Conor McGregor: Despite Impressive UFC FN 26 Win, Rising Fighter Knows “What I Can Do”
By Kelsey Mowatt
Although critics will point out that Conor McGregor has yet to fight one of the UFC’s top featherweights, and rightfully so, it’s hard to argue that the Irish fighter didn’t match the hype that accompanied him heading into UFC FN 26. McGregor came out to a roaring crowd last night in Boston, and proceeded to entertain fans by picking away at Max Holloway with an impressive array of punches and kicks. Although Holloway deserves credit for staying in the fight and testing McGregor on several occasions, the latter emerged with the unanimous decision win.
Immediately following the bout, McGregor informed UFC commentator Joe Rogan that he had hurt his knee in the fight, and cited the injury as a reason why he failed to finish the bout. While detractors may point to the decision win as evidence that McGregor is overrated, if they’ve seen what Holloway has done thus far in the UFC, it’s hard to imagine why. Not only has Holloway impressed in his UFC tenure to date, but it’s worth noting that the fighter is just 21 years old.
Now all that said, McGregor made it clear after the fight that he’s not happy with how his second UFC bout went down.
“I don’t care what anyone in my weight class thinks,” McGregor said in the post fight press conference. I know what I can do and I know what I do in the gym day in and day out. Another thing people are saying is you got three rounds in. I don’t give a f–k about getting three rounds in. I do three hundred rounds a week. You know what I mean?”
McGregor made his UFC debut in April and quickly took out Marcus Brimage to record his 13th pro win. McGregor’s arrival in the UFC was met with much anticipation, due to the fact that the 25 year-old had recorded 11 stoppage wins before signing with the promotion.
“So I wanted the finish,” McGregor added. “I’m looking to get paid here. We get looked after when we finish. This promotion wants finishes. You know what I mean? And that’s what I’m looking for. These custom made suits aren’t cheap. This solid gold pocket watch; three people died making this watch, so I need to put people away. I need them big fights or I’m going to end up debt pretty fast. I’m looking to hurrry it along and finish everyone.”
Prior to the event, Dana White repeatedly commented on the amount of attention and hype McGregor was receiving. While of course, as a promoter, it’s not surprising to hear White hype one his fighters, but it’s hard to deny the buzz that’s surrounding McGregor. In addition to his aggressive approach and vaunted striking, the prospect is also adept at promoting himself and saying things the promotion and fans want to hear.
“I love that attitude,” White relayed about McGregor according to MMA Junkie.com. “He’s pissed off he didn’t finish. Some guys will sit up here and go, ‘Eh, well, I won.’ No. He’s pissed at himself that he didn’t finish. Are you kidding me?”
“Why am I promoting this kid? Why am I getting behind him? Because I love what he’s about.”
Now it will be interesting to see who the UFC matches McGregor up next, not only in terms of ranking, but stylistically speaking as well. By early indications, 2014 could be a big year for McGregor and Irish MMA.