Conor McGregor’s impact on the combat sports world is undeniable, and the UFC’s most prominent star continues to receive recognition for his work.
The lightweight champion on Thursday was named to the Time 100, the outlet’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Ex-bantamweight queen Ronda Rousey made the list in 2016. McGregor’s passage is written by bodybuilder, movie star and former governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger. The SBG Ireland native is listed in the “Pioneers” category by Time, an eclectic list that includes Ivanka Trump and Chance the Rapper, among others.
“Conor McGregor is more than a fighter, more than an athlete, more than a champion—although, as the first person in the history of the Ultimate Fighting Championship to hold titles in two weight divisions at once, he is clearly all of those things,” Schwarzenegger wrote. “Conor is also the rare personality who has become bigger than his sport. That lean, compact body must struggle to keep his enormous character inside.
“From the first time I met Conor, I knew he wasn't the type of star you could box into one category. Since I've gotten to know him, I can tell you that what you see on the screen—the now familiar face of mixed martial arts—just scratches the surface,” he continued. “The Dublin native is razor-sharp, disciplined and charismatic. His energy is absolutely contagious, to the point where you almost start shouting in an Irish accent after 30 seconds of hearing that world-famous mouth.
“Conor has a fire in his belly that can't be quenched with championship belts. There are no brakes that can stop his engine.”
2016 was a banner year for McGregor, as he become the promotion’s first-ever simultaneous two-division champion when he defeated Eddie Alvarez to win the lightweight crown at UFC 205 on Nov. 12. Additionally, his two welterweight bouts against Nate Diaz earlier in the year were among the most successful pay-per-view draws in UFC history.
McGregor has yet to compete in 2017 as he awaits the birth of his first child with girlfriend Dee Devlin, but it seems to be more and more likely that the Irishman’s first combat sports appearance of the year will be a boxing match against undefeated champion Floyd Mayweather. UFC President Dana White recently said that he expects to expects to finalize McGregor’s portion of the contract for that fight in the coming days, and it’s a deal that could net the “Notorious” one a payday in the neighborhood of $75 million.
McGregor joins LeBron James, Tom Brady, Neymar and Colin Kaepernick as athletes selected for the Time 100.