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CONOR MCGREGOR & THE ART OF SELLING FIGHTS
Leading up to tonight there was a lot of trash talk and hype leading up to the event. McGregor predicted he would beat Siver in 2 minutes by KO and then go on to beat Aldo in 4 minutes to win the title. He was his usual humorous and amusing self leading up to the fight but it took him until the 2nd round to beat Siver by TKO after Siver stopped fighting back and it was a great showing by McGregor in the fight. I have to give him his due, he was pretty dominant against Siver but considering it was a rather large step back in competition and against a man 10 years his elder. It would have been disappointing if he had not won in dominating fashion or if he somehow lost. His antics after the fight were a bit over the top in my opinion with the whole jumping out of the cage and getting in Jose Aldo’s face and then talking trash in the post fight interview about handing Aldo his spit bucket and so he could shine up the belt and saying Aldo is afraid of him and then more of the same at the post fight press conference. Where does the line get drawn and when does crossing the line become disrespectful?
The average fan eats this kind of thing up and may actually think that it’s all real. However, it’s mostly just manufactured to sell more PPVs & tickets to the events and create buzz for the UFC and the fighters themselves but, that is the reality of any form of entertainment in the scripted “reality” tv and manufactured drama world we live in today. When McGregor faces Aldo in May or whenever it ends up happening it will be a much different fight. Aldo is 25-1 and he hasn’t lost since 2005 and he is 28 years old while still in his athletic prime. He won’t stand around letting McGregor get away with that open stance without eating leg kicks and he won’t take damage without making McGregor take damage in return. I don’t think Aldo is fazed by the trash talking or the hype and isn’t even remotely afraid of fighting McGregor or anyone else. It should be a great fight but it might be if and when the McGregor hype train is derailed. How will fans react to that? Will they throw McGregor under the bus and jump off the “McBandwagon”? Time will tell but just like many other world beaters and super heroes of MMA in the past that failed to live up the pressure and the hype McGregor isn’t invincible and he has a true test in front of him in Aldo that he better not take lightly or it will come back to haunt him if he does.
What do you guys think about trash talk to sell fights while getting title shots? Is it fair to talk your way into title shots like Chael did and like McGregor has been doing or should the UFC actually commit to making the sport legitimate and stick to the rankings? Imagine if the NFL, NBA, MLB etcetera were based on hype and trash talk to earn your way to the Super Bowl, NBA Finals or World Series. Would it be fair for some team who’s decent but not in the top 5 & hasn’t faced anyone in the top 5 in their league/division to get a trip to the title game or series? Is MMA forever destined to be a spectacle, that isn’t taken serious and is more like an All-Star game & popularity contest than a legitimate sport? Only time will tell but I hope that it becomes more sport than spectacle because you can only sell manufactured hype for so long before fans and the media lose interest and move on to the next big thing whether that’s another fighter, another organization or another sport entirely.
By: Brandon Brown
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