UFC President, Dana White, is marketing him more sizable than former heavyweight champ, Brock Lesnar.

But rising Irish antagonist, Conor McGregor, prefers Muhammad Ali.

Former legendary boxer, Ali, was quoted very famously for saying, “I’m not the greatest; I’m the double greatest. Not only do I knock ‘em out, I pick the round.”

Following his dominating performance over Dustin Poirier at UFC 178, McGregor went to the mic in Ali-fashion, proclaiming, “I don’t just knock them out, I pick the round.”

When asked of his comparison with the world’s most profound boxer since the beginning of time, McGregor couldn’t help but smile.

“There’s a reason people are saying that,” McGregor told The MMA Corner’s Garrett Derr. “You know before this fight, people we’re probably wondering, who is this crazy guy? Who is this guy who thinks he can say whatever he wants? I’m that guy, and I do what I say I’m going to do. I’m the Ali, Tyson, call me whatever you want,” said McGregor. “Everyone around the world will know who Conor McGregor is.”

His flashiness and way with words isn’t the lone reason McGregor has hit the mainstream. While being a mixture of Chael Sonnen and the Diaz brothers certainly has contributed to his reputation, McGregor delivers inside the Octagon. It’s modal for a combatant to convey one’s thoughts, it’s a whole other tale to carry through in action. And McGregor does just that.

“I say how I feel because I believe it. I believe that I am the best, and I have shown that time and time again. Who has beaten me in the UFC? Who has put a hand on Conor McGregor? I will punch a hole through your head, carry it out of the Octagon, and get paid with a smile on my face. It’s what I do and I love it,” said McGregor. “I will do the same for each man who has the courage to stand before me.”

McGregor’s emergence has elevated the sport to new levels. The Irish market particularly, as 10% of all ticket sales for UFC 178 came from McGregor’s homeland. McGregor has certainly reaped the benefits, catapulting many featherweights in pay and ranking.

McGregor, who took home $75,000 for showing at UFC 178, more than tripled Dennis Bermudez, who pocketed just $24,000 to show against Clay Guida at UFC on FOX 12. Bermudez currently rides the third-longest winning streak in the UFC, sitting behind Jon Jones and Chris Weidman. #2 ranked featherweight, Cub Swanson, pursed $29,000 show money in his main event clash with Jeremy Stephens this past June. The 145-pound No.1 contender, Chad Mendes, was paid just $45,000 to show in his most recent fight.

There’s no denying a wide selection of “trash talk” will go a long way in the pursuit of recognition. McGregor has promoted himself like no other, while cashing large amounts of cash along the way. The monetary benefits are not solitary as McGregor has climbed the featherweight rankings in what has seemed like the blink of an eye. The Irish homebred may be next in line for a shot at the winner of Jose Aldo vs. Chad Mendes, who meet at UFC 179 this month. Neither frighten McGregor. Not in the least bit.

“The belt is already mine, Jose Aldo just doesn’t know it yet. If Mendes happens to win, then it will make things a lot easier for me. I will have my way with this little midget. He has to realize we aren’t in a body building competition, this is a fight. I will punish Aldo in front of his family or I can knock off Mendes’ head in Vegas. Either is fine with me,” said McGregor. “They won’t dare come to my land.”

“The division is mine and I am knocking them off the block one at a time.”

 

Follow @GarrettDerr on Twitter.