Is Conor McGregor The Next Featherweight Champion In The Making?

Conor McGregor is on fire at the minute, riding a ten fight win streak and fighting for the biggest MMA show in the world. A lot of people have been talking about him, and he rode the Orient Express of hype in the lead up to his UFC FN 26 bout. The fight, in which he fought Max Holloway, marked the first time that the Irish Phenom has ever seen a judge’s scorecard.

His knockout win against Marcus Brimage was testament to the raw talent that C Mac (?) possesses. Looking to MMA greats such as Anderson Silva, Jon Jones, Jose Aldo, and Cain Velasquez leads me to wonder if we are seeing the birth of the next MMA superstar.

With the recent emergence of Chris Weidman as a dominant talent, it really can seem to happen out of the blue. The MMA world moves very quickly, and fighters who were once considered unbeatable become ousted from their top spot in the blink of an eye.

A long tenure as the world number one is a rare sight in MMA, mainly due to the incredibly short shelf life of a professional fighter. The sport really takes it’s toll and fighters noticeably get slower or more vulnerable in a very short time span.

With McGregor tearing it up at Featherweight, and Jose Aldo becoming more injury prone and considering going to 155; could we be seeing the rise of the next 145lb. kingpin?

Truthfully, I think we just might be. First and foremost he is an animal in the cage, secondly he is very marketable for the UFC, and thirdly he has time on his side. At the age of 25, McGregor has compiled a 14-2 record over a five-year career.

In reference to my second point, C Mac has an entire country behind him, which makes him a huge sell for the UFC (who are yet to properly break in to the sports market over here). His cage savvy and skills are natural, unforced and he has that killer instinct.

I also think that Aldo’s decline as a champion has already begun(at least at 145). He has started to show cracks, only ever so slightly, physically in the cage. Injuries are becoming more commonplace for the long time FW boss, and his cardio has been suspect for a while now. All the above are likely down to his savage weight cuts, which he needs to stop. I think it makes sense for Aldo to move up.

I’m not saying that McGregor could beat Aldo or Edgar or any of the top five in a fight now, but by the time C Mac can build up some good wins; Aldo will have been fighting for 10+ years as a pro. He may have retired or moved up, and suddenly it is no longer a one horse race at FW. It’s all about the timing. Conor can build a good head of steam if he can continue his streak and, in a sport so fickle, he could well be a P4P great by then.

I don’t know, maybe seeing Anderson Silva knocked out has brought out the realist side of me.



20 Comments

  1. Profile photo of Ivy

    Ivy

    August 20, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    Steven "Wonderboy" Thompson was practically christened the WW champion of the world BEFORE the end of his first fight (whilst fighting a can) by Rogan/Goldberg, and then his very next fight he lost to Matt Brown. I'm growing tired of the HYPE around these newcomers. Let them prove themselves in the UFC before anyone puts the cart before the horse.

    • Profile photo of Rory Kernaghan

      Rory Kernaghan

      August 20, 2013 at 7:27 pm

      thompson had five fights before his ufc debut, mcgregor is a multi weight mma champion with 16 pro fights. theres a huge difference

      • Profile photo of thexperience1

        thexperience1

        August 20, 2013 at 8:25 pm

        I still don't see it…. "Not yet"… he's good but not great! Need to see a couple more SOLID wins in the UFC and he doesn't stand a chance in hell against Aldo. Not yet anyway…. Potential is there though and I like him a lot so hopefully he keeps performing well.

        • Profile photo of Entity

          Entity

          August 20, 2013 at 8:58 pm

          I'll say he's all that and a stuffed animal if he gives me tickets. Yea, thats what I say.

          • Profile photo of gm1

            gm1

            August 21, 2013 at 5:06 am

            His past Wins have been either TKO or KO. THe only thing is that there are against nobodies except the past 1 or 2 in the UFC. Even those wins have not been against anyone in top 5 maybe 10 in UFC rankings. His only 2 pro loses were via submission which tells me he is a dominent stand up fighter. taking him to the ground is his weakness. How much of a weakness is the question. People need to STHU about him being great. They did that about Jake Shields coming to UFC and since 2011, he is just another figher in the company.

      • Profile photo of dana&patrick; star are 1 person

        dana&patrick; star are 1 person

        August 20, 2013 at 11:01 pm

        i think mcgregor is good but i think his far from the belt, he needs to have a convincing win first and finishes.

      • Profile photo of HunterB

        HunterB

        August 21, 2013 at 10:36 am

        I'm sorry Rory but have you even looked at the guy your talking about's record? He has only faced 5 legit competitors based on their records. I say based on their records, as 3 of the guys im mentioning are also what you call "can crushers". The Majority of McGregors wins (11 out of 16) have come from sub.500 comp., if not absolute losing records.

        There is no difference in the hype that is around thkis guy, than any other previous "next big thing".

