This Sunday, Germany’s number-one ranked featherweight Dennis Siver will face loudmouthed Irishman Conor McGregor in the main event of UFC Fight Night in Boston. One week before the fight, Siver appears furious as never before and hands out harsh words to his superstar opponent.
In an interview with German outlet Groundandpound.de Siver assures, concerning the hype around it, this really is the biggest fight of his life. "But definitely not against the toughest opponent," he adds.
While this is a huge fight for the German and Germany’s MMA circuit, the rest of the world seems to count Siver out to the greatest extent. In the official video trailer for the fight, he only had a one-second appearance, UFC president Dana White already promised McGregor a shot at featherweight kingpin José Aldo in case of a victory. But Siver embraces the role as the underdog:
"It’s been like this from the start. Everybody thinks that I already lost, at least in the U.S. They listen to his nonsense and believe every word of it. What he does is very American, he promotes his fights with lots of trash talk. Maybe Americans think, he who talks most automatically wins the fight. That is their attitude, I think nothing of that."
That McGregor recently backed up his vocal trash talking with a dominant first-round stoppage win over top-ranked Dustin Poirier doesn’t count for the German kickboxing expert. For him, a "lucky punch" turned the fight in favor of the Irishman.
"You can’t hype a guy like this after only four fights in the UFC. He looked good in his last bout, but the fight lasted only two minutes. If you ask me, he landed a lucky punch there, until that point the fight was even. That win is nothing to me. And all his other fights? They haven’t been special, they haven’t been against extraordinary opponents. That doesn’t impress me at all."
Anyway, the win over Poirier seems to have boosted McGregors already enormous confidence even more. He promised to stop the American in the first round, and he did. For Siver he had another bold prediction: to knock him out in under two minutes. And while the German anticipates the Irish to come out guns blazing, he doesn’t feel McGregors prediction is very accurate:
"He can stick that prediction up his ass. When I am done with him on Sunday, I will be the one laughing. His talk doesn't impress me. I quit reading all those interviews, because it has gotten so ridiculous."
Ridiculous or not, McGregors antics seem to work. By handing out trash talk by the score, including a well below the belt line Nazi comparison, he got under Sivers skin. Never have we seen the stoic German worked up like this in the past. "Because I have never faced a guy like this," he explains. "I never had personal feelings for any opponent. But with him it’s different. Everyone gets fed up some time or another."
Siver says, the turning point was when he first met the McGregor in person, at the "The Time is Now" press conference in Las Vegas.
"That Nazi quote took things too far already, but to see his behavior live and in person… he is so full of himself. When I met him there for the first time, I saw what an idiot he really is. That was too much. […] From what I saw he is like this all the time. I can understand all that shit in front of the camera. But if you act like this in private, too, behind the stage, without any cameras – it shows that you are an asshole and just a really bad person."
In the UFC, if you can talk the talk and walk the walk, chances are that you end up in title contention soon. We have seen that in the past with the likes of Chael Sonnen or Nick Diaz. UFC president Dana White already promised McGregor a title shot against champion José Aldo, should he beat win on Sunday. Siver disapproves:
"I think that’s a bit premature. There are lots of other guys out there that deserve it more, because they have accomplished a lot more things in their careers. They are pushing him very fast. I don’t know why or if it’s just because of his jabbering. The UFC can do what they want, that’s their thing. I will spoil that whole show anyway. I will bring him down to earth with a bang and take away his chance of a title shot. To smash his face in beats any title shot in the world for me."