Dana White: Conor McGregor Is UFC’s First True Global Star

UFC president Dana White has explained what separates Conor McGregor from other MMA stars.

McGregor is unlike any other athlete in MMA. His mainstream appeal has gone far beyond what many believed was possible for an MMA fighter. He has proven to be the UFC’s top draw but he’s also famous internationally. White says that not even Ronda Rousey could obtain that level of stardom globally.

Dana White Talks Conor McGregor’s Stardom Globally

White was a guest on the Talk The Talk podcast with Eddie Hearn and Tony Bellow. During his appearance, White discussed what makes McGregor stand out from the other big MMA superstars (h/t The Mac Life).

“Whether it was Georges St-Pierre building the Canadian market for us. Whether it was Anderson Silva in Brazil. Ronda Rousey bringing in women that would never watch the UFC in a million years. The difference between all of them and Conor McGregor, is Conor McGregor took us global. Everybody on Earth loved Conor McGregor and Conor McGregor opened up territories that had never been that interested in us before. Maybe we had a small fanbase there, but he blew the whole country up. He’s the first guy that truly was a global star.”

McGregor can be credited with the largest live gate in UFC history. In the promotion’s debut at Madison Square Garden in New York City, McGregor challenged Eddie Alvarez for the UFC lightweight title back in Nov. 2016. McGregor earned the second-round TKO victory to capture the gold. The live gate was $17,700,000.

The “Notorious” one was last seen in action back in January. He collided with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in the main event of UFC 246. This bout was contested at welterweight. McGregor earned the TKO victory in just 40 seconds. It appears White wants McGregor to wait for the winner of Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje but the former UFC “champ-champ” has expressed interest in returning sooner.