By Colm Boohig
This evening sees “The Notorious” Conor McGregor take on Russian-German stalwart Dennis Siver in Boston. McGregor knows that a victory over the 35-year-old Siver will land him a fight with Jose Aldo for the UFC Featherweight Championship.
The Dubliner has snatched the UFC limelight since bursting onto the scene in 2013 and has won his first four fights, most recently demolishing Dustin Poirier in a first round KO.
McGregor has continually talked about taking the title off Brazilian Aldo and the UFC president Dana White has confirmed that should the 26-year-old defeat Siver in Boston then his much coveted title shot will be guaranteed.
Siver is a dangerous fighter, though. He has endured a mixed bag of results (losing seven of his 18 bouts) but possesses a penchant for spinning back heel knockouts. He has also been the source of major controversy within the sport, having failed a drugs test just over a year ago.
It is a fact that has not been ignored by his opponent in the build-up to the bout. “He has cheated in the past, that’s another thing I will use to get in and put him out a bit more”, said McGregor.
“He was caught with the stuff that hides it. That’s how deep he was in that. How deep was he in that game that he was actually using stuff to hide it from the testing. That, to me, I don’t respect that in a bit.”
No surprise then that there has been a significant amount of tension between both men since the fight was announced. Siver’s motivation is clear – to silence to loudest mouth competing in MMA combat today.
McGregor has predicted a two-minute finish here, his coach John Kavanagh thinks the fight will be even shorter than that. While many will be tempted to look ahead to the potential McGregor v Aldo showdown, it would be foolish to completely write-off Siver – a former ‘Knockout of the Night’ winner.
Undoubtedly, all the pressure here is on “The Notorious” with the main challenge being whether he can focus all his energy on Siver and not look ahead to the promise land of Aldo.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia