John Danaher is a jiujitsu ace with a wealth of knowledge.
Many legendary coaches have contributed to the development of modern MMA, perhaps none so deeply or so reclusively as John Danaher. Danaher teaches Jiu Jitsu at the legendary Renzo Gracie Academy in New York. He runs the “Danaher Death Squad,” an elite group of submission grapplers dominating the Jiu Jitsu world.
He has also trained MMA champions including Former Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman and of course Former Welterweight and Middleweight champion Georges St Pierre. Monday he stopped by Joe Rogan’s Podcast to discuss many topics, among them, a matchup between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Although Tony Ferguson is Interim Lightweight champion, Khabib set the MMA world afire with a recent three round domination of Edson Barboza, and fans are now eager to see “The Eagle” face of with McGregor. The have antithetical styles, as Khabib is a savage grappler and Conor a precise striker. Danaher offered an interesting perspective.
“With regards to Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov, the feeling one gets if they did fight – it would be a complete shutout in one of two directions. It’s either like a man beating up a child on the ground, or it’s just a flush knockout, the guy unable to cover distance properly and walking into a left hand and just being catastrophically KO’d.”
But John Danaher went deeper than that. He broke MMA excellence down into three aspects- setups, direction and pace.
“If you show me a fighter who can one, dominate the setups, two, dominate the pace of the fight, and three, dominate the simple direction of the fight – you show me a fighter who can do those three things, I’ll show you a fighter who can win 95% of the fights he gets into.”
According to him, Khabib is a master of the latter two aspects of pace and direction.
“Think about someone like Khabib, or anyone who comes from a strong wrestling, or judo, or jiu-jitsu with takedowns baseline is that they always dominate the direction. They determine whether it goes down to the ground or whether it stays standing.”
McGregor, by contrast, he presented as a master of setups:
“And Conor, more than anything else, is a guy who dominates the setups. The kicks are probes; he’s not trying to hurt you with a kick. He’s probing. He hurts you with this (the left hand).”