Conor McGregor has turned into what he formerly deplored: a bully and a tramp
The Irishmans tiresome routine is doing more to destroy the UFCs hard-won credibility than any stomach-turning bash or neglected drugging test
Watching Conor McGregor hastening through the loading dock at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on Thursday, shedding dollies at a bus like some crazy-eyed bully, 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 corners of what was considered acceptable adult behaviour. The UFC has worked for years to combat this image, with brain safety and drugging mandates that helped attract a corporate customer and preceded McCain to reconsider his opinion.
” The MMA cleaned up their ordinance, they certainly did ,” McCain told me in 2016.” When it firstly started they were able to do occasions that are now prohibited. I don’t have a problem with the MMA .”
Now the UFC’s biggest name, their virtuoso who burst into the mainstream, property on publication blankets, tempting 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 brutal clash or neglected drugging research to destroy the credibility the UFC has built in recent years. The videos of the organization’s most visible soldier raging across concrete passageways, hurling trash barrel, project to the world an persona that substantiates McCain’s original impression.
What does it say about the UFC when the only fighter to hold entitles in two of its divisions at once starts playing a common hoodlum?
Two years ago, back when he still happened off as clever, McGregor once sat in a pre-fight news conference with Nate Diaz and announced Diaz had” a bully attitude “. He then mocked Diaz’s mentors- some of whom are MMA royalty- as “bums.” As he said this, McGregor wore a fine plaid clothing. He examined elegant. And even though he tussled with Diaz on stagecoach, he still developed off as regal, the fighter with an uncanny ability to describe exactly how he would prevail his contends. For this he became known as” Mystic Mac “.
But there was nothing metaphysical or supernatural about the three men shrieking through Barclays with a posse of sycophants, scampering from protection, flinging anything not bolted down at a bus fitted with other boxers. When he threw the dolly through the bus window, he supposedly injured lightweight soldier Michael Chiesa and flyweight Ray Borg enough that the two are plucked from Saturday’s UFC 233 card. McGregor went off as the very things he formerly decried: a bully and a bum.
Maybe, in a manner that is, this was some kind of extravagant oppose promotion. The real target of McGregor’s ire was supposedly Khabib Nurmagomedov, the rising lightweight sun whose fight with Max Holloway on Saturday night was for the belt McGregor was deprived of for not contending in the UFC since November 2016. McGregor was once a master of hype, construct hysteria for his opposes with demoralize harangues.
What happened Thursday was no masterful stroking of promotional genius. McGregor’s act has been an increase wearisome in recent months as his star has peaked and he nearly seems to have developed a compulsion to be disgraceful. He gazed shabby and hateful in his pre-fight tour with Floyd Mayweather before their fight last year and in dragging his gang of hangers-on to accuse a bus under an realm two days before a big crusade night was stupid. There’s no honor in get “re under arrest for” potentially damaging the careers of other soldiers. McGregor, a boy preoccupied with coin, 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 cost the UFC three pushes on Saturday’s card. When Holloway was declared medically incapable to contend on Friday morning, the UFC was left with a shell of an phenomenon.
” This is the last stunt on globe that we’d ever pull ,” White told ESPN .” This is flustering for the play and plainly for the UFC. This is the farthest concept from a stunt. This is bad.
Times have changed. This isn’t the old-time anything-goes UFC. The duty White and others did to polish the organization’s image resulted in a$ 4bn sale 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 are capable of shrug the whole event off a part of “fighting”. But it doesn’t appeal to the broader macrocosm that places people like McGregor and former female superstar Ronda Rousey on periodical reports and television commercial-grades.
” It’s out of reputation for Conor McGregor and any of my fighters ,” White said in his ESPN interview, gazing shaken by whatever happens.” Listen, crazy acts is true in sports . … In the history of the UFC, this is definitely the worst thing that’s happened. This is no longer Conor McGregor. This is not the Conor McGregor that I know .”
UFC administrations have been annoyed with McGregor ever since he knocked out Jose Aldo in 13 seconds back in UFC 194. The win propelled McGregor to new reputation, shaping him nearly bigger than the organization himself- something he employed to become increasing more difficult to control. They put up with his demeanor because, for a season, it represented them money.
But this time McGregor crossed a line. White is right, the McGregor of recent months, the McGregor on Thursday, was nothing like the person who is became the UFC’s greatest star. He has to make a select now. Does he want to be a champion or a bully and a tramp, throwing it all away to shed trashcans at buses?