Conor McGregor has turned into what he formerly denounced: a bully and a hobo
The Irishmans tiresome act is doing more to destroy the UFCs hard-won credibility than any stomach-turning bash or flunked drugging test
Watching Conor McGregor racing through the loading dock at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on Thursday, throwing dollies at a bus like some crazy-eyed goon, I could have been think of John McCain.
It was the US senator who years ago denounced the UFC as ” human cockfighting “, affixing a label of lawlessness on mixed martial art that pushed them into the recess of what was considered acceptable adult behavior. The UFC has worked for years to combat this image, with brain safety and drugging mandates that helped attract a corporate customer and led McCain to reconsider his opinion.
” The MMA cleaned up their play, they certainly did ,” McCain told me in 2016.” When it firstly started they were able to do happens that are now vetoed. I don’t have a problem with the MMA .”
Now the UFC’s biggest name, their starring who burst into the mainstream, property on publication treats, luring numerous to a play they’d never might have never considered, has been charged with assault and criminal mischief. One of these countings is a misdemeanour. And it does far more than any vicious melee or miscarried drugging measure to destroy the credibility the UFC has built in recent years. The videos of the organization’s most visible soldier storming across concrete hallways, lunging garbage cans, project to the world an likenes that justifies McCain’s original impression.
What does it say about the UFC when the only fighter to hold designations in two of the statistics division at once starts playing a common hoodlum?
Two years ago, back when he still came off as clever, McGregor once sat in a pre-fight news conference with Nate Diaz and said Diaz had” a bully mentality “. He then scorned Diaz’s mentors- some of one of which is MMA royalty- as “bums.” As he said this, McGregor wore a fine plaid clothing. He ogled luxurious. And even though he squabbled with Diaz on stagecoach, he still came off as regal, the fighter with an uncanny ability to describe exactly how he would triumph his crusades. For this he became known as” Mystic Mac “.
But there was nothing mystical or magical about the man howling through Barclays with a posse of sycophants, scampering from protection, flinging anything not bolted down at a bus filled with other soldiers. When he hurled the dolly through the bus opening, he reportedly injured lightweight soldier Michael Chiesa and flyweight Ray Borg enough that the two are gathered from Saturday’s UFC 233 placard. McGregor came off as the very things he once criticized: a bully and a bum.
Maybe, in a manner that is, this was some kind of extravagant battle promotion. The real target of McGregor’s ire was supposedly Khabib Nurmagomedov, the rising lightweight adept whose fighting against Max Holloway on Saturday night was for the loop McGregor was stripped of for not contending in the UFC since November 2016. McGregor was once a master of hype, construct hysteria for his combats with sacrilegiou tirades.
What happened Thursday was no deft stroke of promotional genius. McGregor’s act has moved forward monotonous in recent months as his whiz has peaked and he almost seems to have developed a compulsion to be outrageous. He gazed shabby and obnoxious in his pre-fight tour with Floyd Mayweather before their struggle last year and in dragging his gang of hangers-on to attack a bus under an arena 2 day before a big combat night was stupid. There’s no honor in getting arrested for potentially damaging the careers of other soldiers. McGregor, a human haunted with money, should understand that. With Chiesa and Borg’s withdrawls and UFC president Dana White’s removal of Artem Lobov( who was with McGregor on Thursday ), he may have expensed the UFC three pushes on Saturday’s card. When Holloway was declared medically incompetent to combat on Friday morning, the UFC was left with a shell of an happen.
” This is the last stunt on land that we’d ever pull ,” White told ESPN .” This is humiliating for the athletic and clearly for the UFC. This is the furthest happen from a stunt. This is bad.
Times have changed. This isn’t the age-old anything-goes UFC. The labour White and others did to polish the organization’s portrait resulted in a$ 4bn marketing to WME-IMG. The modern UFC is not the turncoat UFC. They are a huge corporate entity desperate to appeal to the mainstream. What McGregor did on Thursday might glean a knowing smile from a fight devotee which is able to shrug the whole occasion off a part of “fighting”. But it doesn’t appeal to the broader world that introduces parties like McGregor and former girl stellar Ronda Rousey on magazine comprises and television commercials.
” It’s out of character for Conor McGregor and any of my boxers ,” White said in his ESPN interview, examining shaken by what happened.” Listen, crazy happens is true in athletics . … In the history of the UFC, this is definitely the worst happen that’s happened. “Thats just not” Conor McGregor. This is not the Conor McGregor that I know .”
UFC executives ought to have forestalled with McGregor ever since he knocked out Jose Aldo in 13 seconds back in UFC 194. The prevail propelled McGregor to brand-new glory, constructing him nearly bigger than the organization himself- something he exploited to become increasing more difficult to control. They put up with his behaviour because, for a meter, it prepared them fund.
But this time McGregor bridged a line. White is right, the McGregor of recent months, the McGregor on Thursday, was nothing like the person who is grew the UFC’s greatest star. He has to make a choice now. Does he want to be a endorse or a bully and a hobo, throwing it all away to shed trashcans at buses?