Andre Pederneiras has a new nickname for UFC featherweight contender Conor McGregor.
Pederneiras, the head coach of 145-pound champion Jose Aldo at Nova Uniao in Rio de Janeiro, believes "The Notorious" is going to be a great challenge for Aldo at UFC 189, and also bring him more money than he has ever made inside the Octagon.
"I joked about it, but it is happening: Conor is a leprechaun bringing a pot of money to the division," Pederneiras told Combate recently. "I wish there were more athletes like him to get some attention. Not only in Aldo’s division, but also at (Renan) Barao’s, at Demetrious Johnson’s. Athletes like McGregor bring attention. Unlike many that talk a lot, Conor proved what he says. We’re treating this fight like a big challenge for Aldo."
Pederneiras understands those who criticize the UFC for giving McGregor a shot at the featherweight gold without matching him up against fighters like Chad Mendes and Frankie Edgar. However, "Dede" believes McGregor earned his chance.
"If you look at his record and the way he finished his fights, (he deserves it)," Pederneiras said. "Maybe he hasn’t fought the guys I think he could have fought to get there. But if you look at who Aldo fought, he fought everybody he could have fought, except for McGregor. I think it’s his turn now, and it’s going to be a great fight. After this fight, numbers will grow, especially because of Conor coming to the division."
Aldo and McGregor traveled around the world to promote the July 11 pay-per-view, and Pederneiras believes that all the talk during the UFC 189 would tour will change the outcome of the championship fight.
"An opponent talking bad things about you always motivates you to beat him up, and Conor does it perfectly," he said. "The more McGregor talks, the more he will get beat up. It’s fine by me if he talks, we think most of the things he says are funny. We’re just waiting to see how he’s going to act on fight day."