Fighting is a lot like life. You do not always get out what you put in. You can prepare and give yourself better odds of reaching a goal, but failure is always your most available outcome. Injuries, failure, and personal tragedies can diminish an athlete’s will to be great. Children are so inspirational because they believe in their dreams with no restrictions. As we get older, a lot of us are beaten down by life. Alternatively, some fighters like Conor McGregor seem to be broken by success.
McGregor won titles, but never became the fighter he proclaimed he was. Right before failing to unify his lightweight title, he made the kind of money every fighter lusts after due to his boxing match with Floyd Mayweather.
No matter how many devastating losses he suffers, Conor remains the highest paid and most renowned fighter in the world. This kind of staying power is the definition of having your cake and eating it too.
Unfortunately, Conor seems to be less focused after making $100 million with Mayweather. In a 2013 interview he gave to GNP1 TV, he was present in the moment. I really miss his congruent blend of being brazen and humble.
When a reporter asked him what he thought of people seeing him as a role model, The Notorious said, “…of course it’s uplifting to me you know, and it’s inspiring but at the same time it’s a little bit scary… I don’t think I’m that kind of guy… to be here and all this kind of going on sometimes it’s a little bit overwhelming, but even though this [media attention] is overwhelming, shut the door, ring the bell, and no one does it better than me. You know what I mean, no is is more calm, composed, collected, than me.”
In the pre-fight press conference for UFC on Fox Sports 1, reporter Ariel Helwani asked McGregor what was going through his head and that Conor seemed “stoic”. McGregor replied, “Not much you know, there’s two things I really like to do and that’s whoop ass and look good and I’m doing one of them right now and Saturday night I’m gonna do the other.”
This was before Conor became overly theatrical. Back then Conor seemed to have unyielding, but calm faith in himself.
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He was a showman before he made it to the UFC. But in 2016 the theatrics seemed to take over. When he antagonized Jose Aldo in 2015, Conor crossed many lines but he still seemed dialed in. His grappling was high level and he embraced it. Conor’s entire skill set seemed to always be evolving.
Now, his competitions are like his press conferences: a little flat and not quite what they could be. Losing his last fight was acceptable, because Dustin Poirier is exceptional. But the way McGregor lost was shameful, considering he won every exchange until the last minute. Against his last three opponents he came out flat-footed and rarely kicked. This approach is completely different from his 2014 performances where he seemed to break fighters in the first few exchanges.
I just don’t see that same fighter who was arrogant, yet endearing and relatable. Now his promos seem commercial, and less authentic every time he screams or does the Vince McMahon billionaire strut. Conor has gone from a quiet and absolute force to something louder and lesser, yet more publicized; like a black hole shifting to a hurricane. Hopefully we see the old Conor at UFC 264.
Starts every morning with an obscene amount of black coffee & a nice long look in the mirror. Always puts him in a good mood. Product of Chicago and SMU that likes to talk sports and drink a lot so that he stays healthy and hydrated.
If you’re reading this, I’ve likely done a tremendous job.
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