Conor McGregor is notorious for his powerful left hand, but just how hard can he punch someone? With 18 knockouts under his belt, he definitely hits hard. Through a combination of methods, we’ll try to figure out exactly how powerful his punches are.
With the UFC’s Performance Institute, MMA is just starting to embrace sports science. That means that unfortunately, unlike other athletes in other major sports, there isn’t that much data available for Conor McGregor’s athletic abilities.
However, there is some data out there, including McGregor’s visit to the Sports Lab to measure some of his athletic abilities. They didn’t measure how hard he can punch with his signature left hand, but they did measure his reaction time. It took McGregor just 0.3 second to react and strike the pad, and this amazing reaction time will come up again later.
The other data that’s available about McGregor comes from various boxing machine games. This isn’t very useful though as those are just games and not a very scientific test.
Regardless, McGregor has tried his hand at those boxing machine games several times, and unsurprisingly, he hits very hard. On the UFC’s leaderboards of the game, McGregor’s punch measured out to 745 pounds of pressure, second only to former champion Tyron Woodley’s punch.
Of course, with this massive difference in measurements though, it might be better to ask the men he’s knocked out just how powerful McGregor really is.
The current interim lightweight champion, Dustin Poirier, had a fight with Conor McGregor several years ago. This is back when both men were fighting at 145 lb. McGregor knocked Poirier out in the first round, and after the fight, Poirier said that McGregor hit him harder than anyone else ever had.
Eddie Alvarez, another former champion whom McGregor knocked out in order to become the first two-weight champion of the UFC, said that McGregor hit him so hard in the first minute that he was pretty much out of the fight already.
However, it appears boxers are less fearful of McGregor’s power. Paulie Malignaggi, a former boxing champion who sparred with McGregor and whom McGregor claimed to have knocked out in sparring, called McGregor’s power only above average.
Floyd Mayweather, who took McGregor’s best punches and then finished him in the 10th round of their money fight, simply described McGregor’s power as solid. He then went on to say that he’s felt punches like McGregor’s before, so he didn’t fear McGregor’s power like other men have.
Power isn’t everything for Conor McGregor
No matter how hard Conor McGregor can hit, it’s not actually what he relies on to win fights. As McGregor has said in the past, “Precision beats power, timing beats speed.”
It doesn’t matter how hard you hit, if your punches don’t land, then that power meant nothing. That’s why McGregor cares more about being accurate and precise rather than being powerful.
And when it comes to speed, as McGregor said, timing is better than speed since timing his opponents so that he hits first is one of the many ways that he’s knocked the other guy out. Now, combine that with his fast reaction time of 0.3 seconds, and McGregor can almost always land first.
So, at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter how hard McGregor hits. What matters to him is that he lands accurate and well-timed strikes that puts his opponents down onto the mat. And with 18 knockouts and plenty of knockdowns, he’s certainly doing just that.