in Culture, TV

What Conor McGregor knew

Or what I’m guessing he was thinking as he stepped into the ring, since I’m not, you know, a mind reader

Conor McGregor lost, but he’s not a loser. Let’s get that out of the way. I mean, any guy who can do this to a reigning champion is a winner in my book. Let’s also not forget the fact that McGregor got anywhere between $30-100 million for going 10 rounds against one of the greatest boxers in the world, Floyd Mayweather, jr. So, you know, boo hoo. I’m sure both guys sleep on piles of money.

But why did McGregor get in the ring in the first place – besides the money, and the opportunity to hand Mayweather his first loss? If he had won, he’d have the money, but questions around Mayweather’s age and stamina would have surrounded the victory. Now that the dust has settled, we know the champ had plenty of gas in the tank, and it was actually McGregor who needed to do some cardio. Not surprising, considering how long his MMA matches typically last.

I think McGregor expected a paycheck, but not the victory. This was more about proving  the naysayers wrong. No, McGregor-Mayweather didn’t make a farce of the sport of boxing. Mayweather actually looked like he came ready to play. McGregor’s was a moral victory. He’s not just some savage who’s good at pummeling people – he can also hold his own in a sport where the objective is simply to make contact with your opponent. Knocking your opponent senseless, while more exciting than technical boxing, doesn’t always win favor in the eyes of the judges.

And, ultimately, McGregor is a tourist in another sport. He could go back to winning in MMA next month and today’s results would be forgotten. “Vacation’s over,” the fans might say.

Or something.

I respect McGregor’s tenacity. Few people have the courage to look at the storm and run toward it. Dude has steel plums, for sure.