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Conor McGregor's aura lingers over Las Vegas three weeks later

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LAS VEGAS -- Three weeks later, an Irish hangover seems to linger at the MGM Grand.

Oh, it's not that things aren't festive. Business was booming at the Strip's largest hotel with the New Year's Eve crowd in town.

But as what's shaping up to be a fantastic welterweight title main event between Robbie Lawler and Carlos Condit at UFC 195 gets set to take over the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday night, the memories of one of the wildest fight nights the venue had ever held still hung in the Las Vegas air.

Conor McGregor's featherweight title victory over Jose Aldo on Dec. 12 at UFC 194 was a paradigm-shifting moment in mixed martial arts, the sort of watershed event which will be discussed for years and decades.

The mayhem generated stands in stark contrast to UFC 195's main players. Lawler and Condit can generate excitement, too. Just not in the way McGregor can. They build their excitement in the cage, not on the mic. Given the participants, their fight, the first major main event of 2016, could very well end up being revisited when 2016's Fight of the Year candidates are discussed.

Condit, for his part, seems incapable of McGregor-style trash talk. But he notes McGregor has earned his respect through his performances in the Octagon.

"He's brought a lot of attention," said Condit, the former UFC interim and WEC welterweight titleholder. "He's a great promoter, great salesman, but he also backs it up as a fighter, so, it's been pretty impressive and great for the sport."

Lawler, for his part, took one of the longest roads to the top a UFC fighter has ever undertaken. He washed out of the UFC early and went nine years between UFC wins before he went on the run which brought him to the title in Dec. 2014.

So when you've been around as long as "Ruthless," your words carry weight.

"I think he's brought a lot of new eyes, a whole island, a whole country with him, of crazy, supportive fight fans who love to get excited about fights and love to watch fights," Lawler said. "So I think it brings a lot to the table. I think he's getting the mainstream media involved a lot, he's making people look at the sport a little differently."

Former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski, for his part, doesn't seem much of a fan of McGregor, but even he admits that McGregor knows how to command the conversation.

"I guess he has done alright, to sell himself, promote himself," said Arlovski, who meets Stipe Miocic (a no-show Wednesday due to travel issues). "He's the champion, so my opinion doesn't matter at all."