Peter Carroll: Conor McGregor shakes up training camp for his Nate Diaz quest

The UFC star has brought in some extra help ahead of 202

Peter Carroll: Conor McGregor shakes up training camp for his Nate Diaz quest

Image: ©INPHO/Colm O'Neill

Conor McGregor has brought some specialists into his camp ahead of his rematch with Nate Diaz on August 20 at UFC 202.

The Irishman revealed that he is driven more than ever to get the win back off Diaz through his public standoff with UFC president Dana White back in April. Having brought in experts from the worlds of Muay Thai, boxing and Brazilian jiu-jitsu to his Dublin base, it appears as though McGregor is a man of his word.

In hindsight, one of the most prophetic insults Nate Diaz threw McGregor’s way ahead of their first meeting at UFC 197 was targeted at the Dubliner’s training partners. In particular, Diaz seemed to take exception with movement expert Ido Portal.

“You’ve got it all figured out, but who do you train with? You’ve got no training partners. Who do you train with? You’ve got that one little goofy motherf**ker with you,” Diaz mocked Portal. “I’ve got real training partners. Top ten fighters. Top ten boxers. Top 10 jiu-jitsu guys. Top 10 kickboxers.

“You’re playing touch-butt with that dork in the park. The guy with the ponytail and I’m the one who ain’t got no training partners? I don’t think so. You seem to have it all figured out when you're fighting midgets. You ain’t got sh*t.”

Should Diaz’s line of questioning follow a similar path in August, McGregor will be able to confidently reply that he has brought in some of the best proponents in their fields to prepare for the bout.

 

 

Great rounds JiuJitsu! @dillondanis

A photo posted by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on

Dillon Danis – Jiu-jitsu world champion

23-year-old jiu-jitsu phenom Dillon Danis is a brown belt Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion who last year earned his black belt in ‘the gentle art’ under the tutelage of a man considered the greatest jiu-jitsu player of all time, Marcelo Garcia.

Danis has been invited to compete on some of the biggest jiu-jitsu stages in the world and is due for action at Copa Podio in Argentina on July 9, where he will be vying to win the promotion’s middleweight tournament. Danis will likely rejoin McGregor’s camp when he moves over to Vegas to acclimatize to the desert heat.

Training under Garcia, who specializes in taking the back of his opponents, Danis’s input could be crucial for McGregor’s hopes in the rematch given that the first meeting between the two ended in a rear naked choke for Diaz.

Robbie ‘The Rabbit’ Hageman – Kickboxing world champion

Robbie ‘The Rabbit’ Hageman is a Dutch Thai boxer who trained under the legendary Ramon Dekkers. In 2014, Hageman became the Enfusion -70 kg world champion when he beat Spain’s David Calvo over five rounds in front of his hometown crowd in Eindhoven.

Although Hageman has spent time in SBG before, he has been sparring McGregor regularly ahead of his second clash with Diaz. The Dutch fighter is currently staying in Dublin, and he is likely to be a permanent fixture at the Naas Road gym in the lead up to UFC 202.

Raja Shippen

29-year-old Californian Raja Shippen may not have been hand-picked for McGregor’s camp, but the veteran worked his way into private sparring sessions with ‘The Notorious’ after showcasing his ability at Straight Blast Gym on his arrival.

One of the most highly ranked fighters in Australia, Shippen primarily competes at bantamweight but has fought at featherweight in the past too. Having spent a number of years training under the 10th Planet banner, he has a diverse submission game that has seen him claim 10 of his 16 wins by submission, with five victories coming by rear-naked choke.

 

 

Thank you Michael Conlan, Paddy Barnes and Conor Wallace! Great to train and spar with our Olympic boxers today! #NordieTough #GreatWork

A photo posted by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on

Conor Wallace – Six-time national boxing champion

20-year-old Conor Wallace is a six-time national boxing champion. A tall southpaw, McGregor called upon the 2020 Olympic gold hopeful to mimic the rangy style of Diaz. Social media threads went into overdrive a few days ago as Wallace arrived at SBG HQ along with Rio 2016 competitors Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlon.

Wallace revealed in an interview with the Irish Mirror that McGregor complimented his jab. Given that Diaz had such success with his lead hand in their first meeting, sparring with Newry man is just what ‘The Notorious’ needs ahead of the second meeting with his outspoken opponent.

Although they have only had one sparring session so far, Wallace has been invited back down to Dublin to train with McGregor again. However, having sustained a cut over his eye in a fight last weekend, it remains to seen whether Wallace will rejoin the Dubliner’s camp.

 

Despite some new additions to the fold, McGregor continues to train with his usual sparring partners, Artem Lobov, Peter Queally, Luca Jelcic and Cian Cowley. It will be interesting to see how the new additions to McGregor’s camp will add to his game, particularly Danis, after McGregor collected his third career loss and his third loss via submission in his last meeting with Diaz.

@PetesyCarroll