Owen Roddy on McGregor’s UFC 194 camp, TUF and Ryan Curtis


Owen Roddy is no stranger to championship bouts given his own rise to glory on the national scene and of course, his role in the training and preparation of Irish MMA superstar Conor McGregor.

‘Rowdy’ is confident that fans are going to see “a totally new breed of Conor McGregor” at UFC 194. The SBG Charlestown head coach revealed that the goal the Irishman’s team set back at UFC 189 was “just to get him to the cage” given the severity of the knee injury he suffered in the lead up to the bout, and that since then McGregor has “improved everywhere.”

“Every time I’m asked what has improved about Conor the most, I tell people the same thing. I always say that he’s 100 times better than he was in the last fight, and I truly believe that,” said Roddy. “He’s a totally new breed of Conor McGregor this time around.

“People know that he had a lot of injuries coming into that Mendes fight, his knee was a bit bogey and really, he just had a tough time in that camp because of that. Our goal in that camp was just to get him to the cage without making him any worse. He went in, he did the job and that was a very tough camp for him to get through. For him to win that fight showed us how great he is, because it was really tough during that camp.

“This camp has been totally different. He’s fresh, his body is great, he’s mentally very strong, he’s moving so much better and he’s getting even more creative with his kicks. His kicking is even more elaborate than we have seen before, he’s throwing crazy stuff in training. He’s moving way faster, his boxing improved again if that’s even possible and he really has just improved everywhere. He’s on a new level and I’m 100 percent sure that everyone will see that on December 12.”

Roddy is a man whose star is on the rise having played a key role in the success of Team Europe on this season’s The Ultimate Fighter. The Ballymun man has created game plans that have had a significant impact on some of the European charges success on the show, but the former Cage Contender champion humbly downplayed his impact as he told us “some of the plans came off, and some of them didn’t.”

“Obviously, since I’ve stopped fighting I’ve gone into coaching and I’ve been putting everything that I have into that. When I was asked to do TUF with Conor I really wanted to be part of the team to not only help the contestants but to help Conor too.

“When I was working with the guys I did see some little things that I thought they could improve on. I did a lot of watching, I was watching the other guys and I was watching our guys during our sessions and I tried to the best of my ability to come up with ways to beat the Americans. Some of the game plans came off, and some of them didn’t, but that’s just the fight game.”

Roddy maintained that McGregor played “a fantastic role” in his coaching capacity as he not only brought life back into the TUF brand but he also demonstrated a lot of techniques to the Team Europe panel during his time on the show.

“If I’m going to do anything I do it 100 percent. Conor said from the very start that he would only be there in the evenings and he told all of the contestants that me, Tom, Sergey and the rest of the guys would be there in the mornings and in the evenings. We all played a big part.

“For me, I just helped guys with whatever they wanted help with. Whether it was work with the pads or working on little techniques on the ground – whatever they wanted. I watched them, I saw what they were good at and I tried to add little things that could help them. I didn’t try to change anybody.

“Without a doubt the series couldn’t have happened without Conor. Honestly, I think TUF was kind of on a downslope up until Conor said he would do it. Conor said that he really didn’t want to get involved, but he did get involved. For the first two or three weeks, he didn’t make the morning sessions, but he was at every evening session.

“He was doing his best for the guys and he came up with a lot of techniques that he thought would benefit the guys as well. He played a fantastic role. The morning sessions were really just about getting a good stretch and loosening out,” he explained.

Speaking ahead of his flyweight protégé Ryan Curtis taking his professional record to 2-0 on Friday in Manchester, Roddy insisted that the young Dubliner “has got all the tools” to make it to the UFC in the future.

“Curta definitely has a lot of potential. He’s still very young, he’s 1-0 as a pro, he had a great debut and now he’s facing another tough opponent tonight in Manchester. He lives and breathes MMA, that’s his thing. He knows where he wants to go, he wants to make it to the UFC. He’s putting the hours in, so I don’t see why he can’t do it. He’s got all the tools there.

“Like most of the great fighters, his real strength is his self-belief. That’s crucial. As the saying goes, a confident fighter is a dangerous fighter. There’s no doubt that he’s great striker, he’s very good on the ground and he has good wrestling. He’s a good scrambler as well, he never gives up anything. He’s got all the technique, but that belief is what is going to make him get where he wants to go.”


Ireland's leading MMA media outlet. Home of Severe MMA Podcast. Producers of 'Notorious,' 'The Fighting Irish' & other MMA docus

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