“What’s the use of being Irish of you can’t be stupid?” -Billy Conn
MMA’s biggest star and fellow dirty mick Conor McGregor must be muttering a similar lament to himself these last few weeks, as a sudden shocking powerplay from the brash Irishman against the UFC brass has blown up in his face like the I.R.A. This whole fiasco was stupider than his decision to fight at 170 pounds in the first place. Now the dumb fuck’s off the UFC’s biggest card of all time, Nate Diaz is off it as well and misses a gigantic payday, and without McGregor’s added PPV buys, every fighter on UFC 200 is going to be making less money. His whole strategy makes about as much sense as eating black potatoes.
Lord, by now it’s hard to remember when this whole nightmarish mess began, especially since It still seems like every other day there’s some new added twist. Initially, McGregor’s bizarre “retirement” tweet lats month seemed like a clear ploy, but then when he outright refused to do any press for UFC 200 because he was busy training in Iceland of all places things got stranger still. How the fuck are you training for a fight you won’t promote, and thus won’t take place? What kinda circular—or likely drunken—logic is that?
To further illustrate his point about skipping the publicity tour, Conor continually proved his social media saavy generates much more publicity than any old school-style press conference, but the UFC just couldn’t have their biggest star making demands like this. It would open the floodgates for similar demands from scores of other fighters. Add to that the ten million dollars the UFC had already sunk into promoting the biggest card in the promotion’s history, while meanwhile Conor wasn’t even going to bother filming the commercial. How the fuck can you advertise a PPV without one half of the main event in the ad? What were they gonna do, just show old clips of the last time Diaz whupped Conor’s ass? That’d really spark interest in the re-match.
Truth be told, I had no interest in seeing a re-match anyway, and certainly not at 170 pounds again. Conor’s made a parade of one asinine decision after the next in the last six months. It’s like all the shit he talks has finally convinced him he’s actually telling the truth that he’s unbeatable. Either that or he’s hammered. But regardless, he felt like he was bigger than the UFC, and in a way he is, and this was I guess his best shot at bullying the promotion. After all, the UFC had no other conceivable main event, so even though company president and gleaming-domed Dana White had stated Conor was off UFC 200, he had still hinted several times that though the window was narrowing, negotiations were still a possibility.
Then all that shit went out the window.
Unfortunately for Conor, Diaz, every other fighter on UFC 200, and casual MMA fans, the card was saved after real light heavyweight champion Jon Jones came out unscathed in a lackluster return to the octagon against Ovince St. Preux, and bitter rival and fake light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier’s doctor said he was well enough to start training two days later. Suddenly UFC 200 had a new viable main event, and they told Conor in no uncertain terms that he can keep freezing his ass off in Iceland for all they care. Now just to be dickheads the UFC said the Diaz fight is off entirely, and McGregor’s next fight is a mandatory defense of his 145-pound belt. This, predictably, has not sat well with the silver-tongued spud.
Conor went so far as to create another media frenzy with speculation of a showdown with Spousal Abuse World Champion Floyd Mayweather. This utter nonsense makes the retirement tweet seem legitimate. First of all, Conor would get killed in a boxing match and he’s too smart not to know that. Secondly, the UFC is too smart not to know it too, and they’ve got the loudmouth dummy under an ironclad contract. Ain’t no way that fight’s happening, and it’s a good thing too, because it would make a Diaz re-match seem downright genius by comparison. I think Conor’s losing his shit now that he’s watching the UFC 200 train roll on by without him, but he only has himself to blame. There was probably never a better time to leverage his demands against the UFC, but they didn’t blink in his high stakes game of financial chicken, Jones and Cormier II swooped in to save the day artistically if not financially, and now Conor finds himself out in the cold—literally.
I think the Floyd thing’s obviously a green herring, but a Diaz re-match is still probably Conor’s next fight, probably at UFC 201 or 202. Or maybe when they go to Madison Square Garden in a couple months. That fight makes way more monetary sense for the UFC, and I think they’ll be satisfied with the public flogging they already gave their number one cash cow by keeping him off their biggest PPV ever. No need to ground and pound a defenseless opponent. I say McGregor-Diaz II still takes place before the end of the summer, much to everyone’s chagrin that hoped Conor would have come to his senses a long time ago.