Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) created a monster, and now that monster has escaped the lab and they have no idea how to control it.
Former lightweight champion, Conor McGregor, is gearing up for his UFC 229 pay-per-view (PPV) main event, where he’ll face the division’s most punishing ground fighter in the form of undefeated Sambo sensation Khabib Nurmagomedov.
And despite the tomfoolery that accompanies all things McGregor, one thing you can never take away from “Notorious” is his desire to win. With that in mind, the power-punching Irishman has shut down the media — and just about everyone else — as he trains for what could be the most challenging fight of his career.
And UFC isn’t happy about it, according to Dave Meltzer’s newsletter (subscribe here):
One of the reasons you haven’t seen much in the way of interviews and such is that McGregor has not agreed to do anything. There are no press conferences scheduled because McGregor at this point hasn’t agreed to them. There is a lot of frustration within the UFC about McGregor’s attitude, but in the end, he’s got the leverage and the ticket sales and secondary market results only give him more leverage.
The feeling is that this may be the biggest non-boxing PPV of all-time, and the only reason it wouldn’t be is that McGregor hasn’t been pushing it hard. McGregor was able to get a larger piece of the action for this fight than any of his UFC fights to date, so there is a direct correlation more than ever between his work in promoting the fight and his pocket book, but this may also show that he knows he’s in a real fight and doesn’t want to break training.
Transcription courtesy of FrankieNYC.
While McGregor is never really out of the gym for an extended period of time, there is a marked difference between “training” and preparing for an actual mixed martial arts (MMA) fight, which includes but is not limited to gameplanning, weight cutting, and long hours inside the gym.
McGregor also has to take into account that he’s not stepped foot inside the cage for over two years and will be faced with an opponent who could probably do 10 rounds without breaking a sweat, whereas McGregor has been known to struggle with his cardio.
Either way, don’t expect much from “Notorious” in the way of public appearances until we get much closer to fight night, when Team McGregor descends upon “Sin City,” and UFC can’t do a damn thing about it because of his impact on the promotion’s bottom line.
To see who else is fighting at UFC 229 click here.