Can we stop pretending to like UFC now that Conor McGregor has lost
He was humiliated and made a mockery of his ‘sport’
The phrase “crashing and burning” has never been more apt when describing the events that unfolded in the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday night. Conor McGregor, the poster boy of UFC, was forced to eat the largest slice of piping-hot humble pie that the sport has ever witnessed. His submission to the hands of Nate Diaz (an opponent who knew about the fight ELEVEN DAYS AGO) sent shockwaves through the world of sport and beyond.
The fight, scheduled as a welterweight bout at Diaz’s request, was an astounding 25 pounds higher than the Featherweight division where McGregor currently resides at the top of the pile.
But such is the hubris and haughtiness of the Irishman, he genuinely thought he was untouchable. “Mystic Mac” as he has come to be known, predicted he would deliver a first round knock out of the experienced Diaz and then continue to steamroll through the rest of the division, devouring far larger opponents.
As it was, the sheer power of Diaz overawed “The Notorious” and he meekly tapped out halfway through the second round. And I for one couldn’t be happier.
I admit, I was intrigued by McGregor and the aura around him. He did earn the hype as well as the right to be called a Champion after knocking a man unconscious after just 13 seconds back in December. His Instagram is eye-catching to say the least, awash with extravagant cars, suits and clothes. His pre-match barbs at opponents before fights are also the stuff of legend.
Even his dignity in defeat was a class gesture, a real sign of respect. It has undoubtedly endeared him to a far wider audience than his ostentatious lifestyle could. The problem isn’t with McGregor as an individual (he actually raises the profile of the sport tenfold when he competes) it’s the sport itself.
I’ve never got UFC, it just seemed like glorified scrapping that you might happen to see outside any club up and down the country. The only difference seemingly between the two is that UFC fighters aren’t inebriated and actually get paid 7 figures for what they do.
Lets be honest, we all know the type that have recently got into UFC. They pop up on some form of social media out of the woodwork, having seemingly been fans for years. Its the cool thing to do, being a McGregor fan and loving the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. However their recent history will include searches consisting of “What does UFC stand for?” or something more trivial like, “Why do they fight in an octagon and not a real ring?”
This is not a technical sport like boxing where small men like Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao reign supreme for their talent. Beating someone up on the floor before choking them around the neck is the sort of “talent” you would expect to see in a playground shortly before a dinner lady intervened.
I genuinely hope that now McGregor has been exposed, the world can stop pretending to be experts on a sport that requires no experts. The physics are simple, the bigger man will win. McGregor lost because he was too small and he was only successful two weight divisions below because he was bigger than his opponents. His brazen antics are hilarious and he’s probably the last person you’d want to spill a drink over on a night out, but please let the hype for UFC simmer down.
Here’s to the next craze that 2016 will bring.