BOSTON - The last time Conor McGregor fought in Boston, he was on the undercard.
The Dubliner returns to the TD Garden on Sunday and this time he is the center of attention.
McGregor (16-2) will take on Dennis Siver of Mannheim, Germany, in the featherweight main event on a card.
"The last time, it was a lot less," said McGregor at Friday's media day at Ned Devine's Irish Pub. "In my imagination, it was not. As you can see, all these fans are here. Anytime you catch a bus, my picture is on the side of it. Anytime you hail a cab, my picture is on it. Anytime you throw trash in a bin, there's my face again."
McGregor last fought in Boston on Aug. 17, 2013 on the undercard of the Chael Sonnen/Mauricio Rua UFC Fight Night card, winning a unanimous decision against Max Halloway.
Despite taking place on the same day as the AFC championship game between the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts in nearby Foxborough, Massachusetts, the UFC promotion has sold approximately 14,000 tickets. Of the three UFC promotions that have taken place in the TD Garden, it will be the largest crowd.
The 26-year-old McGregor is ranked fifth in the UFC's featherweight division, while Siver (22-9) is 10th. Should McGregor win on Sunday, he is hoping to challenge UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo.
"I'm sure they will bring him into the Octagon after the fight," McGregor said. "I'll be fresh as a daisy. There won't be a scratch on me, the same as he will be sitting there watching my fight."
The 36-year-old Siver is a native of Omsk, Russia, who now lives in Germany. He said it does not bother him that most of the prefight attention has been focused on McGregor
"I like being the underdog," Siver said through his interpreter, Oliver Copp. "If it were up to me, I'd be back at the hotel relaxing now but I have to do media."
Siver said that he has what it takes to defeat McGregor, though he does understand the task will be a difficult one.
"I have much more experience and will be able to dominate Conor," he said. "I'm bigger, stronger, faster. I have more experience. I can't let it go to points. It will be tough to win a decision against an Irishman in Boston so I'll be looking to finish it."
The co-main event will be a lightweight bout between Donald Cerrone of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Benson Henderson of Glendale, Arizona.
Cerrone (26-6) last fought on Jan. 3, winning a unanimous decision against Myles Jury in Las Vegas.
"I'm healthy," Cerrone said. "I'm in shape. No reason I couldn't take the fight."
Henderson (21-4) last fought on Aug. 23, 2014, losing by knockout against Rafael dos Anjos in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
"I'm ready for this," Henderson said. "I had a full training camp. Everything went well. No snags. No injuries."