According to an Oct. 24 report from FOX Sports, fast-rising Irish knockout artist, Conor McGregor, riled up Brazilian fight fans during a question-and-answer session held prior to the UFC 179 weigh-ins. McGregor, 26, drew all kinds of heel heat from the thousands of Brazilian fans who turned up for the event.
McGregor is absolutely hated in Brazil because he violently knocked out Brazilian star Diego Brandao earlier this year, and then went on to call out another Brazilian legend in Jose Aldo. Of course, it’s all just an act similar to a pro wrestling character. In reality, McGregor has great respect for Brazilian fans and fighters. He was simply trying to generate an early buzz for his future bout against Aldo.
McGregor was yelled and cursed at by fans throughout the session, but that’s exactly what he wanted. McGregor loves playing the bad guy, so he had no problem with the fans screaming obscenities at him. Getting under people’s skin is his specialty, and it has helped him become a huge international superstar. He has no reason to apologize for his actions.
McGregor knows full well that people will buy his pay-per-view fights, even if its to watch him get knocked out. Love him or hate him, he knows people will open their wallets to watch him fight. There’s real value in that. McGregor played up his villainous image by insulting Aldo, telling the crowd he was going to drag their hometown favorite back to Ireland and kill him inside the cage.
McGregor is likely next in line for a title shot, so the UFC flew him in to Brazil to challenge the winner of Aldo’s UFC 179 clash against Chad Mendes. Just to be safe, McGregor has been antagonizing both Aldo and Mendes. The hard-hitting Irish superstar had words with Mendes earlier this week, and now he’s going after Aldo.
No matter if he fights Aldo or Mendes next, the UFC knows it’ll be a big money fight that all MMA fans will tune in to see. Is McGregor the real deal? So far, the best opponent he has beaten was No. 5-ranked Dustin Poirier. McGregor gets his next test a couple months from now, when he steps in with veteran striker Dennis Siver.
After that, he’ll likely fight the winner of Aldo’s clash with Mendes, sometime in the summer of 2015. UFC 179, which goes down in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will be headlined with a clash between Aldo and Mendes. McGregor is expected to be sitting cageside for the bout, so he’ll be keeping a close eye on both men. Will McGregor enter the cage to confront Aldo or Mendes following their clash at UFC 179? Time will tell the answer to that.