Unless you live under a rock or you are returning from a deep-space adventure, there is a good chance that you have heard about Conor McGregor and his UFC 200 debacle. There is no way to make heads or tails of it as time ticks on and more news gets released about the ordeal. The coverage of his retirement and prompt unretirement has dominated not only the MMA airwaves, but also the grander sports picture.

McGregor’s single tweet has sparked a lot of coverage of the UFC’s historic event. Definitely more than any press conference could have ever procured. McGregor’s previous loss to Nate Diaz would have all but sucked out the charisma McGregor had displayed at previous press conferences. The mystique of an unbeaten UFC tenure has vanished. Diaz holds a win over McGregor, so there goes any confidence McGregor could display by calling himself superior to his opponent like he had in past press conferences. The magic just wouldn’t be there for a rematch after the first fight was favorably in Diaz’s corner.

Now, this lone tweet has generated buzz for an event that’s still three months away. It has started a trend, a “Will he or won’t he?” cycle. Will McGregor take part in the famed event, or will UFC President Dana White keep to his guns and leave McGregor on the sidelines? Will the UFC risk the money lost from not having the rematch on this card?

The only big headlines for the event dealt with the rematch between Diaz and McGregor. None of the other bouts would be front-page news on ESPN’s website. McGregor’s single tweet did hit the front page. White’s reaction was aired live on ESPN’s Sportscenter. McGregor saying he was back on the card hit the front page. Even White’s rebuttal was plastered on TMZ Sports. Furthermore, the headlines have made it into media outlets that normally don’t give any airtime to the sport of mixed martial arts. The coverage has hit the mainstream level.

McGregor has earned this level of coverage. Whether you think he is a great fighter or not isn’t really relevant, but through his charisma he has drawn in a crowd that has transcended to the mainstream level. It has made every card he has been on all the more popular, through both ticket sales and pay-per-view buys. It’s a significant achievement, considering no other MMA fighter outside of former champion Ronda Rousey has hit this level. McGregor has cultivated his worth and grown to become the biggest star MMA has today. In an age where the sport is just getting over the hump, McGregor is the man standing at the top.

In the coming days more will be unleashed as the war of whether or not McGregor will be on the card continues to grow — the UFC’s most recent volley is the announcement that UFC 200’s headliner will be a light heavyweight title showdown between champion Daniel Cormier and challenger Jon Jones — but McGregor is making the card all the more interesting, even if he ultimately never sets foot inside the Octagon at the event.

About The Author

Sal DeRose
Staff Writer

Sal DeRose hails from New Jersey and is currently training for his first MMA fight. He hopes to use his knowledge and insight to generate articles that interest and entertain readers. Prior to joining Combat Press, his work appeared on The MMA Corner and Bleacher Report MMA. Outside of MMA, Sal is a big fan of every other sport. He's a die-hard New York sports fan, with the exception of cheering for the Green Bay Packers.

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  • Leysin

    Unfair for other fighters that showed up to the Las Vegas press conference? Please, give us a break. When other fighters are doing the same amount of press, interviews, social media presence, media appearance, etc., that Conor McGregor does and has done, then maybe you can call it unfair. UFC seems to be a company that only asks, “What have you done for me lately?”

    No current fighter gets the eyes and ears of the public as much as McGregor, not even half the attention. When I watched the Vegas UFC 200 “press conference”, no one stepped up to the mic to promote or speak or did anything to really write home about. They all sat their mumbling or silently staring at the bright lights. The press conference took about 30 mins to do and half of that time was, “where’s Conor?”. It took about 24 mins in until the Aldo the formal champ to even uttered one word and remember what Dos “bruised foot” Anjos said during the press conference? You don’t because he didn’t have anything memorable to say and he’s the current lightweight champ. Nate Diaz in his “whatever” persona as he always do, only gave sound bites no more than 5 words at a time. The media must be dying to book him on a talk show, not really.

    None of the fighters at that press conference seemed like they really wanted to be there, none of the fighters seemed really enthusiastic to talk with the press and none of the fighters there gave a damn about promoting UFC 200. They were all given a chance to talk to the press and why UFC 200 is going to be the biggest event in UFC ever and what do we get other than Dana White trying to flex his muscles, a snore fest. McGregor’s empty chair was more entertaining and more vocal then some of the fighters that were there. It’s ridiculous and really shows that the UFC management has their heads up their asses. Being able to communicate, speak publicly, or be entertaining whenever there are eyes on you is a talent and not everyone has that skill or personality. So to say those other fighters do the same promotions as Conor McGregor is a joke. To say that other fighters have the same press obligations is lying.

    When the numbers comes in for UFC 200, I predict it will be dismal. In general people aren’t buying PPV for Dos Anjos vs Alverez or Aldo vs Edgar or even Misha vs Nunes. And Nate Diaz is going on “vacation” because Conor was pulled. Doesn’t look good for UFC 200 one bit and unfortunately none of the fighters are able or willing to promote their fights or themselves for us to give a damn. Conor does it in just a few tweets and the MMA world and sporting in general are a blazed. From what I can see, if the fighters aren’t that excited about UFC 200, why should anyone.