Conor McGregor is not only the biggest draw in the history of mixed martial arts, but he has also made a huge impact with the way he’s influenced the rest of the fighters currently competing today.
While trash talk is nothing new, McGregor took it to an entirely new level after he arrived in the UFC. He not only promoted his fights, he used his fiery banter with opponents as a weapon that took more than a few athletes off their game when stepping into the Octagon with him.
McGregor’s influence was also felt in his pursuit of greatness.
In 2016, McGregor became the first person in UFC history to become a simultaneous two-division champion when he finished Eddie Alvarez to win the lightweight title in addition to the featherweight title he already held.
Since that time, several fighters were determined to achieve that same ‘champ-champ’ status with Daniel Cormier, Amanda Nunes and Henry Cejudo all accomplishing that goal over the past three years in the wake of McGregor’s feat.
Considering the gaudy purses he’s paid coupled with the way he always seems to will himself into the biggest fights in the sport, UFC president Dana White understands why so many fighters try to follow the McGregor game plan when it comes to their own careers.
“It happens,” White told Hashtag Sports this week. “When you see a guy who’s as successful as he is and he’s fun, I mean you see the guy’s fun and everything else, and you start thinking ‘well maybe if I act like this, I’ll have what he has’.”
As much as McGregor has influenced the sport over the years, White says that the Irish superstar is one of a kind and no one will ever completely duplicate what he’s done during his career.
Instead, White suggests that another fighter will eventually come along who will find success similar to McGregor, but there will be something that separates them from every other athlete on the UFC roster.
“There’s only one Conor McGregor,” White said. “People will always ask me ‘do you think you’ll ever find another Conor McGregor, are you trying to find another Conor McGregor?’
“There will never be another Conor McGregor, but there will be somebody else who’s different in their own way and will become a star in their own way.”