There seems to be quite a bit of hype surrounding UFC on Fuel 9 competitor Conor McGregor, as he makes his Octagon debut this weekend in Sweden.
A two-weight-class champion in another promotion, McGregor has been in the spotlight already with documentaries being aired about his rise to success, and that was before he ever even signed with the UFC earlier this year.
His opponent this weekend, Marcus Brimage, has heard all the stories about McGregor, and as he understands it, the young Irishman is going to be a popular pick on Saturday. He's watched plenty of video on McGregor, and he's not really sure where all the hype is coming from outside of a few flashy finishes against subpar opponents.
"I looked the guy up and he's like the Irish gospel, he's like the second coming in Ireland. Everyone's just going crazy about him saying that he's on the short path to (Jose) Aldo, he's got two belts, so I really didn't give a damn," Brimage told Bleacher Report. "I looked up his opponents and I looked up his fights and f—king all his opponents were just scared sh—less before they ever walked into the ring. They were petrified, they couldn't even do anything against him before the fights even started."
Brimage is pretty positive looking at the fights that McGregor's had over the past couple of years that he could duplicate those same performances if he lined up similar talent.
"I told everybody I can go back to Alabama state fairgrounds, put some bums in the ring, whoop their asses, and put all my cousins in the stands to make sure it looked good. I could do that, but that doesn't mean nothing," said Brimage. "He fights in Cage Warriors and then he got all his cousins in the stands saying 'Go Ireland!' and he clowns the dude and it makes him look fantastic."
The hype surrounding McGregor also comes with a certain level of expectation, and that brings plenty of pressure behind it as well.
Brimage has already knocked off two other competitors of similar pedigree in Jim Hettes and Maximo Blanco, who appeared to be on the fast track to fame and fortune when he beat them in the Octagon. Whether he sees his name in lights come Saturday night isn't important, but Brimage promises to send McGregor back to Ireland with a UFC loss and a big bruised ego to match.
"I'm still gonna come up in there as the underdog, like I always am, and I'm just going to do my thing like I always do," Brimage stated. "He's going to come out there thinking I'm a lollipop that he can just clown and then that's when he's going to get a reality check."
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and all quotes were obtained first hand unless otherwise noted.