Conor McGregor Era In Full Swing After Boston Beatdown Of Dennis Siver


January 19, 2015

BOSTON — Donald Cerrone struggled to hold back laughter. Paddy Holohan grinned gleefully. Uriah Hall simply closed his eyes and shook his head.

Sunday night had turned to Monday morning by this point, but deep in the bowels of TD Garden, the Conor McGregor show was just beginning.

McGregor was the main attraction of UFC Fight Night 59 — a brash, supremely confident Dublin native with expert fighting skill and the backing of a boisterous pro-Irish crowd — and he delivered in every way in his headlining bout against Dennis Siver.

The 26-year-old McGregor easily handled the much older Siver, battering the German’s face in the first round with strike after strike before putting him away with a second-round TKO. It wasn’t the two-minute knockout McGregor had predicted, but it was seriously impressive, nonetheless.

Once again, his performance backed up his talk. But that didn’t mean the talking had to stop.

“It’s tradition,” McGregor told the assembled media after the fight, plastic cup of $20,000-a-bottle whiskey in hand. “I remove a head. I bring it backstage. I place it on Mr. (Lorenzo) Fertitta and Mr. (Dana) White’s desk. ‘Here you go, boss. Another one done.’ And then we discuss big business.”

That big business now will take McGregor to the fighting capital of the world, Las Vegas, where he will battle reigning champion Jose Aldo for the UFC featherweight title. McGregor wasted no time in lobbing shots his next opponent’s way, both in the immediate aftermath of the fight (he hopped the chain-link fence to confront Aldo as soon as the horn sounded) and in his presser.

“Now, Jose is next in line,” he said. “And he will be the next to learn that it’s not all talk, and it’s no joke.”

McGregor later called Aldo a “little, skinny Brazilian” and a few other choice names that aren’t suitable for print.

The Irishman’s resounding victory and ensuing theatrics put a bow on an exhilarating night of UFC action that also featured wins by fan favorites in Cerrone, Holohan, Cathal Pendred and Peabody, Mass., native Charles Rosa.

The 12-bout card directly coincided with the New England Patriots’ AFC Championship Game down the road in Foxboro (like McGregor, they prevailed in dominant fashion), creating a bit of a dilemma for Boston sports fans hoping to catch both the fight and the game.

Regardless, UFC president Dana White declared the night a smashing success, as 13,828 fans packed the Garden, making this the best-attended UFC event ever held in the city.

“This is a sold-out — this is a record-breaking gate here for the TD Garden in Boston on the weekend that the football is on, and we still sell that (expletive) out,” McGregor boasted. “… That stuff doesn’t happen over on this side of the pond.”

Such is the power of the McGregor effect. Love him or hate him, his presence turns any event into must-see TV.

McGregor knows this. White knows this. Boston now knows it, too.

“Conor was amazing (Sunday night),” White said. “He is the real deal. You saw it; you know exactly what I’m saying. My phone was blowing up with people saying, ‘Holy (expletive), this kid’s the real deal.’ ”

Holy (expletive), indeed.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images

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