A suite overlooking the Bellagio fountains on the Las Vegas strip, a ride in Ferrari convertible and a birthday dinner with UFC president Dana White, isn’t the way most 25-year-olds can say they celebrated. Where Dublin, Ireland native Conor “Notorious” McGregor is concerned, his life has literally changed overnight since being signed to a multi-fight contract with the UFC back in February this year. As he so aptly put it, he’s “living the dream”.
For his sophomore effort in the UFC, McGregor was on tap to fight Andy Ogle who withdrew due to a staph infection. McGregor (13-2) will now fight Max Holloway (7-2) who stepped up on short notice for UFC Fight Night: Rua vs. Sonnen on August 17. On Wednesday afternoon in Las Vegas, McGregor spoke to media about the upcoming fight.
“It’s just a different name,” McGregor said. “The name on the contract has changed, but the emotions have stayed the same. I’m going in there, it’s the same thing. I’m going to approach the fight, I’m going to enter at a high pace. I’m going to look to create scenarios and I’m going to look to react to those scenarios.”
“I’m expecting some exchanges, I know he’s not as good on the ground as he is on his feet. He’s young, seems like a nice guy. It’s going to be a good fight. I don’t see it going any other way than my own way.”
Prior to getting Holloway as his new opponent, McGregor thought top featherweight contender Ricardo Lamas would be his ideal match-up. However, the UFC thought otherwise.
“The only one that came to mind was Lamas because he had a fight and got pulled out. But then Dana said ‘No, no. We’re building you up, don’t be in a hurry’ he says.”
Regardless, McGregor is ready to prove what he’s fully capable of in the division.
“I’m a wolf. No one’s feeding me, I’m doing the eating,” McGregor responded. “I would have liked anyone in the top ten. At the same time, I understand what he’s saying. Take my time, build it up, make some money, build a base. But I want a Ferrari now.”
Without a doubt the rising star exudes confidence. His electrifying personality and infectious charisma are what set him apart from the pack. Come August 17, he’s looking to cause an uproar in the TD Garden.
“I’m the only Irish guy in here doing it,” he added. “I’m spontaneous. I’m going to experiment inside the Octagon all the time. You’re always going to get a fight with me. I’m always going to be the one they’re talking about. There’s going to be some heavy hitters on this card. There’s some big strikers, there’s some big talkers: Chael [Sonnen], Shogun [Rua], [Alistair] Overeem, Urijah Faber, Uriah Hall. There’s some good guys. You’ll get some good finishes, but I know I’m the one that’s going to steal the show again.”
“Irish Americans are as crazy as the Irish themselves,” McGregor said of fighting in Boston. “I’m expecting the biggest cheers. I’m going to come out to an Irish ballad and blow the roof of the place. It’s a dream come true. This is my U.S. debut and to fight in Boston, the long lost city of Ireland, Boston is Ireland number two. It’s going to be special. I really am going to put on a show. Regardless of what goes down, it’s going to be a spectacle.”
McGregor makes his United States debut on August 17 at the TD Garden at UFC Fight Night: Rua vs. Sonnen as part of the FOX Sports 1 launch. He squares off against Max Holloway in Boston. Expected to headline the card, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Chael Sonnen.