Dear Internet, yesterday I felt like I needed to talk to you and so did I. I just wanted to express myself in my native language; French. What I wrote yesterday was the most successful article I have ever written and today, I feel like I should translate this one in English. This one might not be as good, but well, I’ll try my best to make it fit. So here I go.
I decided to write something clever, because I realized you have suffered since Saturday night. So many absurdities were written to you. It was awful, awful to read. At some point I thought it was contagious; people read and absorb others’ opinions. They don’t think by themselves anymore, they just share someone else’s thoughts. I am close to be willing that people will read this, agree with me (rightly so), and forward this piece of information. That said, I’ve always been the guy who’d rather agree with 1% of the population being right, than with 99% of the people being wrong.
Here I go, I’d like to come back on the Conor McGregor effect. I am literally stunned by the amount of people who have taken Conor at face value. Since day 1 in the UFC, he stated his #1 goal in life:
- Be rich.
He therefore developed two faces of his own person; McGregor Business, and athlete McGregor. Just like the UFC, which is an actual business before a sports organization. The purpose of McGregor Business is to sell. Sell. To make a fan watch a fight, the fighter needs 2 things:
- Be entertaining as a fighter.
- Suggest a story to the fight.
History proved that in MMA, or in any combat sport, the most watched fights are the ones with animosity. From Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier, to Brock Lesnar vs Frank Mir 2. McGregor Business takes care of creating animosity. In order to reach his life-goal. Who, in life, would do things that have no chance in resulting to get closer to his own goals ? Let’s go further, because I can understand people not liking what Conor says on camera. Can you name one powerful businessman who has faced no criticism ? Steve Jobs ? Carlos Slim ? Or even the Fertitta ? Come on now.
It would be hypocrite to denigrate Conor (especially as a person) for Apple users, or Facebook users. We all are consumers of Businesses with wrong methods, but they all created a necessity (or a false necessity) that we think we need, hence buy. Their goal is achieved. McGregor, he creates that envy, we all want to see him fight; win or lose. Some people want to see him rise, others want to see him fall. The baseline is, we all buy the PPV he is fighting on. Why does he do that ? To get rich. And guess what ? He succeeds. The beauty of this Irish fella, is that he is honest about it; he doesn’t hide behind a “I fight for my legacy” then cry like a baby when the UFC signs a deal with Reebok.
McGregor, the athlete, he is martial. He takes his trainings seriously, he brings a new approach to the game; he actually influenced a lot of fighters, is humble in both victory and defeat. He said it, after a fight, win or lose, he will shake his opponent’s hand. He proved it this week-end again. Business is over, we can see Conor’s true face. What is more honorable than that ? Anderson Silva used the corruption word after losing to Bisping. BJ Penn accused GSP of putting Vaseline on his back between rounds. All these legends have their imperfections and weaknesses. At least Conor knows them and he assumes what he is. He shows integrity, probably the most important quality a human should have.
A fighter has two jobs. Make weight and fight. For his 8 fights in the UFC, Conor was on weight, and showed up to fight. Moreover, his 8 UFC fights were amazingly entertaining. Win or lose. Can we tell the same about most of the athletes ? Nope.
I somehow came to this conclusion: if you hate McGregor, you must be stupid. It’s either because you aren’t clever enough to understand the simplicity (and efficiency) of his Business, or because you’re jealous. Jealous of his success. People love the easy way. Hate him it instead of doing what he does. Success is hard. Hate is easy.
Now that the introduction is over, let’s attack the absurdity I have read on the internet.
The most painful one is coming from these BJJ guys, trying to promote their sport “BJJ is the most important sport in MMA”; “Holm & Conor should’ve taken BJJ classes”. Where were these guys when Demian Maia got KOd against Nate Marquardt ? Nobody threw some “He should have taken kickboxing classes”. When Jacare lost to Rockhold ? Werdum to JDS ? Anyway, this argument is even more stupid when you actually watch the fight:
Nate Diaz wobbles Conor on the feet. Several times. McGregor, close to be out, shoots for a takedown, Nate Diaz takes the mount and rocks him again. Please be honest; who wouldn’t be submitted by Nate Diaz in mount when completely rocked ? Same thing happened to Gomi (armbar). Honestly, working on his BJJ would have saved him ? These guys who posted these images, they don’t ever get submitted, that’s it ? They have some kind of invincibility because they work BJJ 80% of the time ? Just like Big Nog, actually. Big Nog is so slick on the ground that he wouldn’t get submitted by guys like Frank Mir or Fabricio Werdum. Ooooooh, wait a minute. That was a bad example. Let’s take the Metamoris HW champ, that’s better. That guy, Josh Barnett, it’s impossible to submit him, right ? Haha, Imagine a guy like Ben Roth… Oooooh, wait a minute! This is MMA, guys. We don’t split martial arts/combat sports, we mix them !
Finally, the worst in all this is that they try to get people to practice BJJ now, with this fight. It’s a business decision. Oh, there you go. They make a business decision but they represent a sport ? What am I saying ? A MARTIAL art ! A martial art who does business, and denigrate McGregor, an athlete-slash-businessman. Very clever, friends.
Do I need to come back on Aldo and Werdum’s reactions or would that be a waste of time ? I believe I have wasted enough time on stupidity in this article; I now just hope it has been an eye-opener to a few of the readers. The act of thinking, this lost virtue.
To end this article, I’d like to come back on the fight, on a technical standpoint: I only saw this live in Las Vegas, so it’s a hard task to be precise in my analysis. McGregor did an amazing job in the first round. It was pure pleasure watching it, even if he overengaged in some of his punches, we knew his intentions were to hurt a welterweight. I have always said it; at an elite level, you have no weakness. But you have habits, which become weaknesses. At the beginning of the fight, Conor would counter every single jab Nate threw. Result: Nate was hesitant throwing his signature move; the jab-cross with the cross coming earlier(quicker) than in a classic 1-2. In the second round, Conor started to slow down, at some point, he wasn’t countering, he was simply slipping on the outside of the jabs. He did that outside slip a few times, and what happens after this move is that you need to shift your balance to where it was; in between your legs. In order to do that, you need to make the opposite head movement you just did, which would meet a cross.
When Nate finally threw his 1-2, Conor avoided the jab and met the cross. It was the beginning of the end. McGregor is amazing at collecting data during a fight. Unfortunately, he only collected Nate’s data, not his own. His pattern was read by Nate, and it cost him the fight. Congratulations to Nate, he took some bombs and stayed in the fight. He saw the opening and took the opportunity to win a huge fight. Amazing. I am a big fan of McGregor but I wasn’t even disappointed with the result. I am a MMA fan first and foremost, I only had one thing to do; applaud Nate’s performance and applaud the show offered by these two athletes !