Conor McGregor: “I’m looking to go down as the greatest of all-time”
There’s already a buzz in the air for the upcoming UFC Fight Night card landing in Dublin on July 19 as Conor McGregor makes his long awaited return to action against Cole Miller in the main event.
The card is so hyped in fact that UFC officials stated on Tuesday that they are "expecting this to be the quickest sell out event ever in UFC history" and that’s helped in large part by the hype surrounding Dublin’s own McGregor, who in only two fights thus far in the promotion has become one of the most talked about athletes on the roster.
McGregor has never once shied away from the attention because every time he calls out another fighter on Twitter or releases brash statements in the media, there’s a plan in action for all of it. The Irish born featherweight wants the spotlight to shine on his back, and he’s not worried at all about the repercussions of his actions if something ever goes wrong inside the Octagon.
What concerns McGregor more is the fact that other fighters in the UFC aren’t following his lead and doing the same thing.
I’m out here working to become the greatest. That’s my goal. I’m looking to go down as the greatest of all time, hall of fame, a history maker
— Conor McGregor
"I want that tag on my back. I want everyone to know. I don’t understand how so many people, how so many of these guys are signed to the UFC and had so many fights in the UFC and have no aspirations whatsoever of the belt. Have never once mentioned the champion, have never once put themselves out there to get that. I don’t understand that," McGregor said on Tuesday.
"From the day I signed last year, my eyes are on the gold. I don’t understand people that don’t, and anyone that’s in my way is in the firing line. The way I’m doing it, I’m doing it the right way. I just don’t understand guys like that and there’s so many of them. So many of them in the UFC that have no aspirations to win the belt and they shouldn’t be there."
McGregor’s ire towards other fighters in the UFC also lands squarely on the shoulders of his next opponent, Cole Miller. Looking at his record, McGregor sees that Miller is a 10-6 fighter overall during his UFC career, but never once appeared confident enough to say he was going to make a run at the title.
He never called out the champion or said he wanted to be the best in the world and McGregor has a big problem with that attitude.
"Cole, I believe is one of them. What’s his aspirations? Have you heard Cole once mention the belt? Has he once mentioned challenging for the title?" McGregor asked. "I’m searching, I’m out here working to become the greatest. That’s my goal. I’m looking to go down as the greatest of all-time, Hall of Fame, a history maker. He’s walking to be a test for me, that’s the difference."
Now some wonder if McGregor’s bluster is really just a promotional tool he’s used to quickly become one of the fastest rising stars in the UFC. He’s been outspoken since the day he signed with the promotion, but with only a 2-0 record thus far without ever facing an opponent in the top 10 is this all just a way to sell tickets and get into main events?
McGregor is quick to shut down that notion because he truly believes everything he’s saying as testament. He certainly has faith in himself and his ability to conquer the world — otherwise what’s the point of fighting in the first place?
"I believe what I’m saying is the truth," McGregor said. "None of these guys are on my level. Not one of them moves the way I move, not one of them are prepared for what I’m bringing. I can sit here and say this all day and I can say it every single interview and I do say it every single interview, but at the end of the day it comes down to when it actually happens. That’s what I’m working towards.
"Only time can answer these questions for you and for the doubters. For me, the question is already answered, I know what’s going to happen."
As far as Miller goes, McGregor isn’t taking this fight lightly just because he knows he’s going to win. He’s recently moved his training camp to Iceland where he’s working alongside fellow UFC fighter Gunnar Nelson and his team to get ready for the fight on July 19.
McGregor knows Miller is an obstacle in his way, but ultimately it’s just a bump on the road as he travels the path towards an eventual title shot in the UFC’s featherweight division.
"At the end of the day, I’m supremely confident I’m going to run through Cole Miller, but I can say I’m not going to look past him — I’m going to look through him," McGregor said. "That’s where I’m going, straight through him.