With UFC 178 On The Horizon, Conor McGregor Stands On The Brink Of Greatness


UFC featherweight Conor McGregor is a name on everybody’s lips right now. The feisty Irish phenom kept the hype train rolling at UFC fight Night 46, knocking out Diego Brandao in the opening round and working himself in to a UFC 178 showdown with Dustin Poirier for his efforts. The Dublin-based event was about much more than just a win for ‘The Notorious’ though.

What we don’t know about McGregor is how he will manage against a Top 10 opponent like ‘Diamond,’ but he is surely ready for that test. Feeding him competition like Brimage, Brandao and Holloway is pointless now, as it’s clear that the young Irishman is just too far ahead of them right now. So is this the start of McGregor’s clear run at the title?

I asked that question in the moments following his win against Brandao in Ireland, and for good reason; he a ticket selling machine for the UFC, he wants to fight, and has the ‘it’ factor with fans. On top of that, he has masses of raw talent, ability and athleticism. As we know, it takes more than just being a great martial artist at this level now; you have to be the whole package.

But could this be too much too soon for McGregor, or is Dustin Poirer the next to get steamrolled by the hungry Dubliner? Erik Koch is probably the best name on Poirier’s record, and the ATT product also holds a first round knckout win over Diego Brandao. Although he has been fighting for the UFC a lot longer, I wouldn’t say Poirier is that much more experienced than Conor.

One thing about Poirier is that the guy has lost all of his matches against Top 5-ranked opponents thus far. Chan Sung Jung beat him by submission back in 2012, and Cub Swanson scored a unanimous decision win over ‘Diamond’ in 2013 to keep him from breaking into title shot territory. The only difference here is that McGregor is behind Poirier in the rankings.

I do believe that big things lay ahead for McGregor regardless of the outcome of his UFC 178 bout. But how does the UFC keep ‘The Notorious’ in the limelight if he starts getting beaten by Top 10 fighters? I personally think he is a legitimate beast, but we are all wrong sometimes. Will they be able to go to the well with McGregor if he just turns out to be a monster gate keeper? UFC 178 will answer a lot of questions. 

The promotion obviously wants it’s biggest sellers to keep winning, but even squash matches can blow up in the face of match makers. In the featherweight division there are never going to be easy fights, and I imagine it is the hardest category to ‘nurse’ talent in. McGregor will undoubtedly be worth his weight in gold with a win over ‘Diamond’, a loss would be quite the setback in a crowded and talented division.

  • Cmon Lowkick, you guys behaving like the sherdog trolls? Greatness? No, he is not on brink of greatness, He needs to get the belt first by beating the p4p king, Aldo. If McGregor can get to that point and win againt Jose, fine the trolls and media can say whatever goofy goat stuff they want but the conversation should not be in play for a LONG WHILE.

    • All due respect, but who are you to point the troll finger Fresh?

      • Nice article Rory, I asking myself the same questions and I think a lot of hardcore fans do the same.
        Only time will tell us how good McGregor is. One thing for sure he has the mentality of a champion. You need to convince yourself that you are unbeatable to be a champion! Like him or dont!

      • I rarely if ever troll, Rory. I did not say you were a troll, I was saying that sherdog is trolls. No way, McGregor is anything outside of a top 10 prospect right now. There's a big difference between charisma and greatness of a sport.

        • @Fresh The event in Ireland was bigger than anything Dana White had ever seen, plenty of big UFC names said the same too. Without Conor McGregor that event wouldn't have been the same.

          The point I'm trying to make with the article is that he could very well become special in the sport, even if he does lose in his next two fights, which I think he won't.

          Someone who can play a leading role in what was, in my opinion, the best event i've ever witnessed, is quite probably edging on becoming a HUGE star. Hence the title of the article and the content.

    • Look if he gets past Dustin, impressively, then dispatches of another top 5 in brutal fashion, he will be in line for a title in no time.

    • sorry man but if he put it on Dustin will be holy
      shit moment for me he is no joke think he should be ranked higher than he is so a win on Dustin yea thats leap froggin homie

  • Connor is Bisping 2.0. He is overhyped and fed cans so that the UFC can touch the Euro market. Just like Bisping…when he faces legit taint he will fold.

    • If you think Conor is "Overhyped" you are a imbecile. All you have to do is look at Conors highlight reel and look at the way he moves and strikes, he is something special, he is different to other top contenders. The obvious reply for you would be, "Anyone can look good against sub par competition" That is true to a certain extant, but with Conor that is where he was suppose to be, the best all ways rise to the top in those organisations and usually make there way the UFC. Conor needed to earn a fight against a top 10, so did Micheal Bisping. The UFC are not feeding them cans, they got the fights they should of had. Ranking wise it made sense. Conor should never of just been given a fight with Dustin or Cub right of the bat, these 3 fights is exactly what he needed, because if you can't get past Brimage,Hollaway or Brandao you ain't getting anywhere near the top 10.

      • Exactly, Anderson Silva came from cage warriors as well as a champ.

  • Most people were saying Jones wasn't ready for a title shot when he got it. Look how that turned out. Connor could be the next big thing, but its mma so you never know. He could win 10 straight or get hurt and fall in the shadows.

    • not sure who was saying Jones wasn't ready for title shot after he beat Bader. He took out Bonnar, Vera, Matyushenko and Bader convincingly. Yeah, those guys are elite…but they are a far cry from the devasting Holloway and the awesomeness of Brimmage. The combined UFC record of the guys he beat is 11-8. Wow…real world beaters

      • loops meant to say those guys aren't elite

  • I wonder what will happen if Connor loses to dustin. It's a massive fight in Connors career, I think he needs to win and win convincingly then he would be in the door step of great things if he does not win convincingly then his career will slow down and I would hate to think what will happen if he loses.

  • Wow…you guys are REALLY feeding into the hype.

    #1 You are right…you can look great against mid level guys.
    #2 someone please explain how you get in the top 10 without beating a top 15 fighter
    #3 Anderson Silva came from Pride prior to cage warriors and held a win over a UFC champ. Big difference between that and beating Diego Brandao
    #4 Really, we are comparing Connor to Jones now. He might get past Poier….however, after that if the UFC is smart they give him another can….maybe Diego Sanchez. Or he will get a top 5 guy and get mauled.

    • How well did Anderson do in pride again? Cage warriors is legit and Connor had the belt in two divisions. He has shown he is the cream of the crop outside the ufc and that is why he is getting credit. Other guys like Bermudez did not have the same credentials coming into the UFC and did not perform as well coming in to the UFC so they had to work hard while in the UFC to get recognition.