Cleat Geeks

The McGregor Side

At first glance, the Conor McGregor situation looked like a money grab, and why shouldn’t it? He did tweet “thanks for the cheese”, but this is not the first athlete to be upset with UFC management.

matt-mitrione-ufc-fight-night-81Matt Mitrione recently signed with Bellator instead of coming back to the UFC, the organization where every one of his MMA fights have taken place. In an interview on Sirius XM, Mitrione stated that he asked the UFC for a raise so that he would make something similar to the other UFC heavyweights that he was defeating, but they would not budge. He was told that he had to accept the contract that was offered, or find employment somewhere else, which is exactly what Mitrione did. One of his parting statements was that he was tired of eating Dana White’s proverbial “sh*t sandwich”. This sentiment is shared by more than a few in the organization.

Conor McGregor released a statement after the UFC pulled him from UFC 200 stating that he did not refuse to promote, or ask for more money from the UFC. He was concerned that he was the only fighter who had to travel a long distance to make certain press conferences. Let’s not forget that the UFC put McGregor on a year-long World tour to promote the Jose Aldo fight that was prolonged due to an injury to Aldo. Anyone who has travels regularly, understands what it does to your body, mentally and physically. Fighters travel to fight destinations weeks in advance in order to adapt to time zones. Many of these guys are fighting for our viewing pleasure when it is 3 a.m. in their respective countries. Doing this for the fight is one thing, but doing this continually to make commercials and answer the same questions over and over would create an issue for a lot of fighters. I realize that McGregor is in a very small company of fighters who have complained about media obligations. Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz were criticized about failing to attend press conferences in the past, and Diaz was removed from a fight as a result, so this is not the first time that this has happened.UFC-Conor-Mcgregor-Wallpapers-cfm6

Conor caused quite a headache for the UFC with all of his antics leading up to his loss with Nate Diaz. The second that he lost his immortal image, he lost his leverage to call his shots in any fashion. This is something that I believe the UFC would have allowed had he remained undefeated inside the organization. McGregor wants to focus on training in order to compete at the highest level. Most athletes try to distance themselves after a major loss. Cam Newton was criticized after his Super Bowl loss for not being professional. Advocates for Newton argued that anyone would have had a difficult time remaining positive when the team that just defeated you was celebrating within earshot. Conor is finally trying to distance himself from all the noise, but the UFC realizes that they need McGregor’s antics in order to sell more pay-per-views. They use Conor’s sound bites from these conferences to create animosity between fighters to get the fans excited, but what can he say to a man that just defeated him right before their rematch?

The “Notorious” one has made himself an easy target for criticism. He has made more money than anyone not named Ronda Rousey in the past year, and he hasn’t shut up since entering the octagon. The second he tries to take a humble approach and focus purely on the sport that got him to this point, he is pulled from the biggest fight in the organization’s history. I admit, I am becoming annoyed myself with the constant hysteria surrounding Conor McGregor, but for once, maybe we should look at how these fighters are being treated by their employer. Yes, I understand the UFC trying to suck every dime out of the entertaining McGregor, but, as Nate Diaz proved, he is simply a human being.

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