BOSTON — This leg of the UFC 189 world tour was supposed to focus on the July 11 fight, but it quickly turned into “The Conor McGregor Show.”
The Dublin native is set to face Jose Aldo in Las Vegas for a chance at the featherweight title, and there was no doubt who the fan favorite was Wednesday night at the Strand Theatre. Aldo faced a crowd that booed nearly every time he spoke, while kids and adults alike fawned over “The Notorious.”
In fact, when one audience member welcomed McGregor back to the city — he was in town for UFC Fight Night at TD Garden in January — the Irishman replied, “It feels so good to be home.”
McGregor’s smack-talking, underdog character resonates with the Boston community, which also boasts a large Irish population. That fact certainly isn’t lost on UFC president Dana White.
“We sold out the Garden the same night the AFC Championship was going on, and the Patriots were playing here in town,” said White, who grew up in New England. “Boston is one of those cities — especially if you’re Irish — they have accepted him and taken him in as one of their own, and he loves it here. And the UFC has been very well received, too. I love this city, so it’s obviously pretty special for me, too.”
Thumbnail photo via Jason Silva/USA TODAY Sports Images