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Dana White: Conor McGregor ‘one of the most underrated fighters in UFC’

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A former champion who is 21-3 with 18 knockouts and opened as the betting favorite in 12 of his last 13 fights is “underrated.”

A lot of folks thought Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White was off his rocker when told the mixed martial arts (MMA) community that former women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey was “underrated.”

A pretty strange way to describe a champion who jumped out to a 12-0 start with 12 violent finishes, 11 of which came in the very first round.

So I guess it should come as no surprise to learn that former UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor is also underrated, despite the fact that he’s out there knocking everybody out at 155 pounds.

”It’s funny to say this because of how popular he is and what a huge star he is, but I think Conor McGregor is one of the most underrated fighters in the UFC,” White said on the UFC Unfiltered podcast (via MMAnytt.com). “Every time Conor McGregor comes out to fight somebody new and it’s a wrestler or it’s whatever, this is the fight that Conor is going to lose.”

I guess now is the time to point out that McGregor was a massive betting favorite to win his Nate Diaz main event at UFC 196, sitting somewhere in the -430 range before going on the get submitted in the second stanza.

Then he closed as the favorite in their UFC 202 rematch later that year.

“He said that he would knock out Jose Aldo the way he did it, he said he would do it in the first round,” White said. “A lot of people picked him to lose to Eddie Alvarez because of Eddie Alvarez’s style and wrestling. Look how he looked there. Leading up to the fight when he fought Chad Mendes — Chad Mendes is a wrestler, everybody believed that he would do that. Then after [Conor] won everybody said that Chad Mendes didn’t have enough time to train for it. The list goes on and on.”

McGregor is 21-3 as a pro with 18 knockouts.

I guess having McGregor pegged as the underdog against Khabib Nurmagomedov, in White’s assessment, makes him underrated. “The Eagle” hasn’t lost in 26 fights and has the kind of wrestling that could be problematic for “Notorious.”

We’ll find out one way or the other in the upcoming UFC 229 pay-per-view (PPV) main event, which takes place Sat., Oct. 6, 2018 inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada (more on that card here).

So ... how do you “rate” McGregor?