Conor/Dustin 3 Gameplans?

What would you advise?

For Dustin, I wouldn’t build a specific game-plan. Dustin is a fighter. Don’t over complicate things. Work on skills throughout camp. Among those skills to hone in on:

-Some defensive/footwork gaps that Conor exploited in the second fight.
-Punches off stopped takedowns.
-Takedowns off feinted leg kicks (if Conor is reflexively backing up out of fear of the calf kick, the head outside single will be there, as well as the front kick).
-Uppercuts that Mendes landed off the feinted takedown.

For Conor, I think he’d be wise to throw in some knee taps. They are a low energy, low-risk takedown that allows him to mix things up in a new way. I’d reintroduce his front kicks, but also attack low leg side kicks and leg kicks himself. As has been discussed ad-nauseum, he needs to deal with the calf kicks. Checking, and backing up are good options. I feel very strongly that he should finish a single leg if he catches any kicks – his top game is very sound and it would make Dustin pay for his kicks. He didn’t do this in the last fight at his peril.



I think Dustin will try to pressure with clinches & takedowns early. Wear him down a bit.


Conor needs to come out loose. He looked like a fucking idiot in the second fight. Didn’t look like himself at all


Case in point


Conor is going to come out fast and throwing big strikes. He is going to want to end it early to avoid what happened last time. He’s knows if it gets past 2 rounds Dustin has the advantage. Think how he came out in the cowboy fight. He knows he can hurt Dustin and he will be going for it from the start. He doesn’t want to give Dustin the opportunity to do damage over a couple rounds like last time.


Vegito is right. Conor should go back to the karate stance instead of boxing.

I really hate when fighters abandon the game that got them to the top. Like Rousey… if she had just stayed a grappler she wouldn’t have been getting knocked out play boxing.

Conor was an aggressive karate guy with accuracy, power, movement.

Turning into a boxer hasnt helped.


Conor needs to kick a lot more. And stay primarily at kicking range with Dustin, not boxing range. Conor has more tools on the feet than Dustin and needs to stop with the boxing-only approach; he needs to stick with what made him so effective in MMA.

Dustin can implement the same gameplan as the last fight. If Conor kicks more, he will need to close the distance. If Conor comes out with a kicking-heavy stance, he can punish Conor’s legs.


Yeah Conor needs to go back to his karate style stance and use his kicks again. He even said it himself “they don’t move like I move”. He boxed Mayweather and now he thinks he’s some world class boxer. His kicks used to be nasty. He would dig that front kick to the body and really take some energy from his opponents.


I agree, but I think the idea that he didn’t look like himself is a bit of a myth. His evolution from the flowy guy to the boxing centric fighter was slower than people realize. He hasn’t been super light footed since the Aldo fight. Go rewatch the Eddie, Nate 2, and Khabib fights. You see way less front kicks, side kicks, and the flowy in-and-out footwork.

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Connor should try and maintain distance , while using his angles to make Dustin pay if he misses the kicks. It’s never wise to just back right up, reason being is because eventually he will have his back on the fence and Dustin will be able to get inside and work , which is something Connor does not want . So I’d say a half step back and a step off for a angle would be very beneficial for Connor .


As good as Dustin is, I think Conor outplays him in most his strengths. More powerful striking, better (different?) clinch work, and about the same grappling expertise. Where Dustin really shines is his gas tank, grit, volume, and overall well-roundedness.

I felt Dustin perfectly executed a great game-plan last fight, but still think Conor beats him in most scenarios.

Therefore, I think Conor’s plan is:

  • keep this standing
  • avoid leg kicks with whatever method Conor seems best suited for (checks/back up/etc)
  • be aggressive early (!)
  • fake takedowns to draw reactions and open up Dustin’s guard

While Dustin’s plan is:

  • pace the fight to take Conor into deep waters
  • if landing, continue leg kicking
  • if not landing, fake kicks and implement other weapons off reactions (takedown/clinch/striking)
  • keep a varied approach to disrupt Conor’s desired rhythm and distance

All good stuff! Thanks for your contribution!

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Conor literally forgot how to be Conor. It’s like trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube, he’s never getting that back. He still hits hard enough and is slicker than most, but he doesn’t have the stamina or most importantly, the fire burning inside him to succeed. He isn’t fighting to build a legacy or to create a life for himself. He already did it. He’s fighting now because fighting is what he always did. That’s a bad place to be in.


He hasn’t used the karate stance for at least his last 3 or so fights.


I expect Dustin to come with a grapplefuck game plan.


Conor has 2 advantages

  1. Speed

If he uses these wisely then he should win the fight easily. His problem is that the left hand is not a secret anymore and because of that it can be taken away with the right approach, calf kicks for example. In his most recent fights Conor like so many other fighters started believing in his own one punch Ko power and as a result he comes out bombing away and if it doesn’t get the job done early then the power diminishes little by little due to fatigue. He shouldn’t load up like that, he shouldn’t force the Ko, let it come out naturally, just get to landing, switch stances and come out orthodox first but stay light on the feet and just touch him, keep touching him, keep touching him and at the right time switch and set up the left, don’t forget that by switching it also gives him the left hook, same power hand but now a different punch altogether, he should take his time and set it all up because Dustin is going to expect that because that’s all Conor has ever done. We have seen Conor in 2 perfectly executed performances where he implemented patience, Alvarez and Brimage oddly enough, watch those fights, he flowed, he through off-speed and off-power to set up the power. Just don’t load up, don’t force it, throw first in the exchange throw last in the exchange jab his way out stay light on his feet and it’s an easy night imho

Whatever Conor’s counter to a calf kick is, I would develop the counter to that, and throw it right after a calf kick.


Great thread; plenty of good game plans for both above. I will say though:

Conor better have the Conor-Diaz 2 HEART and CARDIO, otherwise it is a must KO win in round 1 or 2.


“I really hate when fighters abandon the game that got them to the top. Like Rousey… if she had just stayed a grappler she wouldn’t have been getting knocked out play boxing.”

It’s been 5+ years and people are still peddling this nonsense?