Ever since Brock Lesnar prematurely ended his MMA career as a result of a long-term stomach injury, UFC president Dana White has been looking for a larger-than-life cashcow.
Conor McGregor has already begun to crossover into mainstream cultural consciousness and when the fighting Irishman knocked out Dustin Poirier in just one round at UFC 178, White saw dollar signs:
"Conor McGregor is the real deal—he is legit. He is a force that I have never seen ever. Bigger than Brock Lesnar when he was here. Bigger than any of the fighters we’ve ever had. I’ve never seen anything like this.”
There's only one male fighter in the UFC ranks who can challenge McGregor's domination of column inches and he hasn't even fought yet. Step forward, CM Punk.