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Here’s an uncomfortable thought: Imagine if Dennis Siver wins…

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Back at UFC 157, Liz Carmouche had one hell of a dilemma. She was going up against the Creator of Women’s MMA in the UFC, Ronda Rousey. Carmouche was fighting for the inaugural women’s bantamweight belt because Rousey existed. Should she defeat Rousey, Carmouche would effectively tear down the very eco system that sustained her and everyone else in her category.   

In other words, if Carmouche was successful that night in early 2013, she would ruin everything. That’s a lot to block out as you prepare for a fight.

And that’s sort of what Dennis Siver is going through as he gets set to face Conor McGregor at UFC Fight Night 59 Sunday in Boston. McGregor is not only the Gateway to Ireland, but the very fire and vitality of the featherweight division. As he said during a spot on SportsCenter this week, he’s not the Next Big Thing, he is the Big Thing. Siver is a one-man Washington Generals, a warm body to perpetuate the myth of Conor McGregor as McGregor rolls headlong towards a title shot against Jose Aldo.

If Siver were to win? Not to be overdramatic, but it would be catastrophic, at least for the MMA landscape. It would sort of ruin everything.

Rather than contemplate the paradoxes that can be found in his fists, though, the German fighter is simplifying his objectives as he heads into Sunday night’s encounter with McGregor.

"I am the monkey wrench," Siver told MMA Fighting. "My goal is to take the title shot away from Conor. My goal is to beat Conor. Obviously there’s a lot in it for him."

To take McGregor’s title shot away would be music to Frankie Edgar’s ears, but it would sound like dirge music to the UFC. McGregor is one of the biggest stars on the roster. He was the guy who they turned the lights down for the last time he fought in Boston, on the prelims, against Max Holloway. He’s the guy who singlehandedly turned Dublin into champagne oblivion when he headlined a card there in July against Diego Brandao.

Now he’s the rare non-champion who can pack a pro sports arena (in a major city like Boston) on the same night that the local NFL team is playing in the AFC Championship. "The Notorious" Conor McGregor is just that kind of needle mover.

Siver? He’s been almost incidental in the whole deal, from the promos leading up on down to the Vegas lines, which have installed him as a 9-to-1 underdog. That sort of thing tends to make a person grumpy. And Siver has been a little grumpy during fight week.

"It would have helped with a little more support from the UFC’s side, a little more promotion -- but the flipside is I had more time to prepare for my fight because I wasn’t doing as much media," he says. "But, when it comes to the media and media coverage it’s definitely my biggest fight in the UFC, and it’s my first main event in the UFC. So I’m really looking forward to proving my worth on Sunday."

Believe it or not, this isn’t the first time Siver has been booked as an afterthought. Back in February 2011, at UFC 127, he was the warm body that the UFC booked for George Sotiropoulos in Sotiropoulos’ home country of Australia. At that time, Sots had won all seven of his UFC fights and was next in line for a title shot in the lightweight division…in fact, he’d lost only once in five years, and that was to Shinya Aoki in far-off Shooto.

What did the no-nonsense German do? He pulled the rug out from Sotiropoulos and won an industrial cold decision. He marched right over the party horns with his bare feet. As crazy as it is, Sotiropoulos hasn’t won a fight since.

Obviously McGregor is ten times bigger than Sotiropoulos ever was. There is a stentorian buzz coming off his name, which has drowned out the possibility that Siver might be up for a repeat.

"The parallels are definitely there for that fight, the only difference is Sotiropoulos went at it from a sporting direction," Siver says. "He didn’t talk sh*t about me. But everything else is kind of similar. George was hyped highly. He was promised a title shot if he beat me. The fight took place on a Sunday as well, and it was just a while until my birthday that time, too. So I feel things will go the same way."

Then there’s the partisan crowd. If you didn’t know, the city of Boston is proud of its Irish roots. Back when McGregor fought Holloway, McGregor came out to a deafening ovation.

"The support out there was unbelievable," McGregor said in the post-fight press conference. "It was green walking out there. The place was green. Green flags, f*cking leprechauns jumping around. It was unbelievable."

It will be that way again. The crowd will not be swinging steins and singing "Ein Prosit" during the introductions at the Garden for Siver, and he knows it.

"There will probably be some booing and some catcalls, but it’s not like I haven’t been there before," he says, just as stoical as ever. "I’ve fought local heroes in England [Paul Kelly], and the local hero in Australia [Sotiropoulos]…I’ve been around the block, so it doesn’t really matter to me."

Still, Siver is such an anonymous figure in this particular equation that McGregor predicted at one point that he’d finish him in two minutes.

"Conor has said so much in the build-up to this figh that honestly, I really don’t care what Conor says at this point," Siver says. "All I want to do is take his predictions and shove them up his ass."

Tell you what, from McGregor’s perspective on down to All The Big Plans, that’s a pretty…uncomfortable…thought.

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