Conor McGregor: A superstar or a sporting imposter?

FILE - Welterweight fighter Conor McGregor poses on the scale during a ceremonial weigh-in for UFC 246 at Park Theater at Park MGM. Photo: Steve Marcus/Getty Images via AFP

FILE - Welterweight fighter Conor McGregor poses on the scale during a ceremonial weigh-in for UFC 246 at Park Theater at Park MGM. Photo: Steve Marcus/Getty Images via AFP

Published May 23, 2021


A message to the content creators and editors at Forbes Magazine:

When you bracket Conor McGregor’s wealth, do it under the guise of rookie business personality but don’t credit him as being the wealthiest sports person of 2020.

When determining wealth of the best among the sporting elite, categorise the earnings in relation to performance.

McGregor, of ‘Once was a Warrior’ MMA fame, is a very rich individual but it is his catapult to the top of Forbes’s ‘Wealthiest sports star of 2020’ that has nothing to do with sporting performance.

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McGregor fought a big name of combat fighting in his solitary outing in 2020 and it was a very well picked big name because the big name was also a name from the past. His 30 second knockout of this big name was a marketing ploy to get fans to believe he was still capable of being a champion in the cage.

He wasn’t and earlier this year he got knocked cold in the second round when confronted with a real and current fighter in American Dustin Poirier.

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McGregor’s biggest victory in the past five years has been with the sale of his whisky brand, Proper Twelve.

There has been little in his sporting profession that can be aligned to performance.

It has been one con job after the other to sustain interest in a performer whose fighting peak was five years ago.

McGregor, whose fame was built on 15 successive wins in the cage, lost by submission to Nate Diaz on the 5th March, 2016. He exacted his revenge later in the year, but ever since he has been on the receiving end when it mattered most.

His once off exhibition showbiz boxing fight against Floyd Mayweather was sold to a gullible ‘pay-per-view’ global audience as the meeting of two codes.

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It never was anything but two narcissists cashing in on people’s inability to see beyond a marketing con job.

McGregor and Mayweather did the trash talk for a year, promised a war and then delivered a tap dance as Mayweather gave McGregor a boxing lesson. The farce lasted 10 rounds before it ended as a Technical Knockout.

McGregor’s pay day was huge and he won global fame for venturing into a boxing ring. Fair play to him.

But that is where it should have ended when it comes to McGregor and a sporting career.

Since then, he has been second best.

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Khabib Nurmagomedov destroyed him with a fourthround submission on 6th October, 2018 and Poirier knocked him cold earlier this year.

That’s been the total of his fighting returns.

The whisky business has flourished for McGregor, but the biggest punch he has thrown was against a drunk pensioner in a pub, he has now bought. The pensioner, who laid criminal charges of assault, has been banned from the pub by the new owner.

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Forbes described McGregor as a Mixed Martial Arts superstar.

The use of ‘superstar’ is very liberal, as is his inclusion among sports people.

Those making up the top 10 lists included soccer’s Lionel Messi (second), Cristiano Ronaldo (third) and Paris St Germain’s Brazilian Neymar (6th), basketball’s Le Bron James and Kevin du Randt. The iconic quarterback Tom Brady and F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton were also among the top 10.

That list, two to 10, represents individuals who comfortably could claim to be among the greatest in their professions and the wealthiest because of their continued performances in these professions.

Not so, the ‘sporting’ imposter at No 1.


IOL Sport

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