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Conor McGregor doesn’t want to be compared to 'special' Muhammad Ali

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

A humble Conor McGregor? Who knew?

UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta has said the UFC featherweight is "almost like the Irish Muhammad Ali in a way." McGregor doesn't feel completely worthy of that comparison.

"For me, Muhammad Ali is a special individual," McGregor said on ESPN's SportsCenter on Tuesday. "He is out on his own and I cannot lay claim to something like that. He changed the cultural landscape of the world. So, Muhammad Ali is a special human being. For people to say that, I am honored. But Ali is a special, special man. I am on my own journey and doing what I do best."

McGregor meets Dennis Siver in the main event of UFC Fight Night 59 on Sunday in Boston. The entire card is centered around McGregor and every promo airing during NFL playoff games on FOX have pumped him up as the next big thing in MMA. With a win, McGregor will earn a featherweight title shot against Jose Aldo.

McGregor (16-2) has said he will knock Siver out within two minutes of the first round. He doubled down on that prediction on SportsCenter.

"I have given my prediction and my predictions are always correct," McGregor said.

"It has nothing to do with cockiness or anything," he added. "I am simply assessing my opponent."

McGregor is a perfect 4-0 in the UFC with his latest win coming by first-round knockout over Dustin Poirier at UFC 178 in September. In July, McGregor knocked out Diego Brandao in the first round of the UFC's return to his hometown of Dublin, Ireland.

There is a possibility a title fight against Aldo could also happen in Dublin -- inside an stadium that holds more than 80,000 fans.

"It is a dream come true," McGregor said. "We have a football stadium called Croke Park and it is symbolic in our culture. We have fought for our independence on that pitch literally. The English invaded the pitch in a tank and opened fire on the players and the fans back in 1916 when we fought for our independence. It is a football pitch rich in history. Now we are talking about bringing UFC to Croke Park. It would be a spectacle never seen before. There is only one man that fought prizefighting on that pitch before me and that man was Muhammad Ali. It would be special."

So, in that way, a comparison to Ali wouldn't be completely ridiculous.