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Midnight Mania! Are we looking at the turning point in the Conor McGregor era?

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Conor McGregor After-Fight Party And Wynn Nightlife Residency Debut, Encore Beach Club At Night In Wynn Las Vegas Photo by David Becker/Getty Images for Wynn Nightlife

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

If you have been paying any attention, you know today was full of bad news for mixed martial arts (MMA). First, Conor McGregor goes and shoves referee Marc Goddard, then slaps an official just for good measure. Then, to give an aftertaste to that bad flavor in our mouths, Anderson Silva went and popped positive again, bumping him out of his UFC: “Shanghai” main event against Kelvin Gastelum.

The McGregor news, though, seems ... familiar. It’s a trope we’ve seen, in fact, almost as often as we’ve been watching the behavior of superstars. The story goes, a young, successful star breaks into the public consciousness. Somehow, in a combination of luck, timing, charisma and talent, they get to the top, they have everything they ever wanted, and then... they lose focus. They make public missteps. Drug use is usually involved.

Then they do something like this:

There were many “takes” online today on McGregor’s antics, ranging from serious to funny. Dan Hardy blamed money:

There is also this: McGregor seems as though he is at that point in his career where he no longer has any bigger challenge to channel that energy. He loves to party, and there is some evidence that he isn’t doing his partying substance-free.

Conor has talked before about doing better in life when he has immediate goals to work toward. For a long time, he has done nothing but hit bigger and bigger goals. He won a Cage Warriors Featherweight belt, then their lightweight crown. Next, he was climbing the Featherweight rankings. Then, he was taking on short-notice Chad Mendes for an interim title; knocking out Jose Aldo in 13 seconds; moving up in weight to face Nate Diaz. His first, embarrassing UFC loss to Diaz could have been a setback; instead, McGregor insisted on an immediate rematch. He edged out Diaz at UFC 202 and immediately turned around to win the Lightweight crown at Madison Square Garden. That was the the point he outgrew the sport, and stepped into the world of boxing. His last fight was a $100 million payday against the highest paid athlete in all combat sports, Floyd Mayweather.

Where does he go from there? That’s the top of the proverbial mountain. He’s got to come back down now ... at least a little bit. No fight is going to have the feel of a “first”, unless UFC gets really ridiculous and gives him Georges St-Pierre for the Middleweight title.

He needs something, though, or this might be the watershed moment. This might be the day we look back on as the time the wheels fell off the McGregor train.

Poll

Is McGregor becoming self-destructive?

This poll is closed

  • 16%
    No, he’s just being himself as always
    (348 votes)
  • 48%
    Yes, fame is getting to him
    (996 votes)
  • 34%
    A little column A, a little column B
    (704 votes)
2048 votes total Vote Now

Bellator wasted not a second using McGregor’s antics to promote its event. For them, this was as good as gold.

You get the feeling McGregor feels he is invincible, that he is the center of the world. Why shouldn’t he be? Everything has been about him for so long. But, take a look at the concussed fighter Marc Goddard is trying to pay attention to.

The jokes abound:

This wasn’t McGregor and Goddard’s first encounter. Goddard also warned the Irish star (watch it) to sit down at UFC: “Gdansk.”

JUST ANNOUNCED!!! Who wins this match up?

A post shared by As Shopped As It Gets (@as_shopped_as_it_gets_) on

Even Mike Goldberg’s got jokes!

(He also loves the Irish) ...

What will the official response be? Is McGregor really too big to punish? They’ve got him, and GSP. That’s about it for superstars. But when he gets a slap on the wrist, it is just going to reinforce that he now lives in a world with no consequences.

McGregor earlier today:


Insomnia

Gunnar Nelson is up to fight Darren Till, who returns the sentiment. Liverpool or London? Doesn’t fucking matter son!

Nick Newell has an idea for who should step in now that Anderson popped positive ...

“Platinum” Mike Perry is up for a trip to Middleweight, too:

Megan Anderson is proud of her tats.

Pay-per-view (PPV) estimates for UFC 217 are approaching that 1 million mark. It would seem GSP lost none of his drawing power.

Good news for the Muhammed Ali Expansion Act ...

This is some strong Scottish brogue coming through in tweet format.

An already shredded Northcutt looks inhuman after a weight cut. Look at those quads. Almost disconnected from the rest of his legs.

Robert Whittaker is willing to fight St-Pierre wherever he wants.

Stop holding pads like this!

The Iceman, living up to his name in Hawaii.

Getting my freeze on after a work out. Recovery is everything ❄️☃️

A post shared by Chuck Liddell (@chuckliddell) on


Slips, Rips, and KO Clips

This was a laser-guided fist to face!

That’s an amazing knee!

This? This is an entrance ...

Genki Sudo!

Some old-school brawls for you:

Pretty sure this was my favorite fight in 2014:

Arlovski’s last great win:


Podcasts and Video

Whitney Miller discusses being in the UFC 217 and Glory 47. Follow MMA Mania on Youtube!

Jon Fitch discusses the Muhammed Ali Act and tells us about the time he fought to keep his house from foreclosure against Erick Silva:

Check out the MMA Outsiders on SoundCloud as well as iTunes and Stitcher on the official MMA Mania channel!


Random Land

Air travel in the 1930s seems like more fun

Stay woke, Maniacs! Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @Vorpality