The MMA gods could favour a fighter on the odd event, however in the end, they don’t have any love for individuals who supply blood sacrifices earlier than them. One second you would be king of the world with each little bit of momentum in your facet; and the following, you would end up on the receiving finish of a well-timed hook which sends the lights out – like Greg Hardy – in your ass whereas an unrelenting gloved fists rains upon you – like Stephen Thompson – and within the case of Conor McGregor throughout his trilogy rematch towards Dustin Poirier at UFC 264, folding into your self with a damaged leg.
The assertion held by anybody with a mind is that Mystic Mac’s period of really being a combined martial artist has arrived on the doorsteps of its pure conclusion. Setting apart the very fact he’s misplaced three out of his final 4 matches, McGregor has cashed in a hefty payday outdoors of the cage with the assistance of an alluring mistress often known as boxing (utterly comprehensible, given the greenback determine was lightyears above the UFC’s weight class); lobbied his private model into tremendous stardom, in addition to turning it into some wholesome passive earnings; and after promoting his Proper No. 12 whiskey label to Proximo Spirits, within the monetary sense, McGregor is successfully set for all times.
Taking a beating in public for a dwelling would have presumably taken a backseat within the father of two’s precedence checklist, and essentially the most telling indication of this was when the occasion’s preamble devoted a complete section to illustrating his high standing as Forbes’ highest-paid athlete, versus analysing his previous/present prowess. Taking a beating in public additionally couldn’t probably supply the identical web profit because it as soon as did when he was a fresh-faced and wild-eyed scrapper from Dublin, counting on welfare to coach from solar as much as sunset. Though in the event you had been as soon as a world-beater of McGregor’s calibre, legacy (and satisfaction) will at all times come into play.
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This was the make-or-break second. We had been about to seek out out whether or not McGregor had managed to reignite the double division championship-winning mentality in his furnace which earned him a chapter in fight sports activities historical past, or if our worst suspicions may lastly be confirmed: that his greatest days are nicely and actually behind him.
It’s a crying disgrace UFC 264 ended its co-main occasion the best way it did. Granted, whereas none of us anticipated it to go the five-round distance, there’ll eternally be an asterisk subsequent to Dustin Poirier’s second consecutive victory towards Conor McGregor. Can the W be completely attributed to Poirier? Was it only a signal that victory – and age – had defeated his opponent? For the time being, nothing is particular on this entrance. Yet. For I’ve little doubt there can be one final showdown after this, whatever the views that McGregor has gone from Proper 12 to Proper Done (you possibly can’t argue with PPV income).
Still, on some stage, this was a relatively becoming “exit” for the Irishman: unable to just accept the result, belligerently cursing out everybody from his opponent to his opponent’s spouse, wilfully ignorant to the truth that the medical stoppage was a divine act of mercy. Because let’s be actual right here… throughout the minutes the preceded his leg bone shattering, McGregor was getting sparked the fuck up from each conceivable angle. The grand irony of all of it is that leg kicks had been additionally his very undoing the final time he confronted the person dwelling as much as his nickname, The Diamond.
UFC 264, nonetheless, doesn’t belong to Dustin Poirier. Nor does it belong to the likes of Gilbert Burns, Australia’s personal shoey-loving Tai Tuvasa, or Irene Aldana, both. The night time, for my part, belongs to the electrical Sugar Sean O’Malley and UFC debutante Kris Moutinho. Signing the dotted line simply 11 days earlier than it went down, the latter entered the Octagon underprepared – however not with out the requisite grit and gumption.
The much more skilled O’Malley dismantled younger Moutinho throughout all three rounds, touchdown an nearly unprecedented 80% of serious strikes. It was nothing wanting poetry in movement. Surgical, bloody poetry. That was till referee Herb Dean stepped in for one his patented blue-balling stoppages. In a perfect world, followers would have been handled to the final 30 seconds. And odds are, Moutinho’s iron chin may have weathered the storm.
Here’s to the approaching weeks of battle weekend hangover after one other positively stacked card.