Do you like your sports with a little blood and gore? Then buckle up for UFC229! The bad boy of the octagon and arguably the biggest star of the UFC, Conor McGregor takes on Khabib Nurmagomedov on Saturday, October 6, 2018.
For those not conversant with the world of violent sports, here’s a quick heads up. The UFC, Ultimate Fighting Championship, is the biggest Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) promotion company in the world. Based in Las Vegas, the UFC has been responsible for recruiting some of the world’s greatest fighters to compete for titles, national bragging rights and the right to be called the world undisputed fighting champion.
Also, because of the company’s platform, the UFC has been responsible for producing some of the biggest names in the world of MMA. Names like Ronda Rousey, Brock Lesnar, Nate Diaz, Jon Jones and of course Conor McGregor. But it doesn’t end there, the UFC also likes to push boundaries, not only in approving different forms of martial arts to be incorporated to the sports, but also, recently accepting a challenge from an entirely different fighting sport.
Earlier in June 2017, an unprecedented event occurred in the world of sports, UFC President Dana White approved a UFC-boxing crossover which saw to two titans of their individual sports, Conor McGregor and boxer, Money Floyd Mayweather battling it in a boxing match.
Mayweather would eventually emerge victorious, seeing as he had the advantage of fighting in his comfort zone. The match itself, which ended up receiving positive reviews for its excitement and delivery, was not entirely responsible for the its own hype. What had most people talking especially those that are not acquainted with the boxing world, was the buildup to the match, not to mention, the amount of money rumoured to be made by both men. McGregor was said to have earned a whopping sum of 100 million dollars and Mayweather 300 million dollars.
Whether you are a fan of boxing or not, you have to admit, the press conferences, video releases and constant social media taunting had most of us longing to see who would eventually emerge victoriously. It was a special thing to see someone who could actually out trash talk Mayweather, but somehow McGregor managed it. His affluent lifestyle, bad boy persona and fearless demeanour was more than enough to challenge any pregame mind games Mayweather threw his way, despite being at a disadvantage. Conor’s wild behaviour was more than enough for Mayweather to handle.
This wild behaviour is nothing new to the UFC world. Fans of the sport know just how loquacious McGregor can get. The man never seems to shut up, he talks the talk and fortunately for him, he also walks the walk, which is why he has become a fan favourite. He not only talks big, but also comes up big in matches, and he is never afraid to challenge the most dangerous fighters. With a 21 win, 3 loss and 0 draw record, it is easy to see why the man raises his shoulders so high all the time.
On Friday, September 21, 2018, it was announced that UFC 229 taking place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on October 6, 2018, would feature a main event match between Conor McGregor and the undisputed lightweight champion of the world, Khabib Nurmagomedov.
The contrast in fighting styles, and sheer accomplishment of both men already makes for this to be an interesting bout, but as any other typical McGregor fight, it is the build-up to the match that draws many, including non-fans of the sport to see his fights.
In an interview with ESPN’s Steven A Smith, Dana White narrates the origin of this fight and it seemed to be more personal than initially presumed.
Basically, it all began with a political disagreement between a close friend of McGregor, Artem Lobov, and Khabib. It was later reported that Khabib and his boys cornered Lobov and Khabib slapped him.
McGregor got word of this and immediately flew to New York, all the way from Ireland. McGregor got into the Barclays centre in Brooklyn, and he and his boys attacked all the fighters, including Khabib. Authorities quickly intervened and McGregor was arrested. McGregor managed to escape felony charges after pleading guilty to disorderly conduct, he was sentenced to five days of community.
Following his release, McGregor requested that UFC president, Dana White, set up a match between him and Khabib and Dana white agreed.
Sports analysts are livid as to why this match was approved. McGregor has not stepped foot in the octagon for two years now, and he is going up against arguably the most dangerous man he could possibly fight.
In a heated press conference, McGregor did what he did best, playing mind games and getting under the skin of Khabib, Khabib managed to keep his cool, but it was obvious that McGregor’s words were getting to him.
The concurrent views of the press conference is said to have beaten the Mayweather/McGregor press conference which could be hinting to the possibility that this could be the biggest fight in UFC history.
What do you think, will Khabib continue on his win streak or will McGregor come back from a two year break and prove once again that he is the best?
Here’s a quick break down on both men’s profiles:
|Record||21W 3L 0D||26W 0L 0D|
|Fighting Discipline||Tae Kwon Doe, kickboxing, boxing, Jiu jitsu, karate, capoeira.||Sambo, judo, catch wrestling, short boxing, clinch grappling, jiu jitsu.|
|Style||Aggressive south paw||Grappling specialist|
|Nickname||The Notorious||The Eagle|
You can catch the fight on pay per view on BT sport online.