January 18th is only a few short days away, and as I said on Monday’s episode of UnNamed Sports Show this fight is all about legacy. After arriving at the first UFC 246 press conference and viewing the video montages I was struck by the word legacy once again.
Conor McGregor was on one of the greatest meteoric rises in the history of combat sports. Suffering only one loss in his quest for UFC Gold avenging that loss a few short months later. Becoming the first “Champ Champ” in UFC history holding both the Featherweight and Lightweight straps simultaneously. He was “The Notorious” “Mystic Mac”, who spoke with so much bravado he was both adored and hated with equal measure. But following that victory in front of the thousands on hand at Madison Square Garden things have been profitable yet troubling.
Making 80+ million promoting the first crossover fight in history against Floyd Mayweather, then ultimately losing. Getting in criminal altercations with Khabib Nurmagamedov, before being submitted in the fourth round after months of build up and animosity. Conor has been on a bit of a downturn over the past few years. Simply put, Conor needs a win. Not only for his continued box office viability, but for his psyche as a prize fighter. Getting off the mat after a loss is tough. Mike Tyson was never the same after his loss to Buster Douglas. Yes he became the Champ again, but his mystique of invincibility was never quite the same.
After fighting in some of the biggest fights in the history of the UFC and as he so eloquently put it after the sale of the UFC “4.2 billion dollars is what I’m worth to this company”. He will obviously continue getting big fights even with a loss, but he begins to reclaim his legacy with a memorable performance on Saturday night.