Conor McGregor has been fond of making bold predictions before his fights. Most of the time, he has been correct. This time around, the brash Irishman says Dennis Siver won’t go past two minutes with him at UFC Fight Night 59.
McGregor has risen to the top of the UFC’s featherweight division with his unique gift of glib and the uncanny ability to “predict” the future. He talked about fighting at football stadiums and being the man who will finally dethrone featherweight champion Jose Aldo. On January 18, Conor McGregor moves one step closer to that vision. UFC president Dana White welcomed the new year by confirming that McGregor will indeed face Aldo next should he get past Siver at UFC Fight Night 59. The rest could be history.
Not Looking Past Siver
McGregor says he is “looking through” Siver but not looking past his opponent, and he better be. Although he is a 10-1 underdog (-1000) in this fight, #8th ranked featherweight Denis Siver is no pushover. The German striker is a veteran who has fought as many fights in the UFC as McGregor has in his entire MMA career. The 35 year old Siver has faced a laundry list of fighters in a ten year career. He’s locked horns with the likes of Gray Maynard Ross Pearson, Cub Swanson, and Donald Cerrone, producing Fight of the Night winners in three of those four bouts although losing all of them. McGregor admits that Siver is the most experienced opponent he will have faced, but he believes that his opponent is nothing more than another step to his ultimate destination.
Walk The Talk
Regardless of whether Siver is indeed a worthy test at 35 years old for the hungry McGregor, the pride of Dublin has been able to back his venomous talk with a poisonous game. His stand-up is elite, landing 4.6 strikes per minute. He leads off his strikes with a stiff jab that is usually followed by straight punches. He uncorks powerful hooks and uppercuts that cripple the body and occasionally throws spinning back kicks and elbows that make him dangerous from all striking angles. And yes, he claims to have the punching power that is bound to put everybody down, including Aldo.
Do Stats Matter?
But if you take a look at Siver’s stats, they aren’t too bad at all. He lands 3.8 strikes per minute on a 31% accuracy (McGregor is at 37%). Both men nearly absorb the same number of strikes per minutes: McGregor at 2.46 against Siver’s 2.43. Their striking defense percentage is almost identical (Conor is better at 69% versus Siver’s 68%) while McGregor’s average fight time is half of Siver’s (5:30 against 10:25). But do these stats really matter because McGregor says he is marching towards his destiny?
A fight with Jose Aldo is at the horizon and McGregor can already smell it. Dana White said McGregor could fill a 90,000 football arena in Ireland and perhaps Aldo could do the same in Brazil. Should that fight happen, that could be the biggest fight in UFC history-audience wise. McGregor is the star the UFC has been looking for after St. Pierre and Silva. Let’s hope he lives up to that billing on January 18 because the whole world will be watching this fighting Nostradamus.