Conor McGregor Calls Firas Zahabi a 'Twerp' for Max Holloway Comment

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 9, 2019

FILE - In this Oct. 5, 2018, file photo, Conor McGregor poses during a ceremonial weigh-in for the UFC 229 mixed martial arts fight in Las Vegas. Nevada fight regulators postponed until next month hearings on suspensions against UFC fighters Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov for a brawl after their October match in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher, file)
John Locher/Associated Press

Conor McGregor blasted Tristar Gym founder Firas Zahabi on Tuesday for his comments regarding a potential rematch between McGregor and Max Holloway.

McGregor tweeted the following in response to Zahabi's belief that Holloway would beat McGregor if they were to fight again:

According to Peter Carroll of MMAFighting.com, Zahabi offered his prediction in an "Ask Me Anything" session on Tristar Gym's YouTube page:

"If I had to pick Max Holloway vs. Conor McGregor today, I would pick Max Holloway. Why? When they fought the first time, for those of you who don't know, McGregor won an easy three rounds. McGregor outstruck Holloway in the first two rounds and then in the third round he outgrappled Holloway. In the second or third round, McGregor tears his ACL, so he goes heavy grappling and he even shows that he can outgrapple Holloway.

"That happened a long time ago. I think Holloway has grown leaps and bounds since then; he has grown leaps and bounds. In my opinion, Holloway would outpunch him, he would outwork him, he would do very much what [Nate] Diaz did but more. I think McGregor got away with a lot of stuff against Diaz, like leg kicks. I don't think he could do that against Holloway, but Holloway has the same kind of output as Diaz, the same kind of chin as Diaz, he's more athletic than Diaz, he has more variety than Diaz in his attacks; he has more kicking, kneeing and elbowing and his chin is phenomenal."

At UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen in August 2013, McGregor beat Holloway by unanimous decision in a three-round bout.

Since losing to McGregor, Holloway has developed into one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world.

The 27-year-old native of Hawaii has won 13 consecutive fights to improve to 20-3, and he is the current UFC Featherweight champion.

Meanwhile, McGregor is coming off a submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 following a nearly two-year absence from the Octagon.

Khabib managed to get to McGregor in the fourth round of their fight, and Zahabi believes Holloway could do something similar:

"I really think [Holloway] would take it in the later rounds. The blueprint for beating McGregor is more understood by the roster, and I think if they fought at 145 or 155, I really like Max Holloway now. It's not to say McGregor can't win, but I would give it a 60-40 Max Holloway. It's 99 to 1 percent, that's not what I'm saying. I just think if they fight 10 times, six times out of the 10 ... let's say even seven times out of 10 ... I would say Holloway wins."

The 30-year-old McGregor boasts a career record of 21-4 and has won titles in two divisions, but he is largely out of practice and has lost two of his past four fights, including a March 2016 submission loss to Diaz.

McGregor did get revenge on Diaz by beating him in the rematch at UFC 202 in August 2016 by majority decision, but he clearly hasn't been the same fighter he once was.

Holloway and McGregor seem to have different trajectories, but given how much Zahabi's comments fired McGregor up, a rematch could be a major draw provided they find a fair weight at which to fight.

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