The Notorious returns in UFC 202

When first hearing about the force of nature that is Conor McGregor, one has to make sure the name his correct. Fortunately, “Colin” McGregor  had not been discovered as of yet and the options came back in a flash flood of information. McGregor may not be poet laureate that Cassius Clay was during his heyday however his wit and vocal delivery keep the attention of the average sports fan and the appetite for continuous UFC developments.

There is no doubt that Conor McGregor is a self made man with a talent in fighting that is only surpassed by determination. Since turning pro in 2008, McGregor has a 20-3 record with 18 wins by KO. Jose Aldo was previously the only competitor in the featherweight division that he had not towered over. .14 seconds later, that was a wrap on the featherweight division.

Enter the brash Nate Diaz, from Stockton, CA, whose volley of verbal sparring is centrally profane. After a convincing win in their first encounter, McGregor and Diaz entertained with a likely fight of the year bout that awarded the Notorious a vengeful win and assured a trilogy to break the tie.

The Notorious clearly relishes change and pivots was well out the octagon as in.  With all of the superlatives that can be attested from McGregor’s performances, other factors have collided to make this mighty warrior a media giant:

Being white: The color does have privileges, unintended as they may be in some instances starting with the comparison with the now retired Floyd Mayweather. Any action by Pretty Boy Floyd has, over time, automatically directed the media to automatically shed light the negative missteps he has taken (of which there are many). Both clearly are cultivating an image of invincibility however, at this point, they are viewed differently by the media and the consuming public. Part of this is the perception of the fights they have chosen to participate in, with Mayweather being the more selective and McGregor taking on all comers. Both act in a sexist manner, while Mayweather took it a step further and spending jail time for beating a woman. Jealousy and envy reign because Mayweather remained undefeated and the best fighter in the world, ESPY’s be damned. But a dominant white fighter who also verbally turns a phrase and injects humor? This is almost been non-existent to the Millennials, much less any generation. The obviously spellbinded media and public are gorging on this comet while it still shines bright.

Being outrageous: Many were introduced to the exploits of Conor McGregor when he performed larceny on Irish soil and stole Jose Aldo’s championship belt during March’s UFC 189 press conference in Dublin, Ireland. A phenomenon going viral has to have a large and incentivized community on behind it. Unlike the rabid fans typically seen watching European soccer, the fanatics have gravitated toward the singular image of “The King” of UFC. McGregor has clearly embraced this and offers it as gravitas toward the manner he prepares for his fights and communicates with the public.

The press conferences with Nate Diaz ratcheted up his commentary,, comparing his opponent to a gazelle. For Diaz/McGregor 2, a WWE style brawl of water bottles ensued after a late entrance by McGregor to the UFC 202 press conference inflamed Diaz and his camp. Like Muhammad Ali, McGregor goes for the verbal jugular by damaging the soul of his opponents pre-fight before the physicalality takes over during the fight.

Being validated: When Ronda Rousey was the most dominant force in UFC, the only thing that excited her more than a victory was being clearly amused by the highlighted answers by McGregor during this UFC question/answer session.

Ronda Rousey, overlooking the sexist overtones, showed her appreciation of McGregor’s branded confidence injected with humor. The 2015 ESPY Female of the Year, herself doing an exhaustive media tour prior to Invicta, channeled her respect to the UFC fans and humanized the sarcastic bites of McGregor.

The UFC Ultimate Fighter brand of show business was not an option until we learned of the frailty of this social media fireball. Once blood flowed from the eyebrow and vulnerability was exposed during UFC 196, Diaz went for the kill and victorious. Blood flowed more evenly in UFC 202 and a rebirth is assured for Colin McGregor and, as long as he wins, the public will always be at attention seeking more Irish nourishment in their UFC diet.