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Conor McGregor’s fight vs Floyd Mayweather affecting UFC career as he focuses on boxing instead of MMA, says Shields

CONOR McGREGOR has been urged by Claressa Shields to ‘cut off the boxing switch’ and focus solely on MMA.

McGregor lost his ring debut in 2017 against Floyd Mayweather but returned to the UFC a year later, losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Conor McGregor was beaten by Floyd Mayweather in 2017
Undisputed boxing champion Claressa Shields, left

After defeat to rival Khabib, the Irishman returned to his first ever gym, the Crumlin amateur boxing club, and worked with his old coaches.

They have since become part of his team and McGregor has adopted a more boxing-based style, opposed to his previous karate stance.

But after he was knocked out by Dustin Poirier in January, the southpaw admitted to focusing too much on boxing.

And undisputed champion Shields, 25, has warned McGregor to hit reset and go back to basics and polish his entire set of skills.

She told the Betway Insider blog: “He probably didn’t generate it in his mind, he needs to go his mind and click on the ‘everything’ switch and use every part of the body as a weapon.

“I know he was boxing against Floyd but he needs to cut off the boxing switch and focus strictly on MMA for at least three or four months.”

McGregor, 32, was in line for a mega-money boxing return to face Manny Pacquiao, 42, this year.

But after losing in a rematch to Poirier, 32, seven years after stopping the American, they are now in talks for a summer trilogy.

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Shields, who herself has transitioned to MMA after signing for PFL, backed McGregor to win the rematch, but only after making tactical changes.

She said: “Conor can avenge it but it’s going to take some hard work.

“He’s been out of the MMA cage for a while, I know he had his last fight but before his last fight he’d probably been out two or three years.

“I would say he needs to get out of the boxing mind-frame to win that fight.

“He had his front foot too forward, too much weight on his leg, more like a boxer’s stance.

Conor McGregor was knocked out by Dustin Poirier

“It’s like he needs to get back to having light feet and [being] quick and explosive, using all his attributes, not just his punches; punches, kicks, knees, he needs to get back being creative.

“But I tell you what, it’s hard to do, it’s hard to cut off the boxing switch and cut on the MMA switch.

“When you’re doing both it’s hard, you have to be very mentally strong and say ‘this is MMA, everything goes’ and then you have to click that button and go to boxing and say, ‘This is boxing, there are rules’.

“So it’s hard and I can just imagine that after being out of the cage for so long that his mind was adjusting and still looking to land those big shots.”

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