BOSTON — There’s no denying Conor McGregor is a hype machine.
The 26-year-old fighter has fully embraced his spectacular rise in the UFC, as his popularity and prominence seem to only grow with each passing day. McGregor will have a chance to cement his spot at the top Sunday with a win over Dennis Siver at UFC Fight Night 59, but that’s only the beginning for the Irishman.
McGregor, rocking a Boston Celtics stocking cap, put on a show for his dedicated fans at Thursday’s open workout at UFC Gym, going for a full 45 minutes while the other three fighters who went before him (Donald Cerrone, Benson Henderson and Siver) spent just 15 minutes or less in the cage.
And in case it wasn’t clear McGregor is the next big thing in fighting, even UFC president Dana White showed up specifically to see the Irishman, who told the crowd with a smile, “The boss man’s here.”
White has confirmed that if McGregor defeats Siver, he’ll be given a chance to fight defending champion Jose Aldo for the UFC featherweight title. That’s certainly on McGregor’s mind, as he held up two prop belts at the gym and told a Brazilian reporter, “Tell Jose I want that spit-shined.”
“I was playing with a lovely Brazilian reporter who I’ve met numerous times, who’s Aldo’s No. 1 fan,” McGregor explained to reporters after his workout. “So I was just playing, but I don’t look past anyone, I look through them. The goal at the end of the day is more titles.”
McGregor’s unceasing confidence no doubt has played a role in his newfound international stardom, as he has fought just four times in the UFC, but he managed to basically sell out TD Garden on the same night the New England Patriots will play the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game down the road in Foxboro.
White confirmed a handful of tickets still are available, but the fight already has sold more tickets than the UFC has ever in Boston.
Not to mention it isn’t often that two European fighters (Siver was born in Russia) headline a show in the United States, but it’s just another day in the great life of McGregor.
“That’s unbelievable, but it’s also already smashed the record for (selling out) the TD Garden, so that’s another feather in my cap,” he said. “I enjoy record-breaking. It’s a pastime of mine.”
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@SpecReplay