Now, I am not predicting that this is going to happen but what if Dennis Siver actually were to upset Conor McGregor. It would certainly be one of the biggest upsets in a main event in the UFC rivaling the Matt Serra over Georges St-Pierre one. While that being a title fight would remain bigger in the sense of the fighters, this one would be a bigger loss for the UFC, after all, they are the ones who are risking the most in this fight.
At stake is a potentially huge PPV in a 90,000 seat stadium in Ireland title fight with Jose Aldo. That fight would sellout all 90,000 seats with the rest of Ireland, all of Brazil and the rest of the world all tuning in to watch. That fight disappears for while, and maybe forever with a McGregor loss here and they are not going to fill a 90,000 stadium in Germany for a Siver and Aldo fight.
Of course, a McGregor loss would be a gain for all of his haters and for the fans who want to see Frankie Edgar get the next title shot against Aldo. In fact in a November UFC poll Edgar beat out McGregor in the fan vote 53 percent to 47 percent. That still did not stop Dana White from saying that McGregor gets the next title shot with a win over the 10th ranked Siver.
It is simple to see why Dana is doing this as McGregor is one of Dana’s needle movers. He certainly moves Dana’s needle anyway. To many of the haters it feels like the UFC is shoving McGregor down our throats. This has distracted many fans from the talent of McGregor and his impressive start in the UFC.
Unlike many fighters who finish opponents while they are working their way into the UFC and then either lose or start racking up decision wins, McGregor has continued to finish his UFC opponents including at the time the 5th ranked fighter in Dustin Poirier in his most recent fight. The only fighter to go the distance has been the underrated Max Holloway. In that fight McGregor tore his ACL in the first round and showing a lot of toughness, still went on to get the win.
Another win will give him a 5-0 start to his UFC career and setup the big fight with Aldo. That fight seems destined to happen and on the surface this fight with Siver seems like formality. One that McGregor should win easily.
Siver is a tough solid veteran who has looked good since his drop down to featherweight but he was knocked out by Cub Swanson in their fight. Swanson does have good power but not more than McGregor. During his career Siver has been durable but has also taken a lot of big shots. At some point those take their toll over a long career. Siver is starting to show some of those signs.
I actually think that this is the first cherry-picked fight in the UFC for McGregor. I know there are the conspiracy theorists out there who feel that the UFC had been protecting McGregor. They have kept him away from all of the big-bad wrestlers in the division. When usually the case has been that when McGregor gets a fight those fighters have already had fights scheduled or had no interest in fighting him.
It is only recently that many of the top wrestlers have shown an interest in fighting him. Right around the time Dana started talking about him and a title shot. They went through a period where he called all of them out and they ignored him. Now, they all want to fight him. Many of them had a chance to step into a main event against him when Cole Miller was injured but they all stayed silent.
It is understandable as they all were worried that he would make his name off of them like GGG in boxing, because whether you like him or not McGregor’s power is legit. In his 16 wins 14 of them come via TKO/KO’s with all but two of them coming in the first round. Three of them have come in the UFC. Fighting him is risking getting KO’d and now that he has the golden ticket from Dana everyone is willing to take that risk and wants their shot.
Well, Siver is going to get his and it is unlikely he will pull off the upset but that is often when we get them. To truly be epic they have to be unlikely and because they are unlikely they rarely do happen. Sometimes though we get the Serra over St-Pierre or Buster Douglas knocking out Mike Tyson. If Siver becomes the next fighter to pull off the unlikely upset he will cost the UFC dearly.
Sure, McGregor will take a little hit with a loss but he seems tough enough to come back from a defeat. If he is truly destined to be a champion a loss will not break him. It will mean that he will have to win a few fights to get back into title contention. A couple of them will probably have to come against some of those scary wrestlers.
That is one of the funniest things to me is that the UFC is protecting him by keeping him away from all of the wrestlers in the division. It is true he has not faced one of them but it is not like he is be protected from them and will never have to face them. Do people think that if McGregor beats Siver and then Aldo to win the title that the UFC will then never force him to face a wrestler while he holds the belt? I think that only the craziest of conspiracy fight fans believe that but I do understand feeling like the UFC is forcing him on the fans.
They are promoting the hell out of this fight and airing what seems like a McGregor piece every other hour on one of the FOX Sports 1 channels. He was of course on UFC Tonight this week and they even had him in Brazil for the second Aldo and Chad Mendes fight. It is clear that Dana and the owners of the UFC like McGregor and want him to be a big star. They know that if he can be the one to dethrone Aldo than it would justify all of their hype. It would also setup a huge rematch.
That is the thing about all of this, the UFC does not care if you hate McGregor or if you like him, and they certainly are not concerned about your reason for hating him. They know that you are as likely to tune in to watch him lose as you are to watch him win, but either way you will be tuning in.
For many it will be because they are fans of McGregor and want to see him fight Aldo in a stadium for a title. For others it will be to see if Siver call pull off the upset and derail Dana’s dreams of 90,000 screaming fans filling a soccer stadium. It is unlikely and improbable but that is exactly when the Fight Gods like to remind every one of their capricious nature with an all-time classic upset. If Siver were to win it would be one of those and it would cost the UFC quite a bit this year.