Who is to Blame for the UFC 229 Brawl?
Was there a different atmosphere in the office when you went back to work on Monday? Almost like there were debates from all angles, but not in regards to the normal office talk you are used to? Your coworkers were probably talking about UFC 229 and the end of Conor McGregor v. Khabib Nurmagomedov.
In case you missed it, Khabib (27-0) outclassed McGregor (21-4) at UFC 229 in the latter’s first octagon appearance in more than two years. Khabib submitted “The Notorious One” to retain the Lightweight Title. While an entertaining bout, the real fun started after match. Khabib went on to argue with and attack Dillon Danis, who was by the cage, with a flying kick. While McGregor was trying to go after Khabib, members of Khabib’s team ambushed him inside the octagon. Security escorts and Dana White refusing to give the title to Khabib ended a wild night. The latter part is understandable, as the fans inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas were all on edge as is.
There was a lot of tension surrounding the main event. The way this was booked, it was bound to turn into a circus show. The Nevada Athletic Commission is looking into the case, while Dana White was pissed, but will most likely do nothing about it, just like when McGregor threw the dolly at the bus around UFC 223 in Brooklyn.
So, who is to blame for all of this? The short answer is everyone, but it wouldn’t be fair to leave it at that. The major players involved in this wild weekend for the UFC are to blame, each with more of a piece of the pie to share.
One of the most dominant athletes in MMA today, Khabib was calm, cool and collected throughout the buildup to this fight. Almost too calm if you think about it, especially when you consider how this all started. Khabib confronting McGregor teammate Artem Lobov with his crew pre-UFC 223 was brought to McGregor’s attention, giving the Irishman the desire to fly down to Brooklyn.
While that wasn’t the straw that broke the camel’s back, it was his post-fight actions that did. His moment of glory was taken away due to his own hands. Getting caught in the heat of the moment cost him the respect and opportunity to be heralded as a true great.
Why did Khabib go out of his way to attack McGregor’s crew? It might have had something to do with the way Conor went about promoting this fight.
Yes, it is known that Conor’s promo tactics leading up to fights are always controversial. He loves to get inside his opponent’s heads with his words. After all, it is what he does best (minus fighting of course). What happens, however, when those tactics are against someone from Dagestan who is not in on the joke?
Starting from the bus incident in Brooklyn, McGregor crossed the line between good old entertainment and taking it too far. He brought up Khabib’s father, his religion, his manager, and called Khabib every name in the book. He made the situation reach its boiling point, with no consequences for his actions….
Speaking of no consequences, the UFC allowed the madness to take place. In fact, they promoted the bus incident, something that made three fights get taken off the UFC 223 card. It was “all part of the storyline,” the UFC said. Dana White marketed madness, and madness is what they got.
The organization proved there are no consequences for actions before, and it is hard to believe they will be as strict this time around. Besides Brooklyn, McGregor caused many disturbances during his press conferences with Nate Diaz and Jose Aldo, while also jumping the cage at a Bellator event and attacking an official. He received a simple sentence by the New York court but was given a slap on the wrist by the UFC.
Dana called Conor’s actions a few months ago disgusting and despicable. What happened after? He received a title shot. He was also given free reign to talk about whatever he wanted at Khabib’s expense. Dana was “disgusted and sick” at the actions surrounding UFC 229, but will most likely use the footage of the whole ordeal for the potential rematch.
Something to think about: In general, WWE and pro wrestling tend to blur the lines between reality and entertainment. They do so because that is what is expected of the sport. If you are not a pro wrestling organization (whether you are a fighter or the actual UFC) and you can’t separate both in an intelligent manner, you have an issue.
Multiple parties are to blame, including the media and the fans for buying into everything. After all, controversy creates cash, as said by a wise man who at one point could have put Vince McMahon out of business.
A huge night for the UFC ended in controversy, but will anything truly be done about it? If history is any indication, this vicious cycle will repeat itself. Whom will we have to blame the next time something like this happens?