Conor McGregor is officially one win away from a UFC title shot. UFC president Dana White confirmed to reporters prior to UFC 182 that McGregor, the hyped-up featherweight from Ireland, will receive the next crack at UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo should he get by Dennis Siver at UFC Fight Night 59, which takes place January 18 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The news does not come as a surprise at all, as the featherweight division has never been a draw among casual fans since it came into place in the UFC in 2011. While Aldo is considered the No. 2 pound-for-pound fighter in the world by many, he has yet to really make his mark as a pay-per-view draw and the UFC has been waiting for someone like McGregor, who has the potential to be a PPV draw, to come along for years. With that being said, right now McGregor isn’t a proven draw on PPV himself, and the lone PPV he was on, UFC 178, didn’t do as well as expected. But with the Irishman’s ability to hype up fights, not to mention the fact he is a killer in the cage with brutal knockout power, he absolutely has the potential to be one of the UFC’s best-selling champions should he continue his reign of terror through the UFC featherweight division. Obviously, McGregor has to get through Siver first before he gets his shot at Aldo, and you can never count out a veteran like Siver completely, but if you take a look at the current betting lines, McGregor is a -1100 favorite to win that fight. Clearly the market out there believes that McGregor is going to win this fight in impressive fashion or else the line wouldn’t be this long, and it’s hard to blame the betting public for thinking that way considering how dominant McGregor has looked since arriving in the UFC in 2013. Having said that, while Siver would be an easy fight for McGregor, it’s very likely he is biting off more than he can chew with Aldo. Yes, he could help promote a huge match with Aldo, whether that be in Dublin, Ireland or Brazil, but at the same time, Aldo is a significant step up from the likes of Siver, Dustin Poirier, and Diego Brandao, the guys who McGregor has been facing as of late. That’s not to say McGregor doesn’t have a chance against Aldo — he will probably only be a moderate underdog when the line is released — but Aldo’s clearly a tougher fight than Siver, Poirier, etc. Regardless, McGregor has to get through Siver first, but if he does, fans will be treated to a fun one between him and Aldo later this year, a fight that should help revitalize the UFC featherweight title’s pay-per-view sales, and one that will no doubt make the UFC very happy.
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