        I know this is the best fighter Ireland has to offer, but ********christ kids. Hes Hyped with a padded record. Lost to 2 of the only legit guys he faced.

  2. Profile photo of Fluidity

    Fluidity

    August 20, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    In my opinion he's very good but not great. I don't ever see him beat the best of the best. Plus he was gettin kicked in the leg a lot in his last fight and didn't seem to want to check those kicks. Against Aldo that would be fatal. But we shall see how he evolves.

    • Profile photo of IGMBurninPiff

      IGMBurninPiff

      August 20, 2013 at 9:08 pm

      Yea the way he stands leaves his legs open at all times. Hollaway looked overwhelmed early on otherwise I think that could have been a closer fight. McGregor looked real good definitely, but he needs to fight overall better competition before I'll say he's going to be the next dominant star. He reminded me of a Diaz with a far more diverse striking arsenal.

  3. Profile photo of Mike Drahota

    Mike Drahota

    August 20, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    His striking looked crisp. Big arsenal too. Bit too much showmanship though, I know he had the pressure of all the Irish fans on his back and the injury. I thought Holloway almost had him with that late head kick.

  4. Profile photo of N.C.

    N.C.

    August 20, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    Aldo's problem is his size. Ive even posted a photo of how big he is. Hes the same size as GSP if not bigger between fights. Weight cutting in your early 20's is completely different then yourlate 20's and early 30's.

    I also feel sorry for the guys being hyped. Its become the kiss of death for these poor fighters. How about we let him beat 2 top 10's and then we start talking about NEXT champ. Especially since Aldo is starting to get recognized as a P4P top 3 guy now.

    • Profile photo of falcon4917

      falcon4917

      August 21, 2013 at 8:41 am

      He is not anywhere near GSPs size. He's 3 inches shorter and has 6 inches shorter reach. Trust me your seeing things. Hes maybe as big as some at 155 but not at 170. GSP is is as big as some 185ers.

      • Profile photo of HunterB

        HunterB

        August 21, 2013 at 10:30 am

        185ers that cut from 195? because thats where GSP walks at. 195lb, 185ers are unheard of. No one as world class levels cut that few of pounds.

        The amateur fighters in my gym cut more weight than that

        • Profile photo of falcon4917

          falcon4917

          August 21, 2013 at 2:08 pm

          GSP also stays in shape all the time unlike most fighters. He said it's one of his stand alone attributes in that he never comes out of fighting shape. Aldo is much smaller than him. GSP has been to 200 even with that attitude, he could easily blow 200 barrier if he was like most fighters. Walk around weight is trivial. I know he's not like Anthony Johnson but Aldo is a dwarf in comparison. GSP couldn't make 145 if he laid his life down for annorexia.

  5. Profile photo of enjoylife321

    enjoylife321

    August 21, 2013 at 7:02 am

    Talk about blow a gasket, the Connor Mc Gregor hype is bordering on media molestation.
    Anyone would think he is bigger than Anderson Silva or Jon Jones.

  6. Profile photo of tooslinky

    tooslinky

    August 21, 2013 at 7:19 am

    im irish. i live 35 muin drive from where conor trains and lives. went to dublin yesterday with my gf for a day out. the air smelt different. the place looked different. he is here and he has made his mark for his new home. watch soon one of the greatest fighters to ever live walk aldo down before your eyes. you heard it here first. gudluck ya bollox's :)

  7. Profile photo of Jamie Kennedy

    Jamie Kennedy

    August 21, 2013 at 8:37 am

    I heard of this guy a while ago but only seen him fight recently, very impressive. He's great to watch and he's very charismatic, in and out of the cage. He has a ton of potential, his striking is very crisp and he's a good counter puncher. He showcased some ground skills the other night against holloway despite the knee injury.

    That said, he needs a few more fights to develop and climb the ranks. There are so many good potential fights for this guy, Swanson, Brandao, Zombie etc. He's quickly became one of my favourites and I expect good things from him in the future.

    UFC is coming back to Ireland next year, and McGregor will have the support of Ireland behind him. Can't wait.

  8. Profile photo of falcon4917

    falcon4917

    August 21, 2013 at 8:48 am

    UI am biased so I will throw out my instant desire to see him talked about as the next champ and weigh in realistically on my point of view. He simply has not yet proven he can be champ yet. Saying that, his striking seems at the very highest level and could very well pose problems for Aldo or anyone in the division as it will be near impossible to mimmick him in training which is a huge advantage. But I think Aldo will muscle him to the ground if it gets dangerous standing for him and he is a serious threat on the ground that Connor does not seem likely to be able to handle. In my opinion Connor will likely win his way to a title shot sooner or later but he will need an upgraded ground game against Aldo or else extreme TDD. But if we think about it, Conor is the next big thing in MMA because everyone and I mean everyone will be tuning in to see if he is the ONE.

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