Who is the “bigger star,” Ronda Rousey or Conor McGregor? And “by far” or not “by far”?
JASON AMADI, MMATorch contributor
Conor McGregor is the bigger star, but not by a whole lot. A lot of Ronda Rousey’s appeal to the mainstream was that she was branded both the female UFC fighter and the second coming of Mike Tyson. Since her loss, the world has moved on. She probably has more to offer the mainstream, but evidence suggests that McGregor has usurped her as the top star in MMA.
He’s been seen hanging out with Rihanna, Drake, Jennifer Lopez, and Cristiano Ronaldo. He’s even in the new Call of Duty video game. McGregor also had much of the WWE roster tweeting about him in a huff. He’s headlined three of the top four UFC pay-per-views of all time and holds numerous gate records for the UFC. He’s the biggest star in UFC history and it’s likely that he’ll put more and more distance between himself and the rest of the pack as time goes on.
ROBERT VALLEJOS, MMATorch contributor
The debate between the stardom of Rousey and McGregor is a matter of semantics. McGregor can make a press conference a must-see event. McGregor’s ability to make an entertainment spectacle out of every event he is a part of enhances his profile with every public appearance. To borrow from political speak, McGregor really “fires up the base”! Objectively, the numbers indicate that McGregor is a bigger star in UFC. However, Rousey has stardom that is independent of the UFC. My wife or my mother can identify Ronda Rousey when she makes a media appearance that is unrelated to the UFC. The same cannot be said of McGregor. No absolute answer exists.
JOEL WIELENGA, MMATorch contributor
Right now it is Conor McGregor and it is not close. Rousey has not fought in almost a year and everybody still has the image of her getting knocked out in their heads. If she comes back and wins back her belt (which I think is very possible) then she can close that gap and maybe overtake McGregor, but as of today it is Conor by a mile.
MATTHEW PETERSON, MMATorch contributor
McGregor, by far. Rousey blew the doors off when she came to the UFC with six wins via quick devastation, but her brutal loss to Holly Holm let off a lot of the star power. McGregor has the glorious gift of gab and Rousey didn’t headline two of the biggest PPVs in company history; McGregor did. Rousey never had the ability to sell a fight like McGregor does and her currently long layoff has put her in the rearview mirror. So long as McGregor keeps fighting and winning, Rousey will never even come close.
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