Tickets for the event went on sale this weekend and sold out yesterday.The usually reserved Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert was as confident as his protégé when he exclusively told the Sunday World this week: “He will win and he will win in devastating fashion. He will be the belt holder when he wakes up in Las Vegas on July 12.
“Some people think José Aldo will deserve a rematch straight away and I can see why they think that. He has never been beaten, but he has never come up against a fighter like Conor.
“So if the UFC want to organise a rematch then who knows? It will probably be in Croke Park. I’d love to see Conor moving up a division and taking on Anthony Pettis.
“That would get the million pay per views that brings in the cash. As a fan of MMA, that’s the fight I’d want to see.
“He is beating the featherweights without breaking into a sweat. The warm-up is tougher for him than the fights themselves. It is all about getting a lot of money quick and leave the sport undamaged.
“If I was fighting now I would be relatively unheard of. I’d be a Cub Swanson or Ricardo Lamas.”
The second-degree black belt continued: “I definitely miss being able to compete and go at 100 per cent, but I was always a teacher in a way, even when I was back fighting professionally.”
The likeable Dubliner was taking part in the Tiger Beer Uncage event, where he was speaking to fans about fulfilling ambitions and following dreams.
“I was an engineer until I packed it in. I ‘uncaged’ and started SBG [Straight Blast Gym]. We are about to open a second gym and we are now recognised all over the world.
“It doesn’t take a genius to realise SBG is doing so well because of the success of Conor in the UFC.
“But there are so many amazing stories coming out of my gym. Like the overweight 30-year-old guy who took me aside the other day to tell me how much healthier he is now since joining, or the 11-year-old wonder kid Nate ‘the Great’ who is now the five times junior national kick boxing champion. He’s amazing.”
So are there more McGregors in Ireland ready to take on the UFC?
“I guarantee you we will have three or four belt holders from Ireland in the next few years. But there is definitely something in Conor that you can’t train. Skill levels aside, he is a character.
“What you see with Conor is what you get. I knew him in school growing up. He’s like my kid brother. He has never been any different. This is not a show.
“You put that ‘character’ inside the body of a man with devastating knockout power and you have a marketing guy’s dream and a future belt holder.