In order to compete at the top level of Mixed Martial Arts you need to be skilled in 3 particular areas. These include striking on the feet, wrestling and takedowns, and grappling on the ground (Jiu Jitsu). Since turning professional McGregor has demonstrated his skills in all three of these disciplines on his way to becoming the biggest star in the sport.
McGregor’s is predominantly a striker and prefers to keep the fight on the feet if possible. However there have been a number of occasions when McGregor has gotten the chance to showcase some of his Jiu Jitsu skills. Many of his opponents in the UFC have strong grappling backgrounds which has forced.
Who is McGregor’s Jiu Jitsu Coach?
John Kavanagh is McGregor’s main coach and is also responsible for his Jiu Jitsu coaching. McGregor has separate coaches for striking and wrestling but does not have one for Jiu Jitsu since this is Kavanagh’s own area of expertise.
Kavanagh is a BJJ black belt under SBG Head coach Matt Thornton and has been training in BJJ for nearly 20 years. He teaches Jiu Jitsu classes in SBG Dublin and has awarded Conor all of his Jiu Jitsu belts to date. McGregor is currently a brown belt and received this promotion in the Octagon after defeating Dustin Poirier in 2014. Nearly all of McGregor’s Jiu Jitsu training is done without the traditional kimono (nogi) but he does on occasion train in the Gi.
When asked about when he would award Conor his black belt he responded that he will “of course be a black belt … it’s coming.” Since he is an MMA fighter nearly all of McGregors Jiu Jitsu training is done without wearing the traditional Kimono (Gi) but he has been known to wear it on occasion.
McGregor competed in a number of Jiu Jitsu tournaments before signing with the UFC. As a purple belt he competed in the 2013 Nogi championships in Rome.
Dillon Danis & McGregor
Dillon Danis is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt who trained under and received his black belt from legendary BJJ competitor Marcelo Garcia in New York. He has since left Marcelo’s academy and is now focused on competing in MMA where he is currently signed to the Bellator promotion.
Danis was inspired by McGregor’s ascent to the top of the MMA world and made contact with his team sometime before his first match up with Nate Diaz. In that match McGregor suffered his first UFC defeat by way of submission. When the rematch was booked McGregor and Danis made contact again and Danis formally joined McGregor’s camp for the Diaz rematch. Since then Danis has appeared in McGregors corner on fight night for the Diaz and Khabib matches.
Danis main job is to be a sparring partner and help to prepare McGregor for any grappling scenarios which he could potentially face in his bouts. He has an aggressive grappling style and also has some good MMA wrestling.
Owen Roddy is Conor’s designated striking coach. Roddy is former pro MMA fighter and is a black belt in BJJ under Kavanagh. Roddy is primarily responsible for advising Conor on boxing and striking and is regularly seen holding pads and working striking combinations in the various promotional clips that the UFC produce. Roddy played a big role in Conor’s preparation for his boxing match with Floyd Mayweather.
Sergey Pikulskiy is the wrestling coach at SBG and has worked with Conor for the majority of his fight camps. Pikulskiy is a former Moldovan wrestler who has coached in Europe and the United states.