The Irishman is UFCs biggest earner but its most recent behaviour has been erratic and provoking. But in Dana Whites world, fund is king
On a chilly Thursday afternoon in April, Conor McGregor stormed into the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, and proceeded to wreak havoc. The Irishman snuck into the building with the intention of confronting Khabib Nurmagomedov, who was scheduled to compete for the vacant UFC lightweight deed that weekend. McGregor, accompanied by an suite, entered the building’s parking lots and began vandalizing a bus full of fighters before shedding a dolly through one of the windows. Various soldiers were hospitalized and removed from their scheduled contests. The entire scene was captured on video, commemorating one of “the worlds largest” humiliating moments in UFC history.
McGregor subsequently turned himself in to New York police and was tasked with assault and criminal misbehaviour( lawyers subsequently dropped the two trespass and related indicts following a request slew ).
McGregor’s wars that week had a long-lasting impact. UFC lightweight Michael Chiesa abode traumata after the dolly crushed through the window, while fellow UFC fighter Ray Borg suffered an eye injury from shattered glass. Both males were hospitalized and removed from their respective fights. Others, including UFC straw-weight endorse Rose Namajunas, were left shaken by the experience. Even UFC president Dana White- who knows the Irishman hauls in large-scale barriers and pay per idea multitudes- appeared outraged by McGregor’s actions.
” Do you want to be in business with Conor McGregor right now ?” White said during an impromptu media scrum following the incident.” Do you want to chase this person around for interviews and buy his fightings? Do you? I don’t think anybody is going to want to right now. I think everybody is going to be quite outraged with Conor McGregor right now .”
The bus incident payed McGregor an important sum of negative advertising. Nonetheless, the cruelty smothering the melee expired down over the coming months, especially after McGregor reached a request agreement in July and pleaded guilty to a single breaches of disorderly conduct.
For their portion, and despite White’s earlier bluster, the UFC opted not to take any action against McGregor. Instead, they have now repurposed the entire occurrence to further promote arguably the most difficult engages in UFC history.
At a press conference for UFC’s 25 th commemoration in early August, White was indicated that Nurmagomedov would contend McGregor at UFC 229 in Las Vegas. The edict has just taken place less than a few months after the Irishman impressed his plea transaction, and was capped off with a promotional video that used footage from the bus attack.
In fairness, Nurmagomedov-McGregor is a reverie fight for UFC fans, and one that many did not expect to happen. McGregor’s insolent mode and outlandish persona are in striking oppose to Nurmagomedov’s subdue behaviour and frightening existence, which merely includes more depth to an already compelling contest. It is also a fight that is, is in accordance with White, expected to break the UFC’s previous pay-per-view evidence.
It should be noted that four of the UFC’s top five more profitable PPV happens were headlined by McGregor. In McGregor’s absence over the past two years, the UFC has failed to recreate those figures and has contended on PPV. The only exception was UFC 207, which boasted the return of Ronda Rousey, who has since left for WWE. Given these figures, it is clear why UFC hopped at another McGregor fight.
While Nurmagomedov-McGregor is a fiscal boon for the UFC, it remains a risky venture. The Irishman and his suite have already induced havoc during the Barclays Center incident. A few of those men is a possibility with McGregor this time around, and owing to the fact that Nurmagomedov too ambles around with a sizeable unit that has been known to intimidate and confront soldiers, the lead-up to the PPV may be explosive.
McGregor has also wasted the last few weeks fuelling religious and ethnic tensions. He posted slides on social media with captions referencing him” chilling in Jahannam“( the Arabic word for inferno)- Nurmagomedov is Muslim. He likewise posted an image of one of Nurmagomedov’s training collaborators, Chechen fighter Zubaira Tukhugov, with the caption:” A genuine Chechen would never take orders from a Dagestani boy .” Nurmagomedov is from Dagestan.
Given the loaded affirmations McGregor has incorporated into his fighting promotion, the condescension between the fighters’ squads and their respective love will be palpable come Saturday night. Harmonizing to a source close to the episode, the UFC is taking steps to ensure the appropriate levels of security are in place for the contest. While it remains unclear what this entails, it will likely include increased police presence at the realm, that were likely restriction any strifes between fans.
Potential contends are far from the only protection concern coping with the UFC 229 main event. During a press conference to promote the fight, McGregor attempted to play mind games with Nurmagomedov by referencing some of the shady references that have been associated with the UFC champion. One of the controversial illustrations mentioned was the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who invited Nurmagomedov to host seminars at his oppose society in 2016. McGregor has called Kadyrov a” crazy despot” and those explains were not well received in Chechnya, where Kadyrov regulates with an iron fist. One of the fighters who represents Kadyrov’s fight club posted a video alerting McGregor that he will” answer for his words” before necessitating a public apologetic. This was followed by an official announcement from the Chechen minister for press and datum, who questioned McGregor’s mental health before calling him an” outrageous clown” who acts like a” Mexican rooster .”
While the intimidation tactics issued by Kadyrov and his bodyguards have been well-documented over the years, few expected him to target one of “the worlds largest” recognizable contestants on the planet. Though Kadyrov has not personally commented on McGregor or the upcoming UFC 229 happen, the statements emitted by the dictator’s representatives should be enough to raise security concerns for the Irishman.
The UFC’s decision to target McGregor in this weekend’s main event highlights the promotion’s willingness to relinquish punishment for profit. Perhaps more significantly their decision to push ahead with the main event despite security threats directed at McGregor and the rising tension between the Irishman and the Russian’s teams demonstrates UFC is willing to gamble on high-risk situations in order to reap its rewards.
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