I have never understood UFC and combat sports in general. Two guys beating the snot out of each other doesn’t really appeal to me.
That said, last Saturday’s UFC 229 piqued my interest.
The main event of the evening featured the notorious Conor McGregor returning to the octagon against the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov. In short, Nurmagomedov chocked out McGregor in the fourth round to retain his UFC lightweight belt.
And then it quickly fell apart.
Nurmagomedov and a member of McGregor’s corner exchanged words after the bell. Something snapped in the Russian, and he leaped out the octagon and jumped into the McGregor corner. Fists flew, and mayhem ensued.
The still recovering McGregor tried to escape the cage, but met with a member of Nurmagomedov’s corner at the top of the cage. The Irishman appeared to take a swing and came back down into the ring.
More members of Nurmagomedov’s team entered the octagon and took shots at McGregor.
After the dust settled, three members of Nurmagomedov’s team were arrested, Nurmagomedov claimed his title, but never received his belt in the ring and both fighters have been suspended at least 10 days, pending a full hearing by the Nevada Athletic Commission.
This still might not be the ugliest thing that has happened in this budding rivalry. Back in April, McGregor attacked a bus that was carrying Nurmagomedov at UFC 223. Other fighters that were on the bus suffered cuts from broken windows.
McGregor was arrested and later reached a plea deal that wiped out three counts of felony assault and one count of criminal mischief with just one count of disorderly conduct.
UFC president Dana White has condemned what took place after the bout and the bus attack, but let’s be honest.
These two will fight again, and it will rake in a lot of cash.
And that is the whole point. The fight promotion featured bits of the bus attack. In the lead-up to the fight, McGregor and his team threw some jabs at Nurmagomedov’s family and religion, and that is what is reported to have been what set him off after the fight.
And with this, it seems like White is taking a page from another big name in entertainment, Vince McMahon.
In other words, the UFC is turning into a WWE show, or at least this storyline is.
The WWE and its scripted fights mean that rivalries can run for fight after fight after fight. How else can you get some combination of Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman and Brock Lesnar to have six main event fights in the last two years?
And still, large venues are sold out to watch the storylines unfold. That is the situation UFC has in front of it.
A large potential of profits has fallen at the feet of White, and who could blame him for taking it?
McGregor has already contacted White about a rematch. Common sense would say Nurmagomedov would want another payday, especially if his check from the last fight is withheld, which it currently still is.
At this point, what happens to the two fighters is up in the air. But there will be a rematch, and it will make plenty of money.
I might have to shell out some money to watch that fight. Oh wait, I’m a college student, never mind.