UFC never fails to amuse you. Similar to the unexpected twists and turns of the sport itself, the promotion doesn’t cease to surprise us with its unpredictability.
Just like Conor McGregor’s rise to glory wasn’t what everyone had pictured for the naïve, blonde-haired lad, his fall from grace was just as jolting. A rising prodigy that rocked the European region with his unprecedented artistry in the sport saw his fame spiraling down in just a matter of two years.
The Notorious rose to a new level of stardom that none of the artists had come close to. From dispatching the most gruesome defeats to belting up accolades from two divisions, the Irish native added a new dimension to the sport. However, it wasn’t just always about what Conor McGregor was capable of doing inside the cage. His persona is a unique combination of knack and near the knuckles that he boasts often, making him the most talked-about artist in MMA.
And yet, there are some people who still think that Conor McGregor could have more fame in his plate.
Amongst that camp is UFC’s President Dana White.
While talking to the media, Dana White said that former lightweight and featherweight champion was one of the most underrated artists in UFC.
According to White,
“In my opinion, and it’s crazy to say this because of how popular [McGregor] is around the world, but he’s one of the most underrated fighters in the UFC. Everybody thinks because he speaks so well and gets so crazy and everything, it makes him sort of less of a fighter. It’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen. When you talk about pound-for-pound best in the world, this is the guy who’s living proof of actual pound-for-pound.”
While there have been many feuds about considering McGregor’s influence lesser than Floyd Mayweather in boxing’s realm, plainly suggesting that the Notorious is underrated in MMA is a bolt from blue.
This calls for some introspective for the true identity of the fighter who has not failed to drop jaws at every given opportunity – inside and outside the octagon. Is the façade of “Mystic Mac” so overpowering that his die-hard fans have failed to recognize the lustre of this prowess?
White may have chosen the right timing for voicing his opinion – weeks prior to his comeback to the cage to rumble against the reigning champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. Similar discussions were made before the Notorious’ showdown against Eddie Alvarez and Chad Mendes.
Despite the contrasting views from the fighters or the promotion about the potential of McGregor, there are some who religiously believed in his ability. A closing favourite on most occasions, this is the first time the Irishman would be squaring off with someone of his own size. Right now the southpaw artist ranks at -175 favourite. Once UFC starts controlling the reins of the upcoming UFC 229, things would get brighter for the 30-year-old fighter.
Yet, the question remains as to why the au fait is considered an underdog at all?
Entering the cage with Nurmagomedov would be the most unnerving challenges the Mystic Mac has faced thus far. The undefeated champ with all the experience from his previous ordeals and his unmatched grappling skills is something that could hit his Hercules heel, though the Irishman has handled onerous situations before.
While it’s true that McGregor has never faced someone of his caliber, it is also fair to say that Nurmagomedov hasn’t come across someone as frightening as the Irishman. The best of MMA will be facing each other, seesawing on the board of UFC to get their names jotted down in gold. The cage lights would certainly sear into their matchless potential, a test that the Russian hasn’t taken before.
But perhaps, it is something that notoriously famous Conor is prepared to experience.
What do you think about McGregor’s caliber in comparison to Khabib’s adeptness inside the cage? Share your views here.