The UFC seems to be in love with Conor McGregor.
Don’t believe that? When was the last time a fighter with one UFC fight on his resume got to host an open workout for fans and media before competing on the preliminary portion of a UFC fight card? Can’t recall that ever happening before? Well, me neither. Yet, McGregor who is scheduled to face Max Holloway on the UFC Fight Night 26 card is doing so.
McGregor (13-2 overall, 1-0 UFC) will hold court at Peter Welch’s Gym in Boston on Tuesday. Just McGregor, no one else, not Chael Sonnen, not Alistair Overeem, not former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, just little ol’ Conor McGregor.
After the workout, the festivities will shift over to the Blackthorn Bar where fans will receive a free poster of Conor McGregor.
Remember, this is a fighter that has a single win in the UFC under his belt, and is fighting on the preliminary card.
It’s clear that the UFC is very interested in pushing this kid, and why wouldn’t they be? He’s charismatic, he’s a great interview, he loves the spotlight, and the spotlight loves him, he’s no slouch inside the cage, and most importantly he’s of an ethnicity that the UFC does not have a marketable fighter.
Let’s be honest, the UFC’s marketing machine has never been subtle (first Mexican World Champion, anyone?), and it’s clear that the UFC is looking to make young Mr. McGregor a key piece of their marketing push to become bigger overseas. However, they may be rushing into this a little too soon.
I’m not denying that McGregor doesn’t have star appeal; he does, but maybe let him develop a little bit in the UFC before throwing all kinds of weight behind him. McGregor is saying all the right things, and doing all the right things, but he has to feel at least some pressure from all the attention, and we don’t know how he will respond to that pressure.
The UFC has a lot of stock in this kid, much earlier than they should, for their sake, and McGregor’s let’s hope it doesn’t all blow up in their faces.