Conor McGregor is the biggest star in MMA, and arguably the biggest star in combat sports outright. It’s for this reason that he’s become the highest paid fighter in MMA history. This is also why he might just be allowed to break from his current UFC contract and battle boxing great Floyd Mayweather in the boxing ring.
The latest indicator of McGregor’s incredible stardom is his inclusion in TIME Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people on earth. McGregor, who currently holds the UFC lightweight title, made the list under the Pioneers branch, alongside names like Chance the Rapper, Jordan Peele, Yuriko Koike, Glenda Gray and Riz Ahmed. McGregor was nominated for a spot on this list by bodybuilder-turned-actor-turned-politician, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
See what Arnie had to say about McGregor below:
“Conor McGregor is more than a fighter, more than an athlete, more than a champion—although, as the first person in the history of the Ultimate Fighting Championship to hold titles in two weight divisions at once, he is clearly all of those things. Conor is also the rare personality who has become bigger than his sport. That lean, compact body must struggle to keep his enormous character inside.
From the first time I met Conor, I knew he wasn’t the type of star you could box into one category. Since I’ve gotten to know him, I can tell you that what you see on the screen—the now familiar face of mixed martial arts—just scratches the surface. The Dublin native is razor-sharp, disciplined and charismatic. His energy is absolutely contagious, to the point where you almost start shouting in an Irish accent after 30 seconds of hearing that world-famous mouth.
Conor has a fire in his belly that can’t be quenched with championship belts. There are no brakes that can stop his engine.”
What do you think of McGregor’s placement on this prestigious list?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/20/2017.