In combat sports it has traditionally been easiest to sell the heaviest weights. While mixed martial arts have proven to be more complex, it is still harder to sell the lightest weights.
Jose Aldo, Renan Barao, Demetrious Johnson, Gilbert Melendez, and Anthony Pettis are all stars, but none has quite broken through to the casual fan.
However, no one told Conor McGregor, and after just two fights in the UFC, he is earning an unprecedented degree of media attention for a featherweight.
Among the millions who have noticed is former UFC and WEC Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz.
"Really, it's just like anything else," Cruz told Shaun Al-Shatti. "You hear what other people say and you take other people's constructive criticism, and add it to what you do until people like hearing what you have to say. And they either like it or they don't. Everybody likes hearing what Conor McGregor has to say. It's funny, he's clever, he's got a nice accent and he comes in and he always dresses sharp. All that together creates something that people want to watch on TV. It's entertainment.
"Fighters need to remember that we're in the entertainment business. And that comes from giving an interview, all the way to the end of the fight. The more entertaining you are through and through, from beginning to end, however you choose to do it, the more people are going to want to tune in, and the more butts you're going to put in the seats. That's something that all of us can take from a guy like Conor McGregor."
"He just doesn't care. Conor just doesn't care. You kinda gotta have that. That's what makes this sport fun.
"Conor McGregor has his own of doing things and it's made him extremely well-liked. Everybody wants to see what he's going to do from there. And more power to him, because he's doing exactly what he needs to be doing to get these fights that he wants."
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