Off The Ball: Conor McGregor's star power offers no guarantees
Published 09/12/2015 | 02:30
I recently spent a week in Las Vegas and, believe me, it's Conor McGregor's town. His face is everywhere.
The only sports star to rival his prominence was Ronda Rousey. A week later, she was knocked out. And herein lays the worry this weekend.
The UFC is a sport making a big impact, and it's in search of superstars. Rousey captured the imagination in a way no sportswoman has done in a long time, if ever, while McGregor's dominant performance at a recent UFC's Champions press conference showed just what he means to the organisation.
But with this, is it overlooked that he's fighting Jose Aldo at the weekend, possibly the most dominant champion in UFC history? Unbeaten in the UFC, Aldo's only MMA defeat came in 2005 when he was 19.
It's not that McGregor (below) is overrated. He's earned this fight and beaten everything put in front of him. He's got a real chance on Saturday night but the level of expectation is insane. He hasn't had a test on this level.
Nobody thought Rousey could be beaten, and she was destroyed. That's what happens in a sport like this. In an instant, all the hype can disappear.