UFC 194’s main event between featherweight champion Jose Aldo and interim titleholder Conor McGregor quickly became one of the most anticipated fights in the sport’s history. Aldo, the reigning champion who’s looked about as unbeatable throughout his pro career, faces a man who many believe could dethrone him.
Many of McGregor’s supporters point to the Irishman’s unorthodox striking as the difference-maker come Dec. 12. But what about his ground skills? Well, if you ask Ultimate Fighter 22 Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist Ryan Hall, McGregor’s pretty good on the canvas too.
“Not only did I get the opportunity to roll with Conor, but I was very impressed,” Hall recently told The 42. “I think people don’t realize how much ability he has and I was pleasantly surprised by his level of skill and level of composure. Those things don’t always go hand-in-hand; sometimes you get someone who’s very skillful in one area but when you get them out of their comfort zone they’re not complete.
“But Conor’s a fantastic martial artist and I was very, very impressed. He trains very diligently and he puts in those hours. Jose Aldo is a fantastic fighter and a very high-level jiu-jitsu guy but the gulf between them on the ground is not what people might think. Not at all.”
Regardless of how much value may come from Hall and his multiple world jiu-jitsu championships, some people still aren’t convinced McGregor can hold his own. Just take a look at the video a Reddit user created to showcase what differences existed between the two men when taken down by a most-recent and mutual opponent in Chad Mendes.
Aldo and McGregor are set to square off at UFC 194 on Dec. 12 inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.