When Paige VanZant detailed why greats like Georges St-Pierre pale in comparison to Conor McGregor: "He knew how to market himself"

Conor McGregor is credited for expanding MMA and the UFC
Conor McGregor is credited for expanding MMA and the UFC's geographic footprint [Image Courtesy: @thenotoriousmma Instagram]

UFC megastar Conor McGregor has made a huge impact on the sport of MMA. Many fighters and influential personalities have acknowledged his contribution to the sport's growth, including ex-UFC fighter Paige VanZant.

Ahead of McGregor's UFC 257 fight against Dustin Poirier in January 2021, VanZant shared her thoughts on the Irishman's career and why he outshines even the great champions like Georges St-Pierre.

During her appearance on the Endless Hustle podcast, VanZant said:

"I think he's a genius. I think he was the first one to... Like there were amazing stars of MMA based on their capabilities and the way that they competed in the octagon. There was a lot of people who were extremely successful. Georges St-Pierre instantly comes to mind."

She added:

"He's [St-Pierre] a huge recognizable name but there is nobody that has done it like Conor McGregor where he knew how to market himself and it didn't matter if he was winning or losing. People love him. He was able to get paid for who he is and he absolutely deserves everything he's done and he's worked extremely hard. It's totally cool to see somebody like that, like a frontrunner."

Catch Paige VanZant's comments below (0:27):


Paige VanZant credits Conor McGregor for making the UFC and MMA "the household name"

Conor McGregor was the first MMA fighter whose popularity went far beyond the traditional MMA fanbase. The Irishman fueled the UFC's commercial success in an unprecedented fashion. Testimony to this fact is that eight of the UFC's 10 highest-selling pay-per-view events were headlined by McGregor.

Many fighters have attempted to replicate McGregor's promotional tactics to sell the fights. However, 'The Notorious' remains the most popular MMA fighter in the world.

Speaking further in the aforementioned episode of the Endless Hustle podcast, Paige VanZant credited McGregor for expanding the UFC and MMA footprint and giving them mainstream appeal. She said:

"Now you can really see, you know, the personalities of all these other fighters come through. Everyone's trying to be the next Conor McGregor - Walk like him and talk like him. I think that no one will be able to have his originality. There's going to be other stars. I absolutely believe that. But I think that he's going to be known as the first most important person to really change the UFC and MMA to this household name." [1:17]

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