Conor McGregor is one of the most successful UFC fighters in the lightweight category. The fighter made history by holding double-titles for UFC fights for both featherweight and lightweight bouts in 2016. With a record of 22-6-0 in the UFC fights, the Irish-born MMA fighter leverages several combat skills, culminating in his UFC bout successes.

Conor McGregor is a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu brown belt. He initially started with boxing and kickboxing. Additionally, McGregor can do Taekwondo, Karate, and Capoeira. These martial arts skills create the versatile fighter who’s renowned for his explosive and swift punching style.

This article will explore each major martial art in Conor McGregor’s portfolio with examples of times he’s used them. Read on to understand what Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) skills Conor McGregor knows that make him a great fighter. 

Conor McGregor’s Mixed Martial Arts Skill Set

One of the vital attributes of every great fighter is the ability to learn new martial arts skills. McGregor is known not only for his fighting abilities, but also for his ability to learn new skills. His adaptiveness allows him to glean skills from varied sources and bring it together into one cohesive fighting style.

When a fighter not only knows how to punch but also can maneuver his way through Muay Thai deadly shin kicks, along with the defensive stunts of BJJ, they can become a fighting machine. 

McGregor knows the following martial arts:

  • Boxing
  • Tae-Kwon Do
  • Kickboxing
  • Capoeira
  • Karate


Conor McGregor initially started as a boxer. As a young man, he would spend plenty of his time in the Crumlin Boxing Gym, training and practicing the art of fighting. 

The world was surprised by the announcement of Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor’s historical 8-figure fight. How would an MMA fighting champ perform with one of the world’s best lightweight champions in a boxing bout?

What’s little-known is that McGregor has had boxing training since his youth, breeding his signature power punches in bouts. He’s good with both hands, throwing powerful jabs, hooks, and uppercuts. 

Some of the attributes of McGregor in all his UFC bouts are his Southpaw stance and his vicious left punches. He is a lightweight-middleweight professional boxer and a Mixed Martial Arts combatant.

The Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor fight was McGregor’s first professional boxing debut. Mayweather had a 50-27-0 record going into the fight, and McGregor lost with a Technical Knock-Out in the 10th round. 

Conor may have lost this fight, but he still made considerable money from this and other high-profile fights. His fights grossed over $550 million, with Conor locking in an 85-million-dollar payday for one night’s worth of work. This was not so bad for an Irish boxing and MMA fighter.

Tae Kwon Do (TKD)

In the first match of the McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier fight, McGregor deployed several Tae-kwondo kicks. This limited the lateral movement of his opponent and gave him an advantage in combat. With a fairly stationary opponent, he can go for the kill by deploying his notorious power punches.

In addition, McGregor landed several impressive hook kicks and spinning kicks, which gave him victory over his opponent, Poirier.

McGregor’s TaeKwondo trainer was John Dargan, a TKD expert and a blackbelt holder. He is to thank for McGregor’s arsenal of kicks he deploys in the octagon. 

In UFC 246, McGregor took down Donald Cerrone with a vicious roundhouse kick, winning the bout. This is just one of the instances where McGregor displayed his blend of fighting skills, including Tae Kwon Do.

McGregor has demonstrated his TKD prowess on several occasions, often landing him straight wins in bouts.


Quite recently, a Muay Thai featherweight champion challenged Conor for a toned-down kickboxing fight. Having knocked the reigning champion Peytrosyan out, the Bangkokian kickboxer was riding on a 7-0 winning streak in his hometown.

The young Superbon Banchamek supposes he would like to test Conor’s kickboxing skills in a Mixed Rule Kickboxing bout. It should have been an interesting match to watch considering McGregor’s prowess. However, Conor was recovering from a broken leg injury at the time and could not fight.


McGregor is no amateur to Capoeira. In an interview, he demonstrated a vicious spinning heel kick to take down and knock out virtually any fighter. This powerful kick left the interviewer shaken, even though it was a mere illustration.

See a clip of this interview below:

Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that disguises fighting moves in dance. In this technique, the practitioner is in constant movement, called the Ginga. The fundamentals in this martial art dance comprise a series of kicks and acrobatic sweeps.

In most of his fights, McGregor deploys Capoeira kicks along with advanced legwork and constant movement. McGregor would also predict the finishing move of his coming matches, and many times it’d be a Capoeira kick. At one point, McGregor promised opponent Nate Diaz a finisher Capoeira kick in their slated UFC196 bout.


McGregor deploys Karate skills in the octagon from time to time, although many still don’t associate McGregor with Karate. 

In McGregor vs. Poirier’s 1st match, McGregor deployed turning kicks, also known as side-on kicks, which come from Karate.

Even though Mcgregor’s Karate stance is not that advanced, he still uses Karate during a fight to his advantage. Knowing a bit of Karate makes McGregor more versatile and therefore more powerful.

Final Thoughts

Conor McGregor is a talented fighter who knows several martial arts. Unlike most fighters, he has skills in Taekwondo, Karate, Kickboxing, Boxing, and Capoeira. He has nurtured and honed these skills through hours of ruthless training. 

McGregor’s ability to deploy different fighting styles enables him to outmaneuver his opponents and, most times, emerge victorious. This blend of fighting styles makes Conor McGregor one of the best MMA fighters globally.

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