“Cry, cry, cry.”
Can’t wait to see the comments on this one. The above quote is from Johnny Cash’s 1955’s smash hit by the same name. It’s fitting because featherweight champion Conor McGregor is acting like an overgrown baby and not like the champion the UFC deserves. We’ve all heard about the Tweet of his retirement in response to being pulled from the UFC 200 card. We’ve also heard about his facebook post detailing his reason for pulling the stunt and in fact announcing that he is not retiring at all. Ultimately Conor McGregor is a spoiled child and Dana White has finally stood up to his tantrums. Sorry McGregor, but you’re in time out. Before we delve into this topic, I must first put out that it’s not Conor McGregor’s grievances that we’re calling out but his manner in going about it. Maybe he’s right. Maybe fighters do need to get a cut of the promotion money and be able to negotiate promotion deals if they feel burnt out. I’m not that far in the game to comment. Personally, I agree with Luke Thomas on the MMA BEAT in that they need either a union, a representative, or both. But before the McGregor fan boys start seeing red, carefully read the rhetoric and reasons below, because Conor McGregor’s facebook post was bullsh*t. Contract The thing about contracts is that they’re legally binding. Unlike “pinky swears” and the “honor” system you can’t just wake up and say “not today honey” without serious consequences. The thing about the UFC is that it’s a big business and a sport not a mom and pops hardware store. If you’re feeling burnt out, that’s fine, now you’re off the UFC 2oo card – eureka – all the rest you need. Besides, Conor must have some of the best lawyers and managers in the game, why didn’t he bring this up during negotiations? I’m not saying I don’t feel for the guy, or that it shouldn’t change, but Nate Diaz is meeting his media obligations. Life is tough, get a helmet. Favors This is what got us here in the first place. And in a sense this is the monster that Dana created, staring him back in the face – but just like anything, it’s made right in the end. Essentially what Conor’s asking for here is a favor. He claims because he’s made the promotions 400 million dollars worth of revenue and stepped up to opponents on short notice he’s entitled to miss a press conference or two. Absolutely not. First off you’re not doing anyone any favors. If you don’t fight on that card you don’t get paid the full amount so don’t put on your Mother Teresa headpiece just yet. Secondly, a lesson I learned on the schoolyard is there’s no takebacks. If you’re doing something out of goodwill, that’s fine – but expect nothing in return. If you want a return, get it in writing. That’s it. It’s like that friend that buys you a drinks and then 7 months later brings up that time he bought you a drink 7 months ago. There are some of you out there who believes he deserves those favors. Fine, but that’s a slippery slope…at what point do they stop? Does he keep getting whatever he wants because he makes the company money? Who decides what favors are valid, is it McGregor or is it Dana, because obviously they don’t alway see eye to eye. Also who gets these favors and at what cost? Only people that are making substantial amount for the company? Are these cash ins valid for just press conferences or matchmaking also? If you want the sport to become as corrupt as boxing, then yeah, keep going that route. But if you don’t want to support bribery and have a legit combat organization we should probably nip it in the bud. Besides wasn’t this rematch already a “favor” to Conor? …eat it too The thing about when you’re a kid, is you want it both ways. You want the big room but you don’t want to clean it. You don’t want the toy, but you also don’t want your sister to play with it…it’s life, it happens. But when you get past a certain age of puberty, the world lets you know that’s not going to fly, Conor McGregor has yet to learn that lesson. Like a starry eyed child he wants the media’s attention but not the obligations, he wants the big money but doesn’t want to show up for the conference. When he was winning everything was fine, no stage was big enough and he welcomed the attention. But now that he’s lost he’s “too busy training”, it doesn’t work that way boss. While I admire his dedication to the sport, as he is a real martial artist not just a businessman, he has to understand this is the monster he created. While he has definitely taken measures to slow down the machine like not taking as many interviews and opting out of the “xXx” franchise to the fortune of fellow fighter Michael Bisping, this isn’t just going to go away tomorrow. Dana White holding Conor McGregor to his word, and his obligations was the right thing to do. I don’t think it was a matter of the UFC trying to prevent fighter pushback, as it was letting Conor know who’s boss. Ultimately Conor’s not bigger than the UFC, and the show will go on. While I respect Conor for what he’s done and will do for the sport, he can go at anytime and I for one will still watch. I agree with Chael Sonnen that the promotion will not let him back on the card. They have to show they mean what they say. Conor will however come back and continue to dazzle us with his energy and movement. Don’t worry Conor McGregor fan boys, I guess this is growing up.