As a man who knows a thing or two about what it takes to attract media attention, former boxing champ Mike Tyson comments on MMA’s most polarizing personality, Conor McGregor, in an exclusive interview with FO.
“Professional fighting is showbusiness. And at the end of the day you have to make sure you’re just as much about the business as you are the show,” Tyson says, speaking with more authority on the matter than likely any other fighter in history.
“Conor is very charismatic. Jon Jones is bad, but deep down he’s a decent kind of person and very shy. Whereas this guy, Conor, he’s the man. He reminds me of the old-time boxers, one of those guys that’s just into everything. He walks into the room and everybody stands up. He sucks the air out of the room. He’s just a really interesting guy.
“He does things nobody else has been able to do too. He’s kind of like an animated character, one that’s real though. He’s a great fighter, but his personality is even bigger than his talent. Isn’t that crazy? He’s got this huge personality. Nobody in MMA has ever had a personality as big as his. Ronda (Rousey) is just like a monster – the things she would do – but this guy is different. His personality is phenomenal.”
That power McGregor wields in the UFC can lure a new generation of athletes into mixed martial arts. And Tyson says his success won’t go unnoticed in inner-city neighborhoods the world over – although it’s about much more than fat checks.
“It’s actually not even about the money, it’s the power,” he adds. “That’s what it’s all about. We never say it, but that’s what he wants: power. That’s why we put out lives on the brink of destruction, because we want to grasp that power. Nothing else matters. We almost want to give our lives up in pursuit of it. It’s worth dying and killing for.”
Read the full interview with Mike Tyson inside the May edition of Fighters Only.