"It's tough at the top."
Ireland's face of MMA has never been short on confidence and his signature bravado was on full display Tuesday while promoting the UFC's Jul. 19 event in Dublin. Cole Miller, whose absence from the call was blamed on technical issues, has since been replaced by TUF 14 winner Diego Brandao. Asked for his reaction to the surge in attention he's garnered from fans and fighters alike, McGregor says he's confused as to why his colleagues haven't followed his lead.
"I want that target on my back," said McGregor. "I want every one of them. I don't understand how so many of these guys are signed to the UFC and have 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.
"From the day I signed last year my eyes are on the gold. I don't understand people that don't. 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 those guys and there's so many of them. So many of them that are in the UFC that have no aspirations to win the belt. They shouldn't be there. 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. History maker."
Never one to doll out compliments to his fellow featherweights, McGregor believes the rest of his division needs to step up their games.
"I'm not impressed with what I see," said McGregor. "Haven't been for a long time. I never looked at anyone in the division and thought, 'They're on my level.' I just don't see it. Sometimes I come off as disrespectful, but what I'm saying a lot of the time, I believe it's truth. Fair enough, I've thrown an insult in here and there but I believe what I'm saying is the truth. I don't think none of these guys are on my level. Not one of them move the way I move. Not one of them. No one is prepared for what I'm bringing.
"If you're not willing to go all the way you won't go anywhere. You can't fear success and I think a lot of people do. A lot of people fear the really high hype but I am not one of those. The UFC has given everything I've asked for. Everything I've asked for I've got so I don't know why everyone else isn't asking for all this. I asked to be put in the main event. I said, 'Give me that main event' and I served that main event. I'm asking for the title shot. Everything I've asked for I've gotten so I don't understand why these people sit and be quiet. It's fear. It's fear manifested that they stay quiet. I'm not like that. I'm going for it."
Despite only being ranked the No. 13 featherweight and now facing No. 15 in Diego Brandao, McGregor expects to leap frog names like B.J. Penn, Frankie Edgar and Cub Swanson on his way to a title shot.
"Whatever happens, happens. I just know that I'm in competition to get that shot. I know in those three fights, whoever puts on the best performance skips the queue. That's what I plan on doing.
"I'm definitely a different talent than the champion has faced before. He's done a lap of the contenders. It's perfectly set up for me. I believe [Jose Aldo] is too flat-footed. He throws single shots. I've never been impressed. He's not spontaneous enough. I'm too dynamic. I feel confident against him. It's a fight I'm definitely looking forward to. It's a fight that will happen no matter what happens."
Should he miss out on getting his foreseen title shot between the winner of Aldo and Chad Mendes slated for August, McGregor says he would be open to a title eliminator bout with Cub Swanson if defeats Jeremy Stephens Jun. 28 in San Antonio.
"I want every one of them. Cub is probably next in line. He should be, maybe if he wins, but I'm not following protocol. I'm doing things my own way. I welcome every one of them. I've had words with Cub in the past. It would be a great fight. A fight people will pay to see. But I want every one of them, not just him. I don't just want the belt. I want every one of their heads on a plate."
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'Payback.' Jose Aldo says Renan Barao was 'surprised' by T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 173 but that Nova Uniao will have the last laugh. 'Let's say Barao was more relaxed than the other fights, he thought he would get in there as the champion, throw a punch and get the knockout.'
UFC 173 Fight Motion.
Tuesday's deleted Jon Jones video.
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Joachim Hansen vs. Seo Doo-Won at ROAD FC 15.
Good as booked.
@TimKennedyMMA LOL u goofy look alike macdonald clown, normally I dont fight midgets but for u I make an exception.— Gegard Mousasi (@mousasi_mma) June 4, 2014
Why come to Hilo to vacation, when u can fight 4 ur life with Hilos best.Gr8 training wit the prodigy... http://t.co/SY3VQ78ySd— Dominick Cruz (@TheDomin8r) June 4, 2014
Cat Zingano (@CatZingano) June 3, 2014
Goodnight and sweet dreams everyone even you @MikeChandlerMMA and your hurt feelings. Eddie and I will talk about you more I promise lil bud— Will Brooks (@illwillbrooks86) June 4, 2014
It's pronounced ee-bee-tha.
Luke Rockhold (@LukeRockhold) June 3, 2014
Whatever it takes.
Back to basics! Enjoying the beautiful nature of Suriname with the president. I'm a nature person and... http://t.co/9ZQc829zys— TyroneSpong (@Tyrone_spong) June 3, 2014
Works for any occasion.
Announced yesterday (June 3 2014)
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via watercoolermma.com.
Ah nothing like a brand new video game to bring out the inner child in us all. While we still have to wait a while longer for the official release of the newest UFC game, set to drop June 17, EA Sports was kind enough to let us wet our beaks with a demo. My friends and I have gone toe to toe on UFC Undisputed 3 on many occasions, and it is from this vantage point that I will be drawing most of my parallels and observations. From the technical details to overall pros and cons, here is my review of EA Sports UFC.
After booting up the demo for the first time and getting past the load screen and initial menu, I was immediately launched into an interview with Jon Jones. The light heavyweight champ discussed what it takes to be an ultimate fighter and the experience of being inside the Octagon. For those of you who aren't familiar with Undisputed 3, there are a number of cut sequences like this within the previous installment of the game. As you progress through your career, you unlock different video clips of fighters discussing various topics. Everything from how to deal with your first loss to how to defend your title for the first time was covered as fans got an exclusive look into the inner workings of the fighter mentality.
Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @SaintMMA and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.