Conor McGregor's former opponents reveal all about fighter's punching power

UFC 246 McGregor v Cowboy: Weigh-Ins

Conor McGregor is back in action at UFC 246 this weekend in his hotly anticpated return to the Octagon against Donald Cerrone.

After his crushing defeat to Khabib Nurmagomedov back in October 2018, there was speculation whether McGregor would ever return to the Octagon and whether he could ever scale his past heights in the sport.

In the build up to the bout, former opponents have lifted the lid on whether the Irishman can hurt opponents with his punching ability.

His most famous foe is none other than Floyd Mayweather after the two fought in their historic crossover fight back in 2017.

Mayweather won the fight by TKO after McGregor ran out of gas late on, and 'Money' believes McGregor can hit hard, but he never truly feared the Irishman.

Mayweather told reporters: "As far as his punching power – he’s solid.

"I’ve felt it before, so that’s why I kept coming straight ahead.

"Obviously, it wasn’t the type of power to say: ‘I can’t come forward.’ Because if it were that type of power, I wouldn’t have come forward.”

Fellow boxer Paulie Malignaggi, who previously sparred with McGregor, says that people should not be underestimated, but likewise, was not scared by the power of McGregor's.

UFC 246 McGregor v Cowboy: Weigh-Ins

He stated: "He’s not a weak puncher. People are dying for me to say, ‘Oh he hits hard!’ Oh, his big left hand.’ Listen, if Conor hits you, you’re going to feel it. He’s a grown man.

"I’d say he’s an above average puncher. If he lands a shot with 10 oz gloves, it will probably get your attention. Is it ‘Oh my God power’? No, ‘Oh my God power’ is very rare."

Nate Diaz, the American who ended McGregor’s long winning streak in the Octagon, looks back with admiration despite getting the win that night.

"I didn’t really feel it at the time but I looked back on the fight and thought ‘Oh f***’.

"It was a real nice uppercut.

UFC 202: Diaz v McGregor 2

"My eye got blurry for a minute. In between rounds, they wiped it with ice. Then, in the second round, the ice water and blood came into my eyes and I couldn’t see s***."

Jose Aldo, who was on the receiving end of one of McGregor’s most brutal KO’s, still doesn’t believe that McGregor’s punch is his greatest asset.

“He has a good punch, but he cannot say that he is the biggest puncher, and the MMA gloves are tiny. They are four ounces.”

Eddie Alvarez, who suffered a technical knockout in the second round in their bout at UFC 205, told reporters that it was more about McGregor’s speed that won the day.

UFC 205: Alvarez v McGregor

"I got dropped a couple of times, the first time I got dropped I remember being on my butt and thinking: ‘Wow, that was quick. Whatever that was it was fast’.

After such a long time out of action, it’s going to be fascinating to see if McGregor has still retained some of his old magic tonight against Cerrone.

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