Photo by Damon Martin

Dana White: Conor McGregor Is ‘My Muhammad Ali, He’s My Mike Tyson’

Dana White heaps high praise on Conor McGregor and what he's meant to the UFC since first arriving in the promotion just over five years ago.

Conor McGregor has carved out his own piece of history ever since first arriving in the UFC.

Always outspoken and never afraid to say exactly what’s on his mind, McGregor was making headlines before and after his first fight when he talked about living on social welfare and what it meant to make life changing money by fighting inside the Octagon.

Fast forward five years later and McGregor is one of the most recognized superstars in all of sports on a global level.

McGregor has taken part in several of the UFC’s most profitable pay-per-views including the biggest of all time for his rematch against Nate Diaz in 2016. Last year, McGregor then faced Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match that became the second most successful pay-per-view of all time and the Irishman was making his professional debut.

Now McGregor is poised to return to the cage on Oct. 6 when he faces Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 in a card that’s predicted to sell around two million pay-per-views, which would be yet another record for the company.

When it comes to McGregor’s importance to the sport, UFC president Dana White heaped high praise on the former two-division champion while comparing him to two of the biggest fighters to ever compete in combat sports.

“He’s my [Muhammad] Ali. He’s my [Mike] Tyson,” White told FOX News in a special dedicated to him. “He burst onto the scene and I knew the minute I sat down and had dinner with him that this kid was going to be a star. I didn’t know if he’d be able to fight and I didn’t know if he’d be able to win a title, but I knew he was going to be a star.”

Of course, White’s prediction came true but it’s tough to imagine anybody saw McGregor’s star rising to the heights where he sits today.

McGregor has shattered the glass ceiling for what a mixed martial artist is capable of making financially both inside and outside the Octagon, not to mention his celebrity and recognition is beyond compare to anyone who has ever fought in the UFC outside of perhaps Ronda Rousey.

Regardless of the attention and the money he’s made, McGregor has continued to deliver whenever he fights and he’ll look to shock the world yet again when he faces the undefeated Russian wrecking machine in October.

 

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.
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