McGregor fueled by rapid success

Less than two years ago, Conor McGregor collected his final social welfare check in his native Ireland just days before making his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut.

That same guy was more than an hour late getting from his Presidential Suite at the Red Rock Resort to a meeting with reporters at the UFC offices on Sahara Avenue on Friday because he was with a tailor who was designing custom suits for him, complete with his initials monogrammed on the sleeves.

McGregor has become one of the biggest stars in the organization after dispatching three opponents in a span of 16 months, including an 11-month layoff because of a torn ACL.

The next step in his rapid ascent through the featherweight division comes Saturday when McGregor makes his pay-per-view debut against Dustin Poirier on the UFC 178 card at the MGM Grand.

The bout is not the main event, but it would be impossible to tell based on the way McGregor is being promoted leading up to the fight. The UFC is clearly banking on McGregor to carry the event and he’s just fine with that.

“Pay per view is where it’s at. You want them big, big paychecks, you have to bring in the big numbers. This is my start on that,” he said. “I feel like this is the beginning of the takeover. I’m going to take over the pay-per-view game. This whole game is mine.”

McGregor is just as comfortable boasting about his talent as he is his popularity.

“I’m only scratching the surface skill-wise and I already feel like I’m better than everyone,” he said.

McGregor has a camera crew following him around at all times. A network in his native Ireland did a one-hour special on him last year and McGregor said the numbers were “through the roof.” When TV executives requested six more episodes, McGregor demanded an executive producer title.

“People are fascinated by this story. Nobody has ever seen anyone like me,” he said. “Nobody from the nation of Ireland has ever come out of the gate throwing shots like I throw, speaking how I speak, dressing the way I dress. I could go on.”

He insists his meteoric rise to wealth and stardom has only made him work harder.

“You walk into that Presidential Suite (at the Red Rock) and the marble floors are warm. Have you ever walked on a marble floor in your bare feet? It feels phenomenal,” he said. “These are the types of things that drive me to the gym. That fires me up. I want that every single second of my life.

“It does nothing but push me on further.”

McGregor will put his 11-fight winning streak on the line against Poirier on Saturday night. The card is headlined by a flyweight title bout between Chris Cariaso and champion Demetrious Johnson.

WEIDMAN HURT — UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman sustained a hand injury during training and has been forced to withdraw from a scheduled Dec. 6 title defense against Vitor Belfort.

Belfort broke the news on social media, stating he believes the fight will now take place in February. UFC president Dana White later confirmed that timeline. He said Weidman suffered a hairline fracture that will require a cast for four weeks.

Welterweight champion Johny Hendricks will now defend the belt against top contender Robbie Lawler in the main event of UFC 181 at Mandalay Bay on Dec. 6.

UFC 181 also features Gilbert Melendez challenging lightweight champion Anthony Pettis.

All four title participants in the two UFC 181 title bouts will appear at a press conference on Friday at the Premier Ballroom at MGM Grand. It is free and open to the public, beginning at 2 p.m.

JONES, CORMIER TO FACE COMMISSION — UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and top contender Daniel Cormier will face the Nevada Athletic Commission Tuesday to answer for their roles in a brawl between the two fighters during a press conference in the lobby of the MGM Grand last month.

Disciplinary action against the fighters is possible.

The two were promoting a fight that was supposed to take place Saturday night, but was cancelled just days after the skirmish in Las Vegas due to an injury suffered by Jones in training.

Both fighters are expected to attend today’s meeting, which is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. at the Grant Sawyer Building.

HUNT HEADLINES WITH KO WIN — Heavyweight Mark Hunt knocked out Las Vegan Roy Nelson in the second round of UFC Fight Night 52 in Saitama, Japan on Saturday.

Lightweight prospect Myles Jury improved to 15-0 with a first-round knockout of Japanese star Takanori Gomi.

Also, top women’s bantamweight contender Miesha Tate won a unanimous decision over Rin Nakai and Yoshihiro Akiyama won all three rounds of a welterweight bout against Amir Sadollah.

Contact reporter Adam Hill at or 702-224-5509. Follow him on Twitter: @adamhilllvrj.

Covering The Cage Videos
Covering The Cage: Live Interview With Elias Theodorou
Covering The Cage host Heidi Fang talks with Elias Theodorou to preview UFC on Fox and becoming a ring boy.
Covering the Cage: Roy Nelson interview
Adam Hill and Heidi Fang talk about the world of MMA as well as interview heavyweight Roy Nelson.
Covering the Cage: Feb. 6 Facebook Live
Adam Hill and Heidi Fang discuss UFC Fight Night 125 as well as preview UFC 221 and UFC 222.
Covering The Cage: Ronda Rousey joins WWE; UFC on Fox 27 recap
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang discuss Ronda Rousey’s move to WWE and recap UFC on Fox 27.
Covering the Cage: Jordan Rinaldi, UFC on Fox 27 preview
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang talk to fighter Jordan Rinaldi about his upcoming fight and preview the rest of UFC on Fox 27.
Covering The Cage Live: UFC 220 and Bellator 192 Recap
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang recap UFC 220 and Bellator 192.
Covering the Cage: Recapping 2017
Heidi Fang and Adam Hill go over their favorite moments of 2017 and pick their favorite fight, knockout and submission of the year.
Covering The Cage: UFC 219 Recap
Covering The Cage hosts Adam Hill and Heidi Fang recap tonights fights at UFC 219.
Covering The Cage: UFC 219 Picks
Covering The Cage hosts Adam Hill and Heidi Fang give their picks for the main card fights at UFC 219.
Covering The Cage: UFC 219 Preview
Covering the Cage hosts Adam Hill and Heidi Fang preview UFC 219 including Cris Cyborg and Holly Holm.
UFC 219 media day staredowns
Ahead of UFC 219's pay-per-view on Dec. 30, the stars of the main card faced off at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Cris "Cyborg" Justino will face Holly Holm in the main event for the women's featherweight belt.
Covering the Cage: UFC fighter Julian Marquez talks debut victory
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang talk with UFC fighter Julian Marquez. They discuss the beard competition between Marquez and Tyron Woodley, and the unexpected passing of longtime MMA coach and trainer Robert Follis.
Covering the Cage: Julian Marquez interview
Adam Hill and Heidi Fang talk about all things going on in the world of MMA and talk to Julian Marquez about his upcoming fight in Winnipeg.
Covering The Cage Live: UFC 218 Recap, TUF 26
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang recap The Ultimate Fighter 26 and UFC 218.
Covering The Cage: TUF 26 Recap, UFC 218 Preview
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang recap The Ultimate Fighter and preview UFC 218.
Covering the Cage: UFC 218, TUF 26 Finale preview
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang make their picks for the "The Ultimate Fighter" Season 26 Finale and UFC 218. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Covering the Cage: Kyra Batara interview
Adam Hill and Heidi Fang talk to Combate Americas Womens Atomweight Kyra Batara about her upcoming fight in San Antonio as well as Conor McGregor's potential incident at a bar and UFC 218.
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like