Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight up-and-comer Conor McGregor (13-2) is the talk of the town, following his technical knockout win over Marcus Brimage at the promotion's UFC on FUEL TV 9 event earlier this year in Stockholm, Sweden.
An impressive debut, no question, but why so much hype for the former Cage Warriors kingpin?
For starters, not many rookies can be seen driving around Las Vegas in UFC President Dana White's Ferrari (video). In addition, the Irishman has mastered the art of getting noticed, calling his peers a bunch of "lazy schmucks," as well as claiming he could give 145-pound titleholder Jose Aldo "trouble" based on what he saw from the Brazilian at UFC 163.
"I like the kid, I really see a future with him in the UFC, because he is talented. But he runs his mouth and I just feel like you've got to be careful when you do that. For some reason he decided to take shots at me. I'm fan of the sport, I'm a fan of many fighters, but as soon as they look at me and start barking at me, the fighter in me comes out and I'm like, ‘You better watch your damn mouth.' That would be a fight that I would love to do once he makes a name for himself, but still right now he's a nobody. We'll see. If he lives up to the hype that I think he will, than I see me fighting him down the road, but for now, he's gotta at least fight somebody in the top 10."
Swanson, winner of five straight with four finishes, has a point.
McGregor is an entertaining performer with a ton of potential, but has yet to establish himself as a top 10 fighter. He can get one step closer when he takes on Max Holloway on the "Prelims" portion of this weekend's UFC Fight Night 26 event in Boston.
From a fan's perspective, we've been down this road before.
Converted kickboxer Stephen Thompson was supposed to be the next big thing at 170 pounds, stiffening Daniel Stittgen in his Octagon debut at the UFC 143 event in early 2012. That hype train, however, went off the rails when "Wonderboy" was smushed like Wonder bread by the "Immortal" Matt Brown just two months later.
Will "Notorious" suffer a similar fate?
We'll find out this weekend, though you can bet dollars to doughnuts that Swanson will likely be watching with vested interest, as he may find himself paired off against McGregor sooner rather than later. And beating Cubby could be the fastest way to crack the top 10.
Unless you had someone else in mind?