At UFC Fight Night 59, Conor McGregor invades Ireland’s home away from home, Boston MA, headlining the card against German striker Dennis Siver. A win here is McGregor’s ticket to a title shot with featherweight champion Jose Aldo, something the Irish superstar has been seeking out since returning from injury last Summer.

Siver is ranked tenth in the featherweight division, while McGregor himself sits in fifth after his quick dispatching of former fifth ranked fight Dustin Poirier at UFC 178. “The Notorious” one is heavily favored in the fight, but it’s a bout not without its dangers: Siver does have high-level striking and roughly twice the experience of the brash Irishman, boasting a 22–9 (1) record. However, after a decade in the sport, this is really Siver’s biggest fight, and his first time headlining a UFC card (McGregor, of course, is the real draw).

There are a number of things Conor McGregor needs to do in order to win this fight and punch his title to a title challenge, and a couple of things he needs to avoid as well. So lets take a look at a few keys to victory.

Accuracy

If you go back and watch Conor McGregor’s bouts with Diego Brandao and Dustin Poirier, for as short as they were, one of the things that really stands out is McGregor’s striking accuracy. He connects often, hard, and his accuracy is fantastic — arguably he’s one of the best of the division where it’s concerned.

That’s a trend that needs to continue against Dennis Siver for McGregor to be successful come Sunday in Boston. Accuracy in striking means fewer wasted strikes, which in turn conserves energy and ups the change of knocking out an opponent, exactly what McGregor is looking to do.

Striking Defence

It’s doubtful that Dennis Siver is about to unveil a ground game that no one knew he had, and McGregor does train with a fantastic wrestler in Gunnar Nelson, so he may not be as vulnerable on the ground as some theorize. However, in Siver he’s going up against a lauded kickboxer who has a German amateur kickboxing title under his belt and two Knockout of the Night awards in the UFC. In short, McGregor needs to ensure he doesn’t leave himself open for a punch, or counter-punch, that sends him crashing to the canvass and ends his night early.


Don’t Look Past Siver

Whether calling him a Ninja Turtle or worse, McGregor can do all the trash talking he wants, so long as he keeps the focus on Dennis Siver and avoids looking past him. That seems to be a bit of a problem, however, and McGregor has already taken aim at champion Jose Aldo, posting a photo on social media holding up Aldo’s head like a conquering warrior.

The worst thing the Irish star can do right now is look past the dangerous striker that is Siver and buy into his own hype train. If he does that, he may find the train derailed.

That said, if he can keep his focus, he could very well be next in line for a title shot in the UFC’s suddenly explosive featherweight division.

 

About The Author

Senior Staff Writer

Covering the sport of MMA from Ontario, Canada, Jay Anderson has been writing for various publications covering sports, technology, and pop culture since 2001. Jay holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Guelph, and a Certificate in Leadership Skills from Humber College under the Ontario Management Development Program. When not slaving at the keyboard, he can be found in the company of his dog, a good book, or getting lost in the woods.