The Irishman is UFCs biggest earner but his recent practice has been erratic and provoking. But in Dana Whites world, money 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 intention of confronting Khabib Nurmagomedov, who was scheduled to compete for the abandoned UFC lightweight deed that weekend. McGregor, accompanied by an entourage, entered the building’s parking lot and began vandalizing a bus full of soldiers before hurling a dolly through one of the windows. Several fighters were hospitalized and removed from their planned bouts. The entire background was captured on video, commemorating one of “the worlds largest” embarrassing moments in UFC history.
McGregor subsequently turned himself in to New York police and was charged with assault and criminal misbehaviour( lawyers eventually dropped the two misdemeanours and related indictments following a plea slew ).
McGregor’s activities that week had a lasting blow. UFC lightweight Michael Chiesa suffered gashes after the dolly smashed through the window, while fellow UFC fighter Ray Borg suffered an seeing harm from shattered glass. Both men were hospitalized and removed from their respective opposes. Others, including UFC straw-weight champion Rose Namajunas, were left shaken by the experience. Even UFC president Dana White- who knows the Irishman hauls in large-scale gates and compensate per viewpoint quantities- showed 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 guy around for interviews and buy his fights? Do you? I don’t think anybody is going to want to right now. I think everybody is going to be jolly disgusted with Conor McGregor right now .”
The bus incident made McGregor a significant amount of negative advertisement. However, the cruelty bordering the melee died down over the next month, particularly after McGregor reached a plea agreement in July and pleaded guilty to a single violation of disorderly conduct.
For their area, and despite White’s earlier bluster, the UFC has chosen not to take any action against McGregor. Instead, they have now repurposed the entire occurrence to help promote arguably the biggest engages in UFC history.
At a news conference for UFC’s 25 th anniversary in early August, White announced that Nurmagomedov would crusade McGregor at UFC 229 in Las Vegas. The edict took place less than a few months after the Irishman struck his request treat, and was capped off with a promotional video that used footage from the bus attempt.
In fairness, Nurmagomedov-McGregor is a dream fight for UFC followers, and one that numerous did not expect to happen. McGregor’s arrogant mode and outlandish persona are in stark oppose to Nurmagomedov’s repress behavior and daunting attendance, which only contributes greater depth to an already compelling rivalry. It is also a fight that is, according to White, expected to break the UFC’s previous pay-per-view record.
It should be noted that four of the UFC’s top five more profitable PPV episodes 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 exceptions was UFC 207, which featured 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 financial boon for the UFC, it remains a risky venture. The Irishman and his entourage have already generated havoc during the course of its Barclays Center incident. A handful of those men represented here with McGregor this time around, and bearing in mind the fact that Nurmagomedov likewise ambles around with a sizeable unit that has been known to intimidate and confront boxers, the lead-up to the PPV may be explosive.
McGregor has also spent the last few weeks rekindling religious and ethnic strains. He posted portraits on social media with captions referencing him” chilling in Jahannam“( the Arabic word for inferno)- Nurmagomedov is Muslim. He also posted a picture of one of Nurmagomedov’s qualifying collaborators, Chechen fighter Zubaira Tukhugov, with the caption:” A true-life Chechen would never take orders from a Dagestani guy .” Nurmagomedov is from Dagestan.
Given the loaded words McGregor has incorporated into his engage publicity, the despise between the fighters’ teams and their respective love will be evident come Saturday night. According to a source close to the contest, the UFC is taking steps to ensure the appropriate levels of security are in place for the occasion. While it remains unclear what this involves, it will likely include increased police presence at the realm, who are likely restraint any conflicts between fans.
Potential contends are far away from the only insurance concern facing the UFC 229 main event. During a press conference to promote the fight, McGregor attempted to play thought recreations with Nurmagomedov by referencing some of the shady attributes that have been associated with the UFC champion. One of the contentious people mentioned was the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who invited Nurmagomedov to host forums at his battle organization in 2016. McGregor has called Kadyrov a” crazy authoritarian” and those commentaries were not well received in Chechnya, where Kadyrov rules 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 words” before challenging a public defense. This was followed by an official evidence from the Chechen minister for press and information, 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 henchmen have been well-documented over its first year, few expected him to target one of the most recognizable players on countries around the world. Though Kadyrov has not personally provided comments on McGregor or the upcoming UFC 229 happening, the statements delivered by the dictator’s spokespeople should be enough to raise security concerns for the Irishman.
The UFC’s have also decided to place McGregor in this weekend’s main event highlights the promotion’s willingness to forfeit punishment for profit. Perhaps more significantly their decision to push ahead with the main event despite security threats sent at McGregor and the rising strain between the Irishman and the Russian’s teams evidences UFC is willing to gamble on high-risk situations in order to derive its rewards.
Read more: www.theguardian.com