Conor McGregor Listed as a Top-3 Greatest Fighter by Unlikely UFC Champ

Conor McGregor

Getty Conor McGregor walks in the Octagon before his lightweight bout against Dustin Poirier during UFC 264 in July 2021.

Former two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor is one of the three greatest fighters ever in the eyes of current featherweight king Alexander Volkanovski.

McGregor is the biggest superstar the sport has ever seen, and he’s also the UFC’s first-ever simultaneous two weight-class champion, earning both the lightweight and featherweight belts.

Volkanovski, who’s set to defend the 145-pound title against Chan Sung Jung this weekend at UFC 273, was recently interviewed by Man of Many. And during it, he broke down his three mixed martial arts GOATs, which are McGregor, former UFC middleweight and welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre and reigning UFC 185-pound king Israel Adesanya.

McGregor isn’t on Volkanovski’s list due to his fighting skill per se. It’s because of the amount of monetary success he’s had as the face of the sport.

“McGregor’s going to obviously have to be in that conversation because you talk about being successful,” Volkanovski said via the outlet. “Does he do some silly things sometimes? Is he a role model? But at the same time, look at the legacy he’s left behind. Look at the money he’s made. He’s successful. He doesn’t even have to fight anymore. Even after this career, we fighters need to have goals, and he showed that. He’s raised the bar when you look at it that way.”

Volkanovski Views St-Pierre As Another MMA Great

St-Pierre, who is the longest-reigning UFC welterweight in history, made Volkanovski’s GOAT list as well. “GSP” vacated the 170-pound belt in 2014 after his ninth title defense, and he returned in 2017 to take Michael Bisping’s 185-pound title. He vacated the belt a little while later and is officially retired from MMA.

“Then you’ve got guys like GSP who just did everything right,” GSP said. “Was true to himself and then was able to still be the man. He’s still got a great legacy and he didn’t have to be someone he wasn’t. That’s something that I look up to and I think is pretty incredible. Has the game changed? Yeah, it has. Have things changed? Yeah, it has. But I mean, for him to do what he’s done and be in the position he is right now, he’s pretty incredible, and be the person he was the whole time I admire that.”

Volkanovski Also Praised His Teammate Adesanya

Volkanovski and the UFC middleweight champion train together at City Kickboxing in New Zealand, and “The Great” has nothing but admiration for “The Last Stylebender.”

“It’s incredible for him to have such a vision and I’m just starting to get this vision,” Volkanovski said. “These are the conversations I’m starting to have now. And even before Izzy was in the UFC, the vision he had of talking about legacy and capturing moments. It took me two years of being the champ to be like, “oh, you know what? Let’s raise the bar.” Because before I was just me. I’m just a humble dude.”

“So to see guys like Izzy, doing what he’s doing,” Volkanovski continued. “Even right now being true to himself and being still the loyal man he is. Yeah, A lot of people don’t get to see that, but he’s one loyal dude. Family man. And at the same time, he’s got a lot of eyes on him and he’s doing his thing. And whether you like it or not, he’s going to do it. And the eyes are on him, so you’ve got to respect that.”

Adesanya notched his fourth title defense in February at UFC 271 when he bested Robert Whittaker via unanimous decision.

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