Leading up to the massive fight, the consensus was that Mayweather would avoid exchanging with McGregor as much as possible, rely on his awe inspiring defensive abilities, and look to counter strike. In fact, some people argued that if Mayweather didn’t, he could end up getting knocked out.
Well, while Mayweather did some of that in the early rounds of the contest, the undefeated boxer starting walking McGregor down, and eventually stopped the UFC champ in round ten. During a recent episode of “The MMA Hour”, McGregor’s striking coach, Owen Roddy, admitted that Mayweather’s approach threw them off. Here is some of what Roddy had to say (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“Conor was landing shots that we worked and he was landing them often enough. In my opinion, when Mayweather switched it up and he kind of walked Conor down with the hands high and elbows in and just kept walking forward and let Conor throw shots at the arms – when we saw that we hadn’t prepared for it.”
“…I honestly thought (Mayweather) was going to pop shots, sit back, work the shoulder roll and Philly shell. He did play that game for the first couple of rounds. Conor was having success with all of that, but unfortunately I didn’t have the stuff in place for the walking down strategy. We’ve learned from that.”
Depending on who you talk to, Mayweather was having difficulties reading McGregor during the opening rounds, or, he was just sitting back, waiting for the Irish star to tire out, before turning it up. Some of course, have argued it was a bit of both.
One thing’s for certain, Mayweather’s experience and renowned fight IQ played a decisive role in the contest. Case in point, before the bout took place, not a ton of people from within MMA, were predicting Mayweather would stop McGregor.