Cormier claims Khabib owes his stardom to Conor McGregor

Former two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor’s star power has been praised by UFC Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier for his ability to elevate his opponents’ status.

In a recent episode of the ESPN show “DC & RC,” Cormier spoke about McGregor’s impact on his long-time teammate Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier’s careers.

According to Cormier, McGregor has elevated two of his closest friends in the sport, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier, to superstar status.

“He has elevated Khabib (Nurmagomedov) to a megastar, and he has elevated Dustin Poirier to a level of stardom that Dustin never could’ve imagined getting before. So not only does he help himself, he helps the guys that he shares the octagon with – especially the ones that can beat him.”

McGregor, who has a 22-6 record, was involved in a heated rivalry with Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2018 that elevated “The Eagle’s” star power. At UFC 229, Nurmagomedov successfully defended the lightweight title against McGregor by fourth-round submission. Since then, Nurmagomedov has become one of the greatest UFC lightweights of all time, defending the 155-pound title three times against McGregor, Dustin Poirier, and Justin Gaethje before retiring in Oct. 2020.

McGregor has gone 1-2 since his bout with Nurmagomedov, with back-to-back losses to Poirier. The “Notorious” last competed in July 2021 at UFC 264, where he suffered a TKO by doctor stoppage to Poirier. However, McGregor is expected to face Michael Chandler later this year, and he has been rehabbing his injury with the goal of returning to action soon.

McGregor’s rivalries with Nurmagomedov and Poirier have resulted in some of the best-selling pay-per-views in U.S. history. McGregor versus Nurmagomedov earned 2.5 million PPV buys, while McGregor versus Poirier II and III earned a combined 3.104 million buys, according to Insider.