Although UFC boss man Dana White recently made the case why Conor McGregor could be next for a title shot, eventually the promotion elected to have the rising star fight Dennis Siver on January 18th. The news surprised more than a few folks, because Siver is ranked three spots behind McGregor at #8, and it certainly looked like the UFC was pushing to have the latter face champ Jose Aldo next.
While it remains to be seen whether Siver can pull off the upset at UFC Fight Night 59, McGregor appeared on the latest edition of “UFC Tonight” to discuss the upcoming bout.
Although McGregor scored a quick and impressive win over Dustin Poirier at UFC 178, there are still critics who believe the Irish star hasn’t earned top contender status just yet. While discussing whether he’s jumped the line, in terms of a title shot, McGregor stated (quote via FOX Sport 1 press release):
“I don’t really pay attention to that. When they call, I show up. If a fight presents itself, I make a case for it. I could wait for the title shot, but I knew there would be a wait, so I requested another fight. Competing is what I love to do and money is what I love to get.”
Since Aldo just defeated Chad Mendes on October 25th, chances are the champion won’t be looking to fight again until late spring, 2015. So, booking McGregor to fight again, in Boston nonetheless, is certainly a good way for the UFC to move tickets.
Recently the brash McGregor described his upcoming bout with Siver as a “keep fresh, get rich fight”, and on “UFC Tonight”, he offered this take on the match-up:
“He’s a veteran. I think he’s a short, compact fighter. I believe his reaction time has remained the same over his career. I’ll look to capitalize on it. I will prepare, I will show up and I’ll get the job done.”
It’s going to be an interesting night. While a loss to Poirier would have derailed the McGregor hype train, at the time, the American was a higher ranked featherweight. Siver is dangerous, there’s no question, but McGregor seems to be the heavy favorite heading into the bout, which means there could be that much more pressure on “Notorious.”
UFC FN 59 will be hosted by Boston’s TD Garden and will also feature a lightweight fight between contenders Benson Henderson and Eddie Alvarez.