Daniel Cormier has drawn an interesting parallel between the UFC’s current golden boy Conor McGregor and former wrestling star ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin.
Cormier reckons McGregor’s anti-hero status, which sees him acting in a brash and boastful manner while still remaining a popular fan favourite, is reminiscent of Austin’s time with the WWE.
Just like Stone Cold, McGregor is the ‘bad guy’ everyone is actually rooting for, with his antics only serving to make him more popular.
“He brings more eyes. I think he’s the anti-hero. He is ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin from 2000,” UFC light heavyweight champion Cormier told TSN in Canada. “The guy that you’re kind of supposed to root against but you want to root for. Everything that he does, before would have gotten people to boo you, but they’ve taken to it.
“It’s something different than what they’re used to seeing that people love it. I think it’s fun.”
Cormier also believes that, just like Stone Cold, there is a difference between McGregor’s public and private persona, and that fans sense the showmanship behind his brash manner.
“There is a Conor within in his character and there is a Conor outside of his character,” Cormier said. “The Conor outside of his character is a little bit different. As it’s grown, as the character has grown, they are starting to merge a little bit but with us, the fighters, I think he still knows how to separate.”