Conor “Notorious” McGregor may have just 3 UFC fights under his belt, but the Irishman should be on everyone’s radar. With 13 knockouts in 15 wins, McGregor has serious power. The featherweight (145) division is not as loaded as others, which gives McGregor a great chance of moving up the ranks quickly. Champion Jose Aldo (24-1) is in need of foes he has not beaten yet, and McGregor looks like a formidable challenge.
McGregor does not think much of Aldo, as he has labelled the champ “basic” in the past. McGregor walks around with a certain swagger that may not appeal to everyone, but certainly gets people talking. He is not afraid to speak his mind. Recently, McGregor talked about meeting hip hop mogul P. Diddy, and admitted to wanting to punch him. He was caught on video in the background of the Jones-Cormier press conference brawl with a smile on his face. The guy just has a knack for getting his name out there.
Jose Aldo does not think much of McGregor, having referred to him disparagingly as “another Chael Sonnen (28-14-1)”. Chael managed to get three title fights and become one of the biggest names in MMA with a modest professional record. Sonnen was pound-for-pound the best trash talker in the sport for several years. Being “another Chael” is not necessarily the worst thing in the world. Chael fell short when it came to came to backing up the trash talk, but McGregor seems to have “the goods” needed to succeed.
At only 26, Conor is likely not yet even in his prime. He still has plenty of time to improve his skills, and become an even greater threat to Aldo’s supremacy at 145. A September 27 showdown with Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier (16-3) at UFC 178 could be a coming out party for McGregor, especially with the rest of the card looking so poor. Conor has the ability to draw fans in whether they love him or hate him, and is already becoming a star in his own right. His fight with Poirier is getting billed over the return of former bantamweight (135) titlist Dominick “The Dominator” Cruz (19-1), who has been off for nearly three years battling injuries. The fact that McGregor is billed above Cruz on the 178 card says a lot about his marketability.
Jose Aldo may be simply too good for McGregor. This would not be the first time Aldo outclassed an opponent. But McGregor may just have what it takes to hand the Brazilian his first loss in almost a decade. The UFC currently has a shortage of stars, and McGregor could help to fill the void. Notorious is a fitting nickname for McGregor, who has already made a name for himself by his actions in and out of the octagon since joining the UFC last year. Win or lose, fans will tune in to see the spectacle that is Conor McGregor.