LAS VEGAS — Conor McGregor is not a man known for his subdued nature.
McGregor is brash, from his newfound taste for expensively tailored suits to the over-the-top persona that has quickly turned him into one of the UFC's biggest stars. And he has backed it up in the Octagon thus far, putting together a streak of wins that will land him in the cage this summer in the headlining bout of the UFC's International Fight Week against featherweight kingpin Jose Aldo.
But mostly, McGregor is known for his personality and for the things he says when the cameras are on. Last week, while in Rio de Janeiro, McGregor spoke of how, in a different and much older time, he would ride into Aldo's favela on horseback and kill everyone who was not fit to work.
He has branded himself the king of the featherweights, and on Monday morning he told a gathering of reporters that he planned on leaving the division after beating Aldo, unless the rest of the top-10 featherweights lined up and apologized for offending him.
Is it ridiculous? It is ridiculous. But it is effective, and Aldo vs. McGregor will likely end up the UFC's biggest fight of 2015. And to hear McGregor tell it, it won't just be the UFC's biggest fight of 2015; it will be the biggest combat sports event of 2015, period.
"I think we're going to compete with Mayweather and Pacquiao," McGregor said.
One journalist asked McGregor if he expected his Aldo fight to do 4 million pay-per-view buys.
"We will see. Is that what you estimate Mayweather and Pacquiao to be?," McGregor asked. The reporter said his personal estimate was 3.5 million.
"Three and a half? I don't think so," McGregor replied. "I am not interested in that fight as much as this one."
The current record for pay-per-view buys is held by a 2007 bout between Mayweather and Oscar de la Hoya. That bout generated 2.48 million buys. The largest-ever UFC buyrate was UFC 100, which garnered 1.75 million. But that was the peak for the UFC, and it has never come close to replicating that success.
McGregor and Aldo will face off on July 11, capping off the latest iteration of the UFC's International Fight Week event that also features a Fan Expo, an Invica fight card on Friday night and a Sunday Ultimate Fighter Finale event.
Jeremy Botter covers mixed martial arts for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter.