It’s Conor McGregor fight week. If you didn’t know that, you probably live under a rock with 3G cell phone reception. McGregor is the biggest name in the sport and he takes on Dustin Poirier in a rematch. The first fight was a first round finish of Poirier in 2014. But now, the two are at lightweight instead of featherweight. Regardless, the fight will be the start of another banger of a year for the UFC. Watching the buildup and the eventual fight will be something special, as all Conor McGregor fight weeks are.
What makes this so special? Fans have been flocking to the McGregor fight weeks for years now, weather it be him taking on the best boxer of all time or a hosed Cowboy Cerrone. People tune in to Conor McGregor and have done it for a long time. One could chalk it up to his promotion of his fights, but I don’t believe that to be the case.
Conor McGregor Fight Weeks Are Special
The popularity of Conor McGregor is pushed by the massive enthusiasm his Irish fanbase has from him. Even in Cage Warriors, McGregor had a cult following. Fans naturally gravitate towards him, even though he doesn’t put on the trash talking persona we know him to have.
People like to watch greatness. It’s often that we appreciate the greatness that is only after the athlete has achieved so much. Khabib Nurmagomedov is the perfect example of this. He’s a better fighter than Conor McGregor according to their fight history. Khabib is a classic rags to riches story like McGregor. But it wasn’t until very late in his career that he was recognized as one of the best. The fans didn’t know what they had until it was practically gone.
Language could have been one barrier. Khabib’s English wasn’t good in the early run of his career and his story wasn’t told. McGregor’s rise to superstardom is well known. He was broke, on welfare, and his girlfriend, now wife, supported him. He chased his dream. He’s that rags to riches story.
Watching Conor McGregor is Watching History
People HATED Muhammad Ali, another example of not knowing what you had until it was gone. It wasn’t until his career was practically done that he got the deserving amount of praise. Ali had his core set of fans, sure, but a bold and brash black man in the 60s wasn’t really well recieved. Now, you would be hard pressed to see anyone say they don’t like Muhammad Ali.
LeBron James and Michael Jordan are complete opposites. Watching Jordan and James play, fans knew almost immedately that they were watching history in the making. They were there to watch it unfold. Fans saw LeBron James make the decision to go to Miami, back to win a ring in his home team that is Cleveland, and then go to the iconic Lakers and win a championship there. Young kids know how good LeBron James is instantly. We knew his greatness with him coming out of high school.
Fans know how great Conor McGregor is and that he will be remembered. Fight fans will be able to say that they saw him spark Jose Aldo in 13 seconds. Then they saw him lose to Khabib and come back to beat Cowboy and presumably Dustin Poirier. We are watching history regardless if you like Conor McGregor or not.
Your friendly neighborhood fight fan. I watch way too many fights and my wife lets me know it. Also, Cowboy Cerrone is the GOAT.