If you are a UFC fan, then you probably know the ‘Notorious’ Conor McGregor: self-declared ‘Ireland’s pound for pound king.’ The Dublin-born featherweight fighter, who in the above photo is being weighed in before September 27’s bout against Dustin Poirier, has made a name for himself with his smooth tongue, rivaling the best trash talkers in any sport, and the skills to back it up.

The fight proved to be easy for McGregor who knocked out Poirier in the first round and proceeded to throw verbal haymakers after the contest:  “I don’t just knock them out, I pick the round… I knew these featherweights don’t understand, until they get hit by me it’s a-whole-nother ball game…  I said I knock him out in the first round and I knocked him out in the first round. You could call me Mystic Mac because I predict these things.”

McGregor calls fighting a dream job, with it almost being second-nature at this point, “it’s just another day for me. Another day of what I’d do every single day: whoop ass and look good.” He creates this bad boy brand that, love or hate him, attracts both fans and non-fans alike, thus making him one of the most entertaining fighters in the featherweight division.

Legendary motor mouth Chael Sonnen perfectly described what separates McGregor from most of UFCs flock, “Some of these guys just don’t understand it, and what Conor McGregor is more than he’s a great trash talker, he’s a great entertainer. The guy’s got a great gimmick, a unique look and a great accent. He’s patriotic to his country. He’s an Irishman.” But it also does not hurt that time and time again he has backed up the talk: with fourteen of his sixteen wins coming from knockouts.

Conor-McGregor, UFC, brand

Photo © ESPN

Like Sonnen says, what many do not understand is that McGregor knows how to play the system. He knows fighting is a limited time sport: you only have a small window to make your mark. So he is using his exceptional skills as a platform to develop his brand: making his fights the most anticipated and excited of any given night. Something on full display in Vegas against Poirier and even more noticeable when Conor fought in front of a sold out Dublin crowd in July: he has attracted Irish fans at an alarming rate, “over 11 percent of the tickets sold in Las Vegas were from Ireland.” And as long as he keeps the fights as interesting as his trash talking, there is no end in sight for the McGregor brand: making his January 18 fight against Dennis Silver in Boston one of the most anticipated for UFC fans.

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