Conor McGregor is easily the most hyped athlete in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. Maybe he deserves it. But there’s always a danger that a man’s true existence may become threatened by the crushing shadow that is cast by his own larger-than-life persona.
In July, Dana White compared McGregor to Ronda Rousey. “I’m telling you, he reminds me of Ronda Rousey,” he said. “Him and his visions remind me of Ronda Rousey.” White called Conor’s fight against Brandao “the greatest fight I’ve ever been to.”
Conor does have that particularly brash Irish vision. He is confident, he is loud, and he is winning. But where do we set the boundary for hyping a man with three fights in the UFC? Why don’t we let Demetrious Johnson give it a try.
“I really, truly appreciate Conor McGregor’s style, his fighting style and the way he talks,” he said on The MMA Hour. “The reason why is because he reminds me of a young Mike Tyson, a young Muhammad Ali, the way he talks.”
“Like, I look at him and I don’t see him talking trash. I look at him and I see him talking (about) what he sees, where he’s like, ‘Dude, I’m way faster, I move way better than you do, you’re slow, I’m going to hit you hard,’ which I believe all these things that he says are true. Like, I believe that his fighting style is good, he understands fighting and, not taking anything away from Dustin Poirier, Dustin Poirier is a huge test, I can appreciate somebody who can talk that stuff and he’ll go in there and he’ll back it up.”
To be clear, Mighty Mouse thinks Conor talks like Tyson and Ali, and can back it up.
I wish he hadn’t done that, but someone was bound to. After all, Ronda sort of compared herself to Tyson just a month ago. “Mike Tyson had some serious competition too, don’t forget. It wasn’t always easy,” she said. “People knew from those fights to get there immediately. You never know what’s going to happen in one of my fights, either.”
Perhaps all these casual references to iconic boxers rubs you the wrong way. But consider this: If Ali is like Tyson, and Tyson is like Ronda, and Ronda is like Conor, it all makes sense.