Since his first-round TKO win over Marcus Brimage in just over a minute on his UFC debut, McGregor’s journey has been a spectacular one that may have gone up and down like a see-saw, but never lacked in drama and moments that are very much a part of UFC’s folklore.
Before him, there is a strong argument about the UFC being very limited in terms of its global reach. The Notorious has taken it out of captivity and installed it as one of the sporting world’s most-watched spectacles.
Speaking on the MMA Hour, he said: “For UFC, where they’ve been very smart is by – it’s such an honour to get a UFC deal.
“You see these kids coming out of Bellator, or Cage Warriors, or wherever it is; but the thought of getting a UFC contract is everything.
“But I feel in the UFC, they don’t want you to get too big.
“And when you do – and I used to almost laugh at Conor, because I could just imagine just the disruption that he was causing in that organisation, because that’s not really the name of the game.
“We don’t want a star that is bigger than the UFC. Conor McGregor became bigger than the UFC. Really. And that’s a nightmare for those guys.”
Hearn also put his appreciation for UFC on record, going so far as to suggest that he has learned a lot from how they operate as a business.
“A lot of what we do as a business follows suit from the UFC and I never mind admitting that I tell our team, ‘Watch they they’re doing’.
“In terms of everything, from the live streams at the press conferences to the graphics, to the look and feel, the branding, the ring, everything.”