.
“We’ll find the threats and look at how to nullify them. Then we look at the flaws and see how we capitalize on them. It’s not just me, it’s a team effort: it’s John [Kavanagh], it’s Conor — Conor has a huge input on what shots he uses. He’s such a smart fighter. People think he just goes in and lands the left hand, but it’s everything before — he’s leading people into that position and he’s very good at doing that
“John is very good at what he does, I’m very good at what I do. If we’re fighting wrestlers Sergey [Pikulskiy] comes in and he’s a phenomenal wrestling coach. And Dillon [Danis] will be there. It’s a phenomenal team and we have all angles covered.”