When Niklas Backstrom was asked about where he thinks he is at in the featherweight division on this week's MMA Hour, he answered hesitantly.
"Let's say top three, so people think I'm humble," said the 24 year old hailing from Sweden. We could all sense he was holding back, though.
When the topic of Backstrom's supreme confidence was brought up, one could not ignore the similarities he shares with another European fighter, Conor McGregor. Though he did not quite agree with the comparison, he did have some words to say about his stablemate.
"I think he's really fun to watch," said Backstrom of the rising Irish star. The comparison gets even more interesting when you find out that these two were supposed to fight McGregor on September 8, 2011 at a Cage Warriors event.
After admitting that he is a bit chesty himself, Backstrom said he "would love to fight a guy that is a bit more disrespectful than Tom [Ninimaki]". That guy could definitely be Conor.
I don't think this fight will happen anytime soon as I see the UFC expediting Conor's rise to the top of the division in order to give him a title fight (which is the only fight at featherweight worth a damn in terms of dollars), and as Backstrom sees it, he would be the rain on that parade. It is definitely interesting to think about what would have happened had they fought four years ago.
"Would like to fight Conor, was supposed to actually...I think he kinda dodged a bullet there" - Backstrom