UFC CEO & Chairman Lorenzo Fertitta usually keeps his comments to himself but he couldn’t hold back his glaring praise for Conor McGregor.
“I hate even saying this, but with his gift of gab and his athletic ability and fighting ability, it’s almost like the Irish Muhammad Ali in a way,” Fertitta says. “To compare anybody to Ali is kind of stupid because of all the other great things that were associated with him from a social movement and everything else. But Conor has just got that sparkle, that thing to him.
“Wherever he goes – whether we put him on TV, whether he’s doing an interview, whether he’s around a group of people – he just is the center of attention. He’s got that special quality, and for a guy that’s fought in the UFC four times to have the interest of GQ Magazine, Men’s Health, ESPN? He’s got it.”
We all know that UFC President Dana White has taken a liking to the irish superstar and he reminds us of his thoughts often:
“What he has is unbelievable confidence in himself, and when he sits in a room with you, you start to believe everything he’s saying, too,” White says. “And he has a really good gift of explaining and breaking down a fight and how a fight is going to go and why it’s going to happen. It’s hard to argue with the kid.
“He is also so good at stirring up the hate with the other fighters. He’s so very good at doing that.”
White says Conor has the potential to unite a culture here in the states, he believes he can do for the irish community what De La Hoya did for the Mexican community in the 90s.
“Mickey Rourke has been blowing me up about this fight,” White says. “Mickey Rourke is coming. Mickey Ward is coming. All the Irish guys are coming out. It’s big.
“When you look at the hubs of Chicago and New York and Philadelphia, the Irish movement with a Conor McGregor can be as big and powerful as the Hispanic movement was with Oscar De La Hoya back in the day. It hasn’t really happened yet, but the Irish population in the U.S. and the U.K. and all over the world is pretty unbelievable.”
Conor will have to prove that he is once again worth all of this hype when he fights Denis Siver on Sunday. If he can beat Siver he will be inline for a title shot against champion Jose Aldo.