I love the UFC. I guess it was a natural transition from Pro Wrestling. But for some reason it lacks a plethora of larger than life charachters. But it’s got Conor MacGregor. I’m not quite sure exactly when I became aware on Conor McGregor, but as soon as I was, I became an immediate fan. IT was sometime around 2013, as he was prepping for his about against Max Holoway. I remember this brash irishman had a steely sort of confidence, that had yet to become brash, but he definitely had a look in his eye that said “I ain’t here to be fucked with.” That fight was in Boston , pretty much h the Irish capital of the US, and his fans were abundant and vocal, and it became obvious during his walkout there that he was going to be a big time fan favorite. He beat Holloway in that fight and then it was revealed that he tore his ACL during the fight. And kept going. Damn, man, that’s some real toughness. He took almost a year off, during which time he got a wild tattoo of a gorilla wearing a crown on his chest and throat, and then came back, against Diego Brandao, and took place in front off a sold out crowd of 10,000 at the O2 arena in Dublin. A crowd of ROWDY Irishmen. Seeing that on TV it became obvious this wasn’t just any fighter. The combination of the intense crowd backing him, and the fire and confidence he came out with, especially coming off an injury, made it quite obvious that this guy was the real deal. He knocked out Brandao in the fist round and with that delivered an incredible statement to the UFC. He even won the knockout of the night bonus. After that he started posting pics of him with Loprenzo Fertitta on private planes, saying he was negotiating a n ew contract, and from then on it was quite obvious that he was on a rocket ship to stardom.
The next fight was his first against a top 10 ranked opponent, Dustin Poirier, so was fo course looked at as a huge test. This was was hugely promoted as the co-main event to the first right between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier, and McGregor really raised the staked in the promo for this one , delivering some amazing lines at the press conference. And just unbridled cockiness, but dispensed with enough calm to make you believe that hHE believed it! He backed it all up too, dleivxeing a stunning knockout just a minute into the fight, once again winning the knockout of the night bonus. All hell broke loose at that one after the fight, with the arena going bananas, and it was quite obvious that we were dealing with a very unique talent. Not only did he say he was gonna knock him out in the first round, and DID knock him out in the first round, but he also repeatedly taunted him inside the octgaon, during the fight saying” What you got, pussy?” Man thats GOT to be unnerving, especially when you’re losing the fight.
In the post fight interview with Joe Rogan, he delivered the now infamous line, “I said I was gonna knock him out in the first round, and I did, so you can call me Mystic Mac because I can predict this shit!”
So what is it though about Conor then? I mean, really, it’s all of it. It first an d foremost it’s the ability to fight and tk wile the octagon with his opponents. And the. He combines that with the brash confidence and the pro wrestling level of trash talk. When hyping a fight he mixes the beat of Ali and Ric Flair. He’s a street kid but has a taste for flashy suits, gold watches and fast fast cars. Dusty Rhodes used to live to say he was the son of a plumber. Conor actually WAS a plumber, and supported himself with that when he first started fighting. And one of his lost important qualities is that’s he’s also a family man.he looks after his parents, and appears to be a fantastic father and provider for his longtime girlfriend Dee.
And then when it comes to the fighting, he’s predicted the outcomes of so many of his fights, and then backed them up.
For his fight against Jose Aldo he kept sayng he was gonna knock him out in the first round. Also had not only never been knocked out, he was the most dominant and durable champ in the history of the lightweight division, and had never even been in serious trouble in a fight, much less been knocked down, or out. But then the fight started, and Aldo ran in on Mac, likely fired up and wnating to attack because his head had been gotten into, and then Conor knocked his fool ass out in 13 seconds. Mystic Mac indeed!
In his fight against Chad Mendes, a last minute replacement opponent whose specialty of wrestling was tailor made to swat McGregor, Conor offers tk bet Dana White a million bucks he would knock him out i the 2nd round. For the first two rounds Mendes took Conor down and controlled and pounded him on the ground. With about a minute left in the second round, Conor somehow managed to get to his feet and then caught Mendes with a flush left had and followed it up with half a dozen more and knocked him out cd. It was, almost literally, unbelievable. He’s been wildly dominant, yet as actually lost a fight. To Nate Diaz, one of the most underrated fighters in MMA. Conor took him as a last minute replacement as well… Something Conor does with great gusto, but most fighters refuse…and because of that it only grows his legend… Conor will literally fight ANYONE, ANYTIME, ANYWHERE. And when it bites him int he ass…? He was super respectful, and gave Diaz props… the total opposite of how he usually treats opponents when he loses… and THEN he accepted a rematch…. immediately… and came back and WON!
To be continued….