It’s a huge weekend for the UFC, as featherweight interim title challengers Conor McGregor and Chad Mendes have set the stage for a huge PPV (pay-per-view) main event at UFC 189. The two feisty competitors have had a long feud heading in t their impromptu meeting in Las Vegas, and the hype rolling in to tonight’s (Saturday July 11th, 2015) is at an all time high. The consensus opinion is that all PPV records for the promotion will be shattered by this momentous main card.
‘The Notorious’ has drawn many comparisons in the past, for instance Jose Aldo prefers to think of his Irish counterpart as a joker, but the boxer from Dublin has been likened to Anderson Silva in his prime, and even boxing GOAT Muhammad Ali. In a recent interview with media at UFC 189 fight week, as captured by Marc Raimondi of MMAFighting, UFC light-heavyweight Daniel Cormier gives his take on the young featherweight phenom:
“Ronda Rousey is the biggest star in the UFC, across all platforms. She’s a movie star. Conor McGregor is the biggest MMA fighter in the world. I will say that without question, because of what he’s done, not only with his mouth but also with his skill inside the Octagon.”
“Calling your shot?” Cormier said. “When you can start doing stuff like that … Muhammad Ali called his shot. Even going all the way back to Babe Ruth calling his shot. When you start calling your shots and you start doing it, people buy into that and they really do attach to you. And that’s what you’re seeing with Conor McGregor. I think in terms of an MMA fighter, not everything else, just in MMA I think Conor McGregor is the biggest star we have in the UFC.”
Only five fights and two years deep in to his UFC career, it’s always been apparent that McGregor is a special fighter, if only because of his uncanny ability to hype himself and sell out arenas of his own choice. That being said, comparisons to an absolute legends that transcend sport, such as Ali and baseball great Babe Ruth, may be a little premature. Cormier continues:
“Some guys you just don’t want to piss off,” Cormier said. “I don’t know. I don’t think you want to piss off Chad Mendes. Chad is tiny, but I don’t want to piss off Chad Mendes.”
“It’s an advantage because Conor seems to be a guy that plays off the crowd,” he said. “He’s a guy that seems to pay attention to that. It’s gonna be on Chad to not pay attention to it. It’s gonna be on Chad to block it out. Because at the end of the day, when they close that cage, it’s only Conor McGregor and Chad Mendes. It doesn’t matter if there’s 25,000 Irish people there and one American. It’s Conor and Chad.”
It was eerie to see American fighters getting booed at the UFC 189 weigh-in show in Las Vegas last night, and that’s a testament to the drawing power of the ‘Notorious’ one. We don’t have much time left to wait now, as the big show is just around the corner!
Stick with us here at LowKickMMA for more pre-UFC 189 hype on fight day!!