UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor is undoubtably one of the most polarizing figures in the MMA world due to his brash persona, as well as incredible volume of trash talk. While McGregor has been criticized for his constant trash talk of fighters, his fighting persona has brought an incredible amount of attention to the sport of MMA, aiding him in setting Pay-Per View records, and setting records for UFC events with the highest gate.
Ahead of UFC 205, where McGregor has the chance to make history and become the first simultaneous 2-division UFC champion with a win over UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez, UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier believes McGregor is to the UFC, what ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin was to the WWE.
He spoke to The Sun:
“He brings more eyes. I think he is the anti-hero. He is Stone Cold Steve Austin from 2000. The guy that you’re supposed to kinda root against, but you want to root for. Everything that he does before would have gotten people to boo you. But it’s like they’ve taken to it. It’s something so different that what they’re used to seeing the people love it. I think it’s fine”,
“It sells. It’s good for the sport. You gotta have our bad boys and our good guys. He brings a lot of attention to the sport and we need that. We need that to make sure we keep the fans entertained and wanting to see us fight. He brings a lot of attention to the sport and we need that. We need that to make sure we keep the fans entertained and wanting to see us fight”, Johnson said.
“Like I used to tell people when they used to ask about Tito Ortiz. I’m like you’re gonna pay to see the man fight because you want to see him either win, or you want to see him lose. He talks it and he backs it up. And Conor does the same thing. He’s working magic for the UFC”, the 32-year-old added.
Cormier is currently slated to fight Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson in a highly anticipated rematch at UFC 206 in Toronto, Canada, in a fight which will serve as Cormier’s second title defense.