Daniel Cormier and Conor McGregor have very different views on the world of professional wrestling.
With the exception of a few “dons” within the organisation, McGregor famously referred to the vast majority of the WWE roster as being “pussies” who he could “slap the head off” – remarks which baited numerous stars within the WWE into trying to retaliate on Twitter.
Cormier, the UFC’s Light Heavyweight champion, meanwhile, doesn’t share McGregor’s views on the WWE. A fan since he was a kid, Cormier has maintained an interest into adulthood and still holds the sports entertainment organisation close to his heart. So when DC compared Conor McGregor to one of the biggest stars in wrestling history, you know that it was meant as high praise.
“He brings more eyes. I think he’s the anti-hero. He is ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin from 2000”, Cormier said to TSN in Canada.
Cormier is referring to arguably the WWE’s most profitable period ever in its history. The ‘Attitude Era’, as it was dubbed, graduated professional wrestling from niche entertainment aimed at children to a pop culture juggernaut and ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin was at the heart of it all, playing the role of the every-man American who hates his boss.
At its height, Steve Austin’s popularity rivaled that of some of the biggest legitimate sports stars on the planet and he was almost single-handedly responsible for catapulting the WWE into the consciousness of people across the globe.
Cormier sees McGregor playing a similar role for the UFC.
“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”, DC explained.
“It’s something different than what they’re used to seeing that people love it. I think it’s fun.”