The UFC is reportedly upset with Conor McGregor’s ‘attitude’ heading into his awaited return.
The superstar will face lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov at October 6’s UFC 229. The fight is McGregor’s first trip back to the cage since his TKO victory over Eddie Alvarez in November 2016. McGregor won the 155-pound title but was stripped due to inactivity.
‘The Eagle’ now holds the belt after defeating Al Iaquinta at April’s UFC 223. McGregor was arrested for his now-infamous bus attack at the Barlcays Center in Brooklyn. He reached a plea deal on assault charges last month. His massive return was announced before August 4’s UFC 227 from Los Angeles, California.
Lack Of Hype
The hype for what many are calling the biggest fight in UFC history hasn’t seemingly gone into overdrive just yet, however. McGregor has been largely unseen despite only the fact five weeks remain until the bout. Apparently, that’s causing discord with his employers. The UFC is frustrated with his attitude according to f4wonline.com (via MMA Mania):
“One of the reasons you haven’t seen much in the way of interviews and such is that McGregor has not agreed to do anything. There are no press conferences scheduled because McGregor at this point hasn’t agreed to them. There is a lot of frustration within the UFC about McGregor’s attitude, but in the end, he’s got the leverage and the ticket sales and secondary market results only give him more leverage.
The feeling is that this may be the biggest non-boxing PPV of all-time, and the only reason it wouldn’t be is that McGregor hasn’t been pushing it hard. McGregor was able to get a larger piece of the action for this fight than any of his UFC fights to date, so there is a direct correlation more than ever between his work in promoting the fight and his pocket book, but this may also show that he knows he’s in a real fight and doesn’t want to break training.”
McGregor may just be focused on training to beat the undefeated Nurmagomedov. He did the same thing prior to his UFC 202 rematch with Nate Diaz after losing their first fight. ‘The Eagle’ is being deemed McGregor’s toughest challenge in the octagon. The likewise could be said for the champion because of McGregor’s otherworldly striking accuracy and power.
The megafight is being discussed as the first UFC fight to earn 2 million buys on pay-per-view. That would be a record by a large margin. If the fight fails to reach its record-setting potential, many will point to the lack of promotion as the reason.
McGregor’s rematch with Diaz at UFC 202 in 2016 drew a reported 1.6 million buys to stand as the current record-holder. It would seem Nurmagomedov vs. McGregor would break that rather easily based on the situation. Were the fight not to reach 2 million buys, at least some disappointment would foster for the UFC. The promotion needs a massive pay-per-view more than ever during a year of struggling PPV sales and television ratings.
That’s why they need McGregor promoting the fight. He simply may not be willing to at this point.
Does the UFC have a right to be upset with Conor McGregor’s attitude heading into UFC 229?