By Rafael Bandayrel
TriStar Gym founder Firas Zahabi found himself at the receiving end of Conor McGregor’s latest social media tirade after predicting that Max Holloway would defeat the Irishman in a potential rematch.
McGregor Tweeted a response regarding Zahabi’s prediction that Holloway would “outpunch” and “outwork” him the next time they meet in the Octagon.
“Hey firaz (sic). Young man afraid to get in and fight, himself,” McGregor wrote. “Stop talking about me like you know me, you twerp. You are what age? Why are not in there yourself? Are you not up to it? You rent dorms and hit a clock for a living. Shut your pie, kid.”
Hey firaz. Young man afraid to get in and fight, himself. Stop talking about me like you know me, you twerp.
You are what age? Why are not in there yourself? Are you not up to it?
You rent dorms and hit a clock for a living.
Shut your pie, kid.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) January 9, 2019
Holloway – now UFC’s featherweight titleholder – dropped a unanimous decision to McGregor on UFC Fight Night 26 back in 2013. Since then, Holloway has been on a 14-fight undefeated streak, finishing his last three fights via technical knockout (TKO).
Meanwhile, McGregor is coming off a submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 in his first MMA fight after a two-year hiatus.
This is the reason behind Zahabi’s prediction in the “Ask Me Anything” video he posted on TriStar’s official YouTube page.
“If I had to pick Max Holloway vs. Conor McGregor today, I would pick Max Holloway,” said Zahabi. “Why? When they fought the first time, for those of you who don’t know, McGregor won an easy three rounds. McGregor out struck Holloway in the first two rounds and then in the third round, he out grappled Holloway. In the second or third round, McGregor tears his ACL, so he goes heavy grappling and he even shows that he can out grapple 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 out punch 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.”
Zahabi then said Holloway would have the edge in the later rounds, given that the biggest criticism on McGregor’s game is his lacklustre conditioning.
“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 one percent, that’s not what I’m saying. I just think if they fight ten times, six times out of the ten – let’s say even seven times out of ten – I would say Holloway wins.”