The Conor McGregor hype-train is full steam ahead for UFC Fight Night Boston on Sunday, when McGregor will face Dennis Siver for what promises to be the final step to a title-fight should the Irishman prevail.
In the build up to the Boston event, UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta has turned a few heads with the praise he has heaped upon McGregor, by even reluctantly comparing him to Muhammad Ali.
Speaking to USA Today, Fertitta explained the comparison between the two:
I hate even saying this, but with his gift of gab and his athletic ability and fighting ability, it’s almost like the Irish Muhammad Ali in a way. To compare anybody to Ali is kind of stupid because of all the other great things that were associated with him from a social movement and everything else. But Conor has just got that sparkle, that thing to him.
High praise indeed. Fertitta then elaborated on what he thinks make's Conor McGregor stand out from the crowd:
Wherever he goes – whether we put him on TV, whether he’s doing an interview, whether he’s around a group of people – he just is the center of attention. He’s got that special quality, and for a guy that’s fought in the UFC four times to have the interest of GQ Magazine, Men’s Health, ESPN? He’s got it.
While the Conor McGregor Muhammad Ali comparisons may be a bit of a stretch, it is certain that the guys who make the decisions in the UFC have extremely high hopes for the Irishman, and here's hoping he makes light work of Siver so we can begin getting lost in the hysteria of a McGregor v Aldo title fight.