BOSTON — UFC returns to TD Garden next Sunday night, and one main-event contestant knows he’ll have the crowd on his side.
“The Irish-Americans come out in force,” said Conor McGregor, a Dublin native who will face 35-year-old Russian Dennis Siver in UFC Fight Night 59’s marquee bout. “They are passionate about their Irish heritage, so I am definitely expecting a big reception.
“I’ve been here a couple of times now, and I love the city,” McGregor added Friday during his visit to Peter Welch’s Gym in South Boston. “It’s a beautiful city.”
One of McGregor’s Boston trips came this past August, when he defeated Max Holloway by unanimous decision in an undercard bout at the Garden. This visit will have a great deal more riding on it, as UFC president Dana White said last week that a win over Siver will earn McGregor a shot at the featherweight title against reigning champion Jose Aldo.
There’s a good chance that potential bout could be held in McGregor’s native Dublin, where the 26-year-old claims his supporters would sell out 82,300-seat Croke Park, Ireland’s most renowned stadium.
“What this fight will bring is that it will solidify the No. 1 contender spot in the fans’ eyes and in the people’s eyes, and of course then we will bring the UFC back to Dublin,” McGregor said. “Anytime I can bring the UFC back to Dublin and help some martial artists get on and join the UFC, make some money and make a living for their families. And of course, bringing (a fight at a) football stadium to Ireland is going to bring a lot of work to people. So I am happy to do that.”
Thumbnail photo via Jason Silva/USA TODAY Sports Images
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