The Irishman is UFCs biggest earner but his recent behaviour has been erratic and provoking. But in Dana Whites world, coin 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 sidled into the building with the intent of meeting Khabib Nurmagomedov, who was scheduled to compete for the abandoned UFC lightweight entitlement that weekend. McGregor, accompanied by an suite, entered the building’s parking lot and began vandalizing a bus full of soldiers before throwing a dolly through one of the windows. Various fighters were hospitalized and removed from their scheduled contests. The entire panorama was captured on video, immortalizing one of “the worlds largest” flustering minutes in UFC history.
McGregor afterwards turned himself in to New York police and was charged with assault and criminal mischief( attorneys later dropped the two crimes and related commissions following a plea batch ).
McGregor’s wars that week had a lasting impact. UFC lightweight Michael Chiesa stood lacerations after the dolly smashed through the window, while fellow UFC fighter Ray Borg suffered an gaze harm from shattered glass. Both beings were hospitalized and removed from their respective pushes. Others, including UFC straw-weight champ Rose Namajunas, were left shaken by the experience. Even UFC president Dana White- who knows the Irishman hauls in large-scale barriers and offer per panorama counts- sounded 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 pushes? Do you? I don’t think anybody is going to want to right now. I think everybody is going to be moderately disgusted with Conor McGregor right now .”
The bus incident gave McGregor a significant quantity of negative publicity. However, the outrage smothering the scuffle succumbed 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 fraction, and despite White’s earlier bluster, the UFC has chosen not to take any action against McGregor. Instead, they have now repurposed the entire happen to further promote arguably the biggest crusades in UFC history.
At a press conference for UFC’s 25 th anniversary in early August, White was indicated that Nurmagomedov would push McGregor at UFC 229 in Las Vegas. The bulletin has just taken place less than a month after the Irishman struck his request cope, and was capped off with a promotional video that used footage from the bus onrush.
In fairness, Nurmagomedov-McGregor is a nightmare fight for UFC followers, and one that numerous did not expect to happen. McGregor’s impudent mode and preposterous persona are in striking differ to Nurmagomedov’s subjugate demeanor and intimidating spirit, which simply includes more depth to an already compelling game. It is also a fight that is, is in accordance with White, expected to break the UFC’s previous pay-per-view chronicle.
It should point out 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 fought on PPV. The only exception was UFC 207, which peculiarity the return of Ronda Rousey, who has since left for WWE. Given these figures, it is clear why UFC rushed at another McGregor fight.
While Nurmagomedov-McGregor is a financial boon for the UFC, it remains a risky venture. The Irishman and his suite had previously been effected havoc during the course of its Barclays Center incident. A few of those men may be present with McGregor this time around, and owing to the fact that Nurmagomedov also strolls around with a sizeable team that has been known to intimidate and confront fighters, the lead-up to the PPV may be explosive.
McGregor has also invested the last few weeks stoking religious and ethnic frictions. He posted photos on social media with captions referencing him” chilling in Jahannam“( the Arabic word for blaze)- Nurmagomedov is Muslim. He also posted an image of one of Nurmagomedov’s civilizing spouses, Chechen fighter Zubaira Tukhugov, with the caption:” A true-blue Chechen would never take orders from a Dagestani humankind .” Nurmagomedov is from Dagestan.
Given the loaded testimonies McGregor has incorporated into his fight promotion, the despise between the fighters’ squads and their respective followers will be evident come Saturday night. Harmonizing to a source close to the happening, the UFC is taking steps to ensure the appropriate levels of security were established for the happen. While it remains unclear what this necessitates, it is very likely include increased police spirit at the arena, which could potentially restriction any clangs between fans.
Potential fightings are far from the only protection refer coping with the UFC 229 main event. During a news conference to promote the fight, McGregor attempted to play memory activities with Nurmagomedov by referencing some of the shady personas that have been associated with the UFC champion. One of the contentious digits mentioned was the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who invited Nurmagomedov to host meetings at his engage association in 2016. McGregor has announced Kadyrov a” crazy dictator” 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 necessitating a public justification. This was followed by public officials word from the Chechen minister for press and message, who questioned McGregor’s mental health before announcing 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 jocks on countries around the world. Though Kadyrov has not personally provided comments on McGregor or the upcoming UFC 229 occasion, the statements uttered by the dictator’s spokespeople should be enough to raise security concerns for the Irishman.
The UFC’s decided not to home McGregor in this weekend’s main event emphasizes the promotion’s willingness to forfeit punishment for profit. Perhaps more significantly their decision to push ahead with the main event despite the threats aimed at McGregor and the rising friction between the Irishman and the Russian’s teams indicates UFC is willing to gamble on high-risk situations in order to derive its rewards.
Read more: www.theguardian.com