BY: ERIC ELLISON
Conor McGregor strikes me as the kind of guy who would petition to make sure his Wikipedia picture was fantastic (it is.) At UFC 178 last Saturday McGregor legitimized himself in front of an army of fans with a total shutdown of ranked Dustin “Diamond” Poirier. His 14th T/KO in 16 wins, Conor has officially taken that step that says maybe he can actually knock anyone out in his division. I mean, he made dismantling Poirier seem like a cakewalk. Hell, he even called the fight and was right about it.
Heading into this match, there was a tremendous amount of hype. 10% of ticket sales for the entire event are estimated to have originated from Ireland. The rest of the globe was anxious too, to see if McGregor could deliver on his promise of a first round KO win. The more hardcore fans were excited, but also knew McGregor had a decent amount of opponents that, we will just say not many of them are clickable online. The way he was able to perform against a top guy Like Poirier showed that he was not only able to fight the same way no matter who the opponent was, but that he could in fact look sharper and increase his overall game as a result of the challenge.
He still maintains a 100% takedown defense, for example.
Does McGregor need an immediate titleshot? I don’t think that’s a good idea at this juncture, and it sort of would spit in the face of the “rankings” the UFC claims to use. We saw room for improvement in small flashes, and this writer for one would love to see him step in against one or two more elite guys before challenging the throne for the crown. Don’t forget, we are talking about Jose Aldo here, who may arguably be the #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world right now. If McGregor can, say smash up Frankie Edgar, I think we would have a serious title contender on our hands.
For now, Conor McGregor is officially legit as shit.