Dan Hardy column: How Dennis Siver can stop Conor McGregor's charge to a shot at the UFC title

This week, British UFC welterweight and UFC commentator, Dan Hardy, looks ahead to Irishman Conor McGregor’s next outing in the Octagon, against Germany’s Dennis Siver taking place in Boston this weekend

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The Independent Online

It’s very rare that a star emerges as quickly as UFC featherweight Conor McGregor. With only four appearances in the Octagon to date, he has captivated the fans with a brash but effective style that has moved him within jabbing distance of the champion. Only one man now stands in his path to the title and that’s seasoned German UFC veteran, Dennis Siver.

This weekend in Boston four Irish fighters will battle tough opposition, with 'The Notorious’ McGregor headlining the bill. His opponent, although a man of very few words, has spoken out about the upcoming bout. Exclaiming that he will “be nobody’s stepping stone”, he plans on ruining Conor’s plans of a stadium show in Dublin for the world title.

It’s hard not to pay attention to McGregor though. He has yet to fail in walking the walk and is dispatching of opponents as promised in the pre-fight build up. His prediction for this fight? A stoppage in the first two minutes. Not an easy feat for any fighter when you take into account the experience and durability of Siver.

A long time mainstay of the European circuit, Siver recently dropped to featherweight having campaigned as high as welterweight earlier on in his career. He is a strong kick boxer with fluid, multi-strike combinations, utilizing high kicks and spinning kicks to keep his opponents guessing. In recent fights he has demonstrated a solid takedown game and once on the mat, he is able to weight heavily on his opponent and rain down powerful elbows and punches.

To beat McGregor he must push forward and close the distance. Conor will have the lengthier reach and has proven to be the more agile of the two based on footwork and speed. He will undoubtedly want to fight at a distance whilst keeping Siver’s back foot up against the fence. This enables him to control the space and set traps for Siver to walk into. 

Dennis Siver is not a fighter you would want to fight in a small space. His compact and powerful frame allows him to generate great power in circular motion, so closing the distance to attack can be dangerous. A flurry of hooks and uppercuts would await McGregor if he steps in carelessly. I expect Siver to wait for an opportunity as McGregor moves forward to strike, to level change and try to put him on his back.

Dennis-Siver-of-Germany-kicks-Charles-Rosa---Josh-Hedges-Zuffa-LLC.jpg
Dennis Siver of Germany kicks Charles Rosa - Josh Hedges / Zuffa LLC

 

Perhaps using the pressure of the early finish prediction, he can wait out the ‘Notorious’ one and use his eagerness against him. It’s hard to say what’s going through McGregor’s mind. The whole thing could be a ruse to make Siver anxious in the opening minutes. As far as opportunities go, Siver is in a great position. To stop a hype train like McGregor’s is not an easy task, but the reward is almost as big as winning the title.

The only fighter so far to really trouble McGregor is Max Holloway, and even in that fight he looked in control throughout. Should he mow down Siver as he has his last couple of opponents, he will be calling for and likely rewarded with a shot at champion, Jose Aldo. A successful night is a must and with the support of his team mates on the same card, I’m sure he will be expecting another clean sweep for the Irish contingent.

Catch all the action from UFC Fight Night Boston on BT Sport 1 from 12am GMT on Monday morning.

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