Conor McGregor has made a lot of startlingly accurate predictions in recent years. From his rise to UFC superstardom to his position as world champion to even the round and method in which he would win fights. One thing he admittedly failed to envision, though, was the impact he would have in the world of video games.
McGregor, the UFC Featherweight champion who next fights at UFC 205 in November 12th when he challenges Eddie Alvarez for the Lightweight belt at Madison Square Garden in New York City, will appear in the upcoming Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare title (which releases November 4th) as a special character in the game’s campaign mode.
The Irish superstar has previously graced the video game world as a cover star on EA UFC 2 along with Ronda Rousey, but he says this is something different. Call of Duty is a first-person shooter that has no link to McGregor’s world of MMA. He was presented with the opportunity to be in the game anyway, and given the significance, he couldn’t possibly turn it down.
“This is completely outside of the fight world,” McGregor tells Rolling Stone. “I didn’t think I would get on the front cover of a UFC video game. I saw a lot of things, but I didn’t see video games. But I’m happy to be here. I get approached all the time with roles and all this stuff. Not many of them are interesting but this one was definitely of interest to me so I went with it and it’s been good.”
As arguably the biggest star in MMA history, McGregor is frequently approached with proposals for projects outside of fighting. However, his relentless dedication to his craft has caused him to turn down countless offers, such as a key role in the upcoming XxX: Return of Xander Cage sequel with Vin Diesel, where he was ultimately replaced by fellow UFC champion Michael Bisping.
McGregor says the chance to play video game bad guy Captain Bradley Fillion was something he couldn’t pass up, though. He says he’s held a longstanding passion for the Call of Duty series, and with the franchise having sold more than 200 million copies in its existence, both the business and personal sides of McGregor saw the exposure he would gain.
“I’m on a roll and this stuff is bigger than Hollywood right now,” McGregor says. “These games are grossing more than Hollywood blockbusters, so it seems like the right fit since I’m grossing more than anyone in the fight game also. The offer came about so naturally and I thought it over. It’s such a big game. I play a good load of games, but there’s only two games I actually really play that I’ve been obsessed with: The UFC game and Call of Duty. Now I’m in both of them. It’s very surreal.”
McGregor is not the first sports star to make the Call of Duty crossover. Now-retired NFL standout Marshawn Lynch appeared in the previous title. He is, however, the first combat sports athlete to enter the territory. “The Notorious” has constantly broke down barriers for his world, and he claims this latest achievement is simply more evidence of what he’s capable of.
“The offer was presented to me, I looked it over and now here we are,” McGregor says. “”It strengthens what I already know: I do big things.”