Conor McGregor’s Latest Loss Continues Costly Slide for UFC
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: Conor McGregor
If only the UFC was pro wrestling and Dana White could write the plot.
Ronda Rousey would still be winning. So, too, would Conor McGregor and Jon Jones wouldn’t have any drug tests to fail.
But the UFC is real. One wrong move and champions can be dethroned. The most marketable like Rousey can be beaten and a much less sellable Amanda Nunes can dominate.
And McGregor. The greatest mouth in any sport since Ali can be neutralized. Sure, Saturday night’s ankle injury was unfortunate, but it still goes up as a loss.
In case you lost track, that’s the fourth loss in his last five fights.
UFC records aren’t like boxing records, Poirier and McGregor actually now both have six losses, but the question becomes when does McGregor’s yapper become less sellable?
The sense is we’re pretty close.
Right after the fight, I asked my Twitter audience if McGregor is still a main attraction. I thought a poll, restricted to the first 15 minutes after the fight, would actually side with McGregor because of the freak injury.
The results? Fifty-two percent said “yes” he was still a big draw. That’s not a convincing margin for someone who is getting the money and promotion that McGregor gets.
Dana White knows what it’s like to have champions who don’t transcend. Nunes is amazing, but no one outside the sport talks about her. Poirier beat McGregor in January, yet he didn’t get a tenth of the oxygen that McGregor got.
White ended the night saying a fourth fight is on the table once McGregor is ready to go following his surgery scheduled for Sunday. For the first time, however, just because there’s a fourth fight featuring McGregor doesn’t mean people are buying it.
The UFC product is an amazing one that is predicated on unpredictability. For Dana White, the unfortunate part is that the wrong stars have lost too much and in the end that has cost the organization hundreds of millions of dollars in marketing power.