The Irishman is UFCs biggest earner but his recent behaviour has been erratic and provocative. 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 intent of tackling Khabib Nurmagomedov, who was scheduled to compete for the vacant UFC lightweight designation that weekend. McGregor, accompanied by an entourage, entered the building’s parking lot and began vandalizing a bus full of fighters before hurling a dolly through one of the windows. Various soldiers were hospitalized and removed from their scheduled contests. The entire incident was captured on video, immortalizing one of “the worlds largest” flustering moments in UFC history.
McGregor afterward turned himself in to New York police and was tasked with assault and criminal misbehaviour( lawyers afterward dropped the two trespass and related indicts following a plea cope ).
McGregor’s activities that week had a persistent influence. UFC lightweight Michael Chiesa stood lacerations after the dolly smashed through the window, while fellow UFC fighter Ray Borg suffered an seeing injury from shattered glass. Both humanities were hospitalized and removed from their respective engages. 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-hearted doors and offer per belief figures- emerged disgusted 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 guy 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 reasonably disgusted with Conor McGregor right now .”
The bus incident payed McGregor a significant amount of negative advertisement. However, the outrage surrounding the scuffle expired down over the coming months, particularly after McGregor reached a request agreement in July and pleaded guilty to a single breaches of disorderly conduct.
For their duty, and despite White’s earlier bluster, the UFC has chosen not to take any action against McGregor. Instead, they have now repurposed the entire incident to help promote arguably the most difficult opposes in UFC history.
At a press conference for UFC’s 25 th anniversary in early August, White announced that Nurmagomedov would contend McGregor at UFC 229 in Las Vegas. The proclamation took place less than a month after the Irishman struck his plea bargain, and was capped off with a promotional video that used footage from the bus assault.
In fairness, Nurmagomedov-McGregor is a fantasy fight for UFC love, and one that many did not expect to happen. McGregor’s impetuous style and preposterous persona are in striking oppose to Nurmagomedov’s subdue demeanour and intimidating spirit, which exclusively adds greater depth to an already compelling struggle. It is also a fight that is, according to White, expected to break the UFC’s previous pay-per-view evidence.
It should be noted that four of the UFC’s top five most profitable PPV contests were headlined by McGregor. In McGregor’s absence over the past two years, the UFC has failed to recreate those figures and has striven on PPV. The only exception was UFC 207, which featured the return of Ronda Rousey, who has since left for WWE. Given these figures, it is clear why UFC jump-start 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 justification desolation during the course of its Barclays Center incident. A few of those men may be present with McGregor this time around, and given that Nurmagomedov also ambles around with a sizeable team that has been known to intimidate and confront soldiers, the lead-up to the PPV may be explosive.
McGregor has also spent the last few weeks stoking religious and ethnic strains. He posted paintings on social media with captions referencing him” chilling in Jahannam“( the Arabic word for inferno)- Nurmagomedov is Muslim. He likewise posted a picture of one of Nurmagomedov’s improving partners, Chechen fighter Zubaira Tukhugov, with the caption:” A true Chechen would never take orders from a Dagestani guy .” Nurmagomedov is from Dagestan.
Given the loaded affirmations McGregor has incorporated into his fighting advertising, the derision between the fighters’ units and their respective love will be evident come Saturday night. According to a source close to the episode, the UFC is taking steps to ensure the appropriate levels of security were established for the event. While it remains unclear what this necessitates, it will likely include increased police existence at the realm, that were likely restraint any clangs between fans.
Potential battles are far away from the only protection feeling facing the UFC 229 main event. During a press conference to promote the fight, McGregor attempted to play knowledge activities with Nurmagomedov by referencing some of the shady references that have been associated with the UFC champion. One of the contentious anatomies mentioned was the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who invited Nurmagomedov to host forums at his fight guild in 2016. McGregor has called Kadyrov a” crazy oppressor” and those commentaries were not well received in Chechnya, where Kadyrov patterns with an iron fist. One of the fighters who represents Kadyrov’s fight club posted a video informing McGregor that he will” answer for his paroles” before challenging a public apology. This was followed by an official proclamation from the Chechen minister for press and info, who questioned McGregor’s mental health before calling him an” outrageous clown” who acts like a” Mexican rooster .”
While the intimidation tactics used by Kadyrov and his cronies have been well-documented over the years, few expected him to target one of the most recognizable contestants on the planet. Though Kadyrov has not personally provided comments on McGregor or the upcoming UFC 229 happening, the statements uttered by the dictator’s spokespeople should be enough to raise security concerns for the Irishman.
The UFC’s decided not to situate 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 the threats sent at McGregor and the rising strain between the Irishman and the Russian’s teams proves UFC is willing to gamble on high-risk situations in order to derive its rewards.
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