Conor McGregor, GSP and Brock Lesnar in the same sentence…..
UFC 178 marked the start of some seriously big fights for Irish featherweight Conor McGregor; the outspoken contender made a statement in the octagon by smashing #5 ranked Dustin Poirier in less than two minutes. Truth be told, “The Notorious” has been big news for a while now, as UFC president Dana White acknowledges.
White spoke about McGregor during the post-fight show on FOX, as transcribed by MMAJunkie.com, and he says that “The Notorious” is already more of a star than two of the UFC’s biggest draws:
“Conor McGregor is the real deal – he is legit. He is a force that I have never seen ever. Bigger than Brock Lesnar when he was here. Bigger than any of the fighters we’ve ever had. Yes, (he’s bigger than Georges St-Pierre). I’ve never seen anything like this.”
It’s worth noting that many people, including White and numerous MMA media outlets and fighters, described UFC Fight Night 46 as the best event of all time. McGregor headlined that event, but also sealed himself in as one of the biggest draws today, breaking domestic viewing records and further getting his name known. White continues:
“Was a nation behind GSP when GSP started?” White asked. “Let me tell you this. We’re way over (projections for UFC 178). The numbers, Lorenzo and I were talking about it, and we contribute it all to Conor McGregor. This whole Conor McGregor thing has been very fascinating to me. (When) I went over to Ireland, I received that award from Trinity College, and literally all I heard was Conor McGregor the whole time I was over there.”
“I came back here and I was like, ‘Who the hell is this kid? Let’s get this kid signed.’ So we signed him and he came out to Las Vegas, and we went and ate and hung out a little bit. I told (UFC CEO) Lorenzo (Fertitta), ‘If this kid can even fight this much, this much, if he can even throw a punch, this kid is going to be (something special).’ It’s bigger than anything I’ve ever seen before. It’s crazy. It’s bigger than anything I’ve ever seen.”
Are we witnessing the next pound-for-pound king rising through the ranks, or is White stirring the pot for the good of hyping McGregor? Either way, you can’t deny that the Irish bad boy has been living up to his word. He did dispatch of the number five ranked featherweight in the world last night, and made it look like nothing.
Has anyone had their minds changed by McGregor’s UFC 178 performance, or would you agree with White’s assessment of the Irishman’s potential? Remember that Georges ST-Pierre was once the UFC’s poster boy as their welterweight champion, but also he and Brock Lesnar are ranked very high in the promotion’s PPV rankings…