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UFC’s Demetrious Johnson on Why Conor McGregor Reminds Him of a “Young Muhammad Ali”

Kelsey Mowatt

UFC

To say Conor McGregor has ruffled a few feathers since he’s arrived in the UFC may be a massive understatement, but evidently at least one of the promotion’s top fighters is A OK with the rising featherweight.

Demetrious Johnson is set to defend his flyweight title this Saturday versus Chris Cariaso at UFC 178, the same night McGregor will take on fellow contender Dustin Poirier. “Mighty Mouse” appeared on the latest edition of “The MMA Hour” recently, and the flyweight champ had this to say about “Notorious” (quotes via MMA Fighting.com):

“I really, truly appreciate Conor McGregor’s style — his fighting style and the way he talks,” Johnson said. “The reason why is because he reminds me of a young Mike Tyson, a young Muhammad Ali, the way he talks.

“Like, I look at him and I don’t see him talking trash. I look at him and I see him talking (about) what he sees, where he’s like: ‘dude, I’m way faster, I move way better than you do, you’re slow, I’m going to hit you hard’ — which, I believe all these things that he says are true. Like, I believe that his fighting style is good, he understands fighting, and not taking anything away from Dustin Poirier — Dustin Poirier is a huge test — I can appreciate somebody who can talk that stuff and he’ll go in there and he’ll back it up.”

That’s certainly one way of looking at it, and McGregor’s innumerable fans would likely agree with Johnson’s sentiments. Of course, his detractors, well, not so much.

They have, and would, argue that McGregor has yet to prove that he’s the top contender he claims to be. Johnson also conceded that if McGregor loses to Poirier, then everyone will be looking to see what the dynamic fighter has to say then.

McGregor has scored wins over Marcus Brimage, Max Holloway and most recently Diegao Brandao since arriving in the UFC, and currently sits in the #9 ranking position.

Poirier, on the other hand, has recorded consecutive victories over Akira Corassani, Diego Brandao and Erik Koch, since he was decisioned by Cub Swanson in February, 2013, “The Diamond” is currently ranked #5.

Whoever wins on September 27th, the fight definitely has the potential to be something pretty memorable.

UFC 178 will go down at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, and will be available via pay-per-view.

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