Riding through my usual suspects of MMA journalism after the announcement of Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor left two clear thoughts lingering in my kiwi brain. First they all outlined how crazy this is and went back to when there was minor noise about this possible fight, minor noise that quickly became the equivalent of a siren as silly mainstream media hyped it up thanks to them not being able enjoy the moment of McGregor holding two UFC belts.
Ever since the Fertitta brothers sold the UFC, there has been a narrative of the UFC needing to make some serious dosh for WME-IMG. Investing $4 billion means that you gotta get something back and the UFC makes money buy selling massive events via their superstar fighters. With Ronda Rousey and Jon Jones not doing a whole lot and McGregor leaving them in his dust, McGregor is the cash cow and we have to assume that the UFC has allowed this fight to happen because of the financial benefits they'll enjoy.
All parties involved are doing this for the money and that's 100 percent all good. Mayweather is Mr Team Money, McGregor has completely escalated the earning potential of a UFC fighter in a matter of years and the owners of the UFC need to make some cash. Mayweather mastered the art of money-making via fighting long ago and sits alone on that perch in boxing, while McGregor is an offspring to that of sorts.
The financial aspect of this boxing bout on August 26 is crucial because it surrounds this fight in context. It's kinda bonkers that the modern boxing wizard Mayweather will come out of retirement to fight an MMA fighter, someone who has a history in boxing but is nothing more than 0-0 as a professional boxer. You'll have a mate who is going to say that McGregor won't be able to hit Mayweather because Mayweather is the greatest defensive boxer ever and that's probably true, as soon as you hear that yarn though you should zone out because this fight ain't about that.
McGregor doesn't need to win the fight to win the fight, he just needs to survive. Brace yourself for the very possibility that Mayweather can't be hit by McGregor, doesn't do much attacking himself and we get 12 rounds of not much. Mayweather isn't going to throw punches that could knock McGregor out and Mayweather is going to be very difficult to hit, in combat sports there's always a fighter's chance and that's McGregor's hope.
Most predictions will leave you wondering if splashing out what's likely to be over $100nzd to watch this fight, or even chipping in $10 to watch it with your mates, is a good idea. I mean this could be Joseph Parker vs Razvan Cojanu on steroids; brace yourselves folks for a bit of a let down.
But you'll pay, I probably won't pay but I'll watch it, millions of people around the world will watch it and all those people who say how boring Mayweather's boxing is will watch it just as they always watch him. For once though, this is less about Mayweather and what he will say and do, this is all about Mystic Mac.
Those sports fans who don't watch the UFC or only pay attention to McGregor when he says something outlandish or inspires historic moments like this:
Yup, those sports fans won't know that in 2017, anything McGregor does tends to work out in his favour. At the moment I'm gearing up to write some thoughts on a new album from an artist named Russ and the album is full of ideas about manifestation, achieving what you say you'll achieve, speaking things into action and all. Last night, after this fight was announced, I watched a little documentary that Nipsey Hussle released about his business ventures in South Central Los Angeles and Hussle has been on that manifestation of your dreams vibe for a while now.
UFC fans know that whatever Mystic Mac says, usually happens in freakish fashion, he speaks it into existence by having the audacity to first say it and then having the talent/super hard work combination that brings results. When people back up their words to such an extent (being the UFC's first two-division champ for example) we are all left in a position where we can't really question them.
Everything about this fight screams 'silly' and Mayweather should dominate. Yet I have absolutely no reason to lean against McGregor, he's said many things before and then he's done those things with a near-flawless record. He became champion, he became a two-division champion, he's predicted how he'll finish fights, he lost to Nate Diaz and then went straight back to work to suss out how to beat Nate Diaz, he's made all the money he said he was going to make and now here he is, about to fight Mayweather in a boxing bout.
It's debatable how much inspiration you can extract out of Mayweather, given his abusive past and what not. 'Hard work and dedication' is cool but it's not something that is restricted to Mayweather as any athlete on that level has to work harder than the rest, not just working harder than the public but working harder than fellow professionals. Mayweather is great, but Mystic Mac is a better reflection of our generation, younger folk and I've come to view McGregor as not only a fine inspiration but also the biggest sports star on the planet, not too far behind LeBron James at least.
McGregor is an offspring of Mayweather in a hustling sense and McGregor definitely enjoys the luxury that he's earned. Don't mistake confidence for arrogance though and McGregor has supreme confidence in his ability inside and outside of the octagon (maybe the ring as well?), he's also got a down to Earth humility that tends to shine in those not from the glorious USA.
You do a lot worse than drawing all sorts of inspiration from McGregor. We live in time when us young folk have our confidence beaten out of us, whether it's old folk telling us how silly millenials are or whether it's all the stupid violence that makes us question wtf we're doing here. McGregor is an example of what is possible when you believe in yourself to such an extent, that you can stay grounded while executing that process and still maintain a desire to take flight.
I've come to view McGregor as the modern Mayweather; money and talent but without the bullshit, may the young folk rise.
If McGregor believes he can draw upon his previous boxing experience, his current boxing training, plus the visualization and self believe that he's displayed so often in the past, who are we to disagree? He's done it before and regardless of what the actual result is, I'm interested in how the above manifests in the boxing ring. We've got no idea what McGregor is going to dish up as a boxer, we just know that he's got a fine track record of doing what he says. Chuck in the fact that McGregor definitely won't be a typical boxer, I'm not sure exactly how but McGregor will offer something that Mayweather hasn't fought against before, something he might not be able to prepare for.
You only have yourself to blame if you get caught up in the hype. You can always ignore the fight, catch a replay on Youtube or highlights anywhere else and avoid the costs of getting caught up in the hype. A replay or highlights will answer the intrigue about McGregor's boxing ability, the real funk in this fight sits outside the boxing ring. It won't cost you anything to hear McGregor lure Mayweather into a verbal stoush, it won't cost you anything to find inspiration in McGregor (or Mayweather) and it won't cost you anything to simply sit back and enjoy the possibilities that this world offers.
Either hold on to Mayweather and all the negative stuff that comes with that era, or move on to a more wholesome Mystic Mac vibration. I know what I prefer and the outcome of this boxing bout does little to impact that because there's no shame in losing when you're willing to have a go.
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