It was just over a year ago when Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White compared featherweight prospect Conor McGregor to former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, prompting most of the mixed martial arts (MMA) media to snicker behind the safety of their laptops.
Present company included!
Well, no one is laughing now, as the “numbers” behind the UFC 178 pay-per-view (PPV) event, which took place last Sat. night (Sept. 27, 2014) inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, were big enough to convince White that McGregor is the new “it” guy.
“He’s a legit force, bigger than I’ve ever seen,” White told Ariel Helwani after the fight. “Bigger than Brock Lesnar. Let’s just say we’re way over budget. The numbers, we attributed it to Conor.”
White also confirmed that McGregor was bigger than “king” Georges St. Pierre.
McGregor (16-2) is now 4-0 — with three finishes — since joining the promotion in April 2013. That includes last Saturday night’s drubbing of No. 5-ranked featherweight contender Dustin Poirier, who crumbled under the Irish onslaught in just under two minutes (replay here).
“Notorious” is big, no question, but the biggest around? Headline-grabbing champion (and former Brock-killer) Ronda Rousey might have something to say about that.