Conor McGregor has turned into what he formerly condemned: a bully and a stinker
The Irishmans tiresome routine is doing more to destroy the UFCs hard-won credibility than any stomach-turning bash or miscarried drugging test
Watching Conor McGregor racing through the loading dock at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on Thursday, shedding dollies at a bus like some crazy-eyed rowdy, I could only think of John McCain.
It was the US senator who years ago condemned the UFC as ” human cockfighting “, appending a label of lawlessness on mixed martial art that pushed them into the angles of what was considered acceptable adult behaviour. The UFC has worked for years to combat this image, with brain safety and doping mandates that helped attract a corporate buyer and produced McCain to reconsider his opinion.
” The MMA cleaned up their deed, they genuinely did ,” McCain told me in 2016.” When it firstly started they were able to do things that are now proscribed. I don’t have a problem with the MMA .”
Now the UFC’s biggest name, their whiz who burst into the mainstream, territory on periodical cross, luring numerous to a boast they’d never might have never considered, has been charged with assault and criminal misbehaviour. One of these counts is a transgression. And it does far more than any vicious clash or flunked doping experiment to destroy the credibility the UFC has built in recent years. The videos of the organization’s most visible soldier feelings across concrete passages, hurling trash can, project to the world an portrait that establishes McCain’s original impression.
What does it say about the UFC when the only fighter to hold deeds in two of the statistics division at once starts playing a common hoodlum?
Two decades ago, back when he still came off as inventive, McGregor once sat in a pre-fight news conference with Nate Diaz and said Diaz had” a bully mentality “. He then taunted Diaz’s mentors- some of whom are MMA royalty- as “bums.” As he said this, McGregor wore a fine plaid clothing. He appeared stylish. And even though he struggled with Diaz on stage, he still came off as regal, the fighter with an uncanny ability to describe exactly how he would triumph his engages. For this he became known as” Mystic Mac “.
But there was nothing mystic or supernatural about the man howling through Barclays with a posse of flatterers, scampering from security, flinging anything not bolted down at a bus filled with other fighters. When he threw the dolly through the bus window, he allegedly injured lightweight fighter Michael Chiesa and flyweight Ray Borg enough that both were pulled from Saturday’s UFC 233 poster. McGregor came off as the very things he once criticized: a bully and a bum.
Maybe, in a manner that was, this was some kind of extravagant contend advertisement. The real target of McGregor’s ire was supposedly Khabib Nurmagomedov, the rising lightweight ace whose fight with Max Holloway on Saturday night was for the loop McGregor was deprived of for not fighting in the UFC since November 2016. McGregor was once a master of hype, construct hysteria for his fightings with idolatrou denunciations.
What happened Thursday was no skillful apoplexy of promotional genius. McGregor’s act has moved forward tedious in recent months as his star has peaked and he almost seems to have developed a compulsion to be outrageous. He searched seedy and obnoxious in his pre-fight tour with Floyd Mayweather before their fight last year and in dragging his mob of hangers-on to accuse a bus under an arena two days before a big fight nighttime was stupid. There’s no honor in get arrested for potentially detrimental the careers of other boxers. McGregor, a husband preoccupied with fund, should realize 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 cost the UFC three combats on Saturday’s card. When Holloway was declared medically incompetent to fighting on Friday morning, the UFC was left with a shell of an happen.
” This is the last stunt on earth that we’d ever pull ,” White told ESPN .” This is embarrassing for the boast and patently for the UFC. This is the furthest thing from a stunt. This is bad.
Times have changed. This isn’t the old-fashioned anything-goes UFC. The occupation White and others did to polish the organization’s persona resulted in a$ 4bn marketing to WME-IMG. The modern UFC is not the renegade UFC. They are a huge corporate entity desperate to appeal to the mainstream. What McGregor did on Thursday might outline a knowing smile from a fight fan who will shrug the whole thing off a part of “fighting”. But it doesn’t appeal to the broader macrocosm that makes people like McGregor and former female virtuoso Ronda Rousey on periodical covers and television commercials.
” It’s out of character for Conor McGregor and any of my boxers ,” White said in his ESPN interview, gazing shaken by what really happened.” Listen, crazy things is true in athletics . … In its own history of the UFC, this is definitely the worst thing that’s happened. “Thats just not” Conor McGregor. “Thats just not” the Conor McGregor that I know .”
UFC executives have been annoyed with McGregor ever since he knocked out Jose Aldo in 13 seconds back in UFC 194. The prevail propelled McGregor to brand-new renown, shaping him almost bigger than individual organizations himself- something he manipulated to become increasing more difficult to control. They put up with his behavior because, for a occasion, it stirred them fund.
But this time McGregor intersected a line. White is right, the McGregor of recent months, the McGregor on Thursday, was nothing like the one who became the UFC’s greatest star. He has to make a option now. Does he want to be a champion or a bully and a hobo, throwing it all away to shed trashcans at buses?