Discover more from C'mon Now
Conor McGregor tried to use the UFC playbook to pressure the promotion into booking him for UFC 296
Was Conor McGregor's latest tweet and delete an effort to employ his version of a chapter from the UFC playbook? If it was, it failed.
A while back I wrote a story for Bloody Elbow that examined how the UFC seems to pressure fighters into accepting fights. At the time I wrote:
A tweet from ESPN, who is the UFC broadcast partner, appears. The tweet says UFC is "working on booking Fighter A vs. Fighter B." Sometimes these would end with something like, "contracts not signed."
The next step — and maybe the most influential — in this scenario is fan excitement on social media.
Somewhere between those two steps, one of those fighters — or perhaps both — wonders what the hell the UFC is doing in "announcing" a fight that isn't official.
With fan excitement reaching a crescendo, the fighters become resigned to the fact that they will disappoint those fans if the fight falls through. It's at this point where the fighters — who might have wanted to rework their contract, discuss a higher wage, or just wish to talk to the UFC about the booking or its date — realize fans will blame them for the fight falling through. After all, why would the UFC announce a fight that isn't official?
Did McGregor think posting and deleting a purported screenshot that "announced" his UFC 296 fight opposite Michael Chandler, an image UFC president Dana White said was a fake, would work the same way? It was a long shot, especially since the only way McGregor could fight at UFC 296 is for the UFC to offer him a USADA waiver regarding its drug testing policy.
Also, this wasn't McGregor's first attempt to get the fans behind him and perhaps "force" the UFC to book him opposite Chandler in December.
"They're not going to let me fight in December, ladies and gentlemen," McGregor said in a series of audio notes on X (via MMA Junkie) "You've seen Chris Weidman (at UFC 292). Imagine what that injury is. I feel like I'm being kept from my livelihood, and I've been feeling this for years. I'm not going to air grievances. I'm going to buoy down and soldier on. I'm ready. I wanted an announcement for (UFC 296 on) Dec. 16. I've given everything. So, it's not going to happen. It doesn't look like it's going to happen."
While blaming "them" for keeping him from fighting, McGregor should have mentioned if he's enrolled in the USADA drug testing program. If so, perhaps the "they" he mentioned are keeping him from his livelihood. Alas, McGregor didn't update us on his USADA status. So what we know is USADA has not tested him since the third quarter of 2021.
While McGregor's efforts to get in the news and pick up some fan momentum didn't go unnoticed, the UFC ignored them, which was the correct move.
The simplest solution for all this is for McGregor to enroll in the USADA program and make himself available for six months of drug tests. Until that happens, everything else is just noise. Unless the UFC gives him the
Brock Lesnar treatment, which it could do, but shouldn't.
C'mon Now is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
A sports story
“On the night of April 24, 1970, a karate brawl broke out in Chicago between senseis and students from rival dojos (karate centers). The fight was not for an audience or a trophy. No one had seen anything like it outside of the movies. One thing was certain: Not everyone was going to get out alive.”
A short story
The Swimmer by John Cheever
Vacationing to Antarctica? On a cruise ship? C’mon now.
The Last Place on Earth Any Tourist Should Go via The Atlantic
Ballad of the Bird - The legend of Charles Christopher Parker from Esquire Classic
Floodlines is a story about what happened to the people of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina
Something about the South, politics and labor
“When they run out of poor people to eat, guess who’s next?” - “Stepping on the necks of the poorer part of its population is how the South seeks and has always sought to entice careless outsiders to its poisonous little fantasy world.”
The Cannibal South from Hamilton Nolan
Highly recommend you read everything from J.G. Ballard, and while High Rise and Hello America are fine starting points, you might as well go all in and start with Crash