One of the nastiest and most colorful fighters in the world headlines UFC Fight Night 59 this weekend when Conor McGregor takes on Dennis Siver. McGregor has drawn comparisons to one of the all-time best brawlers and talkers and the Irishman will get a chance to back up those parallels in Boston.
UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta heaped some big-time praise on McGregor when he said “I hate even saying this, but with his gift of gab and his athletic ability and fighting ability, it’s almost like the Irish Muhammad Ali in a way.”
If that’s not enough to get you to tune in to UFC Fight Night 59 Sunday, here are five more reasons.
1. Conor McGregor Has Undeniably Become an MMA Superstar
He comes out to weigh-ins wearing a custom made three-piece suit. He parties with Dana White in his Presidential Suite drinking Corona Lights while adorning an Irish flag. He’s also undefeated in the UFC at the Featherweight division.
This Sunday he is given an excellent opportunity to add another notch on his belt with a win over long time UFC veteran Dennis Siver. In a classic story of up-and-coming fighter vs the grizzled “I’m not just a stepping stone” journeyman, everything is on the line for McGregor. In fact, it has already been confirmed by Dana White himself that if McGregor wins, he will get a title shot against the #2 pound-for-pound fighter in the world Jose Aldo.
As a heavy favorite, Dana has even started talking about Jose vs Conor already, calling the would-be McGregor vs Aldo fight “the biggest fight in Featherweight history”. With so much hype on Conor and very little attention being put on Siver, this makes for a very interesting fight. Dennis Siver is no easy task for anyone in the division, and has a similiar fighting style to McGregor. Widely renowned for his deadly spinning back kick, all it could take is one big shot from Siver to put a halt to Dana’s and Conor’s big plans.
2. Donald Cerrone is Fighting Again, and Yes, He Did Already Fight this Month
Donald Cerrone is every fight promotion’s dream. Not only are his fights exciting and fast-paced, but he is always available to fight. After fighting and winning four times in 2014, Cerrone started off 2015 with a win over Myles Jury. A few days later, Eddie Alvarez had to pull out of his fight against Benson Henderson due to injury. The UFC either needed to scrap the fight or find a replacement. On such short notice, there aren’t many fighters that would be willing to face the former UFC Lightweight Champion. Cerrone is one of those fighters.
If Cerrone can extend his win streak to six fights and do it with the last two being a few weeks apart, he would most certainly put himself in the mix to get a Lightweight title shot. Stylistically he matches up well with Benson Henderson, having great jiu-jitsu defense and powerful leg kicks. Either way, all of Donald’s fights are must-see as he brings a tenacious fighting approach that has made him a fan favorite. Interesting fact: Cerrone’s last two losses in the UFC are against Rafael dos Anjos and Anthony Pettis, the current title contender and the LW champ.
3. This May Be Benson Henderson’s Last Fight at Lightweight
Talk about a bad turn of events for Benson Henderson. First he thinks his fight is scrapped and then he learns that he now has to go up against the hottest current fighter in the sport. Not exactly an ideal situation.
On top of fighting a guy like Cerrone as a replacement, his style is completely different than what you would prepare for in Eddie Alvarez, the originally scheduled fight. Alvarez is a top-notch wrestler, whereas Cerrone is all about striking and submissions. He is still slightly favored in Vegas, but it’s a lot to throw at someone who needs a win over a top-tier fighter.
Benson was most recently knocked out by Rafael dos Anjos and desperately needs to get back on a winning streak. The Lightweight division has more fighters than any other division in the UFC, making it very difficult to come back from a two fight losing streak. If he wants to stay at Lightweight and not move up a weight class as he already backtracked in saying, then he needs to win this fight to stay in the title hunt.
4. This Fight is a Must Win for John “Doomsday” Howard
In 2010, there were a lot of hard hitting Welterweight fighters in the UFC, and John Howard was one of them. Unfortunately for him, he ended up on the wrong end of too many of those hard hits (notably Thiago Alves and Jake Ellenberger) and was cut from the UFC after a three fight losing streak. After a successful string of wins with other promotions, he fought his way back into the UFC. Beating Uriah Hall (who’s also on this card) was a great return fight, but he now finds himself on the brink of yet another three fight losing streak. For more coverage on the career of Doomsday, watch the video below:
5. The Fights Are Free on Fox Sports 1
After watching The New England Patriots slug it out against the Indianapolis Colts, what better way to cap the fight off than to watch professional fighters try to knock each other out? Especially when it’s not on Pay-Per-View and on the TV you’re already yelling at. The main card starts at 10PM, so it should be right around when the AFC Championship game is wrapping up. Also keep tuned into Heavy.com for round-by-round updates/analysis of the fights live!