Even if you don’t follow the world of MMA, chances are you've heard of the name Conor McGregor. The Irishman always makes it to the headlines thanks to his infamous antics and loud mouth.
However, McGregor isn’t just all talk. Love him or hate him, there is no denying that the ginger MMA artist can actually put his mouth where his money is. In fact he is listed as 2nd on UFC's pound for pound rankings.
Additionally, McGregor is the UFC’s number 1 cash cow, being the biggest pay-per-view draw in the history of MMA. And because McGregor has headlined 4 of the top 6 highest selling UFC pay-per-view events, the MMA artist, it seems, has Dana White in a guillotine choke which leaves the President of the Ultimate Fighting Championship no choice but to submit to McGregor’s demands.
Unfortunately Conor’s whims, as some might expect, are out of this world. Additionally, it has left some, if not most, feeling shortchanged. As much as we admire McGregor’s skills in the octagon, we have to agree that the Irishman has been getting away with questionable incidents. Likewise, given the events surrounding the MMA champion, it is safe to say that his fellow UFC fighters deserve better.
Conor can only get away with so much. Sooner or later, he will lose his magic and we might see himself in trouble. When will the UFC have enough? How much longer is Dana White going to allow Conor McGregor to continue with his antics?
As of this writing, here’s a list of things that McGregor got away with because he is the UFC cash cow, but shouldn’t.
15 Held Up The Featherweight Division
On December 12, 2015, Conor McGregor won the UFC featherweight championship when he defeated then champion Brazilian native Jose Aldo. The fight lasted only 13 seconds when McGregor connected with his signature left hook combined with Aldo’s momentum moving forward caused the Brazilian to immediately drop to the canvas.
Since he won the featherweight crown, the Irish fighter has not made any signs of wanting to defend his belt. His next fight would be at the welterweight division against Nate Diaz. McGregor lost that match via rear naked choke.
Many fans as well as the whole featherweight roster were displeased with his ventures to the heavier weight class because a lot of the featherweights felt he held up the featherweight division.
Many featherweights felt that they deserved to fight next for the belt, but Conor’s desire to go for 2 belts derailed their plans of winning the featherweight title.
Since winning the featherweight title, McGregor has not fought in that weight class.
14 Held Up The Lightweight Division
Conor McGregor was originally scheduled to fight for the UFC lightweight championship against then champion Rafael Dos Anjos. The fight ultimately was cancelled when Dos Anjos suffered a foot injury.
Eventually, Notorious fought for the belt against then lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 dated November 12, 2016. Conor McGregor once again steps up to the challenge and wins the UFC lightweight crown via second round TKO.
Since winning the lightweight belt on November 12, 2016, Mystic Mac has not fought in the UFC at all.
Imagine the disdain of everyone when he repeated his antic, holding up another weight class. Many fighters literally pour their blood, sweat, and tears just to ascend the rankings to one day claim gold. With the lightweight being a stacked division, many are on edge with the turmoil McGregor put in place for holding the belt hostage.
UFC President Dana White has received numerous flak for allowing McGregor to keep the belt longer than usual, but has just very recently stripped Conor of the lightweight title after 18 months of inactivity.
13 Allowed To Go For 2 Belts Simultaneously
Conor McGregor won the UFC featherweight crown on UFC 194 dated December 12, 2015 and then won the UFC lightweight title on UFC 205 on November 12, 2016.
There is no denying that Mystic Mac is an exceptionally skilled fighter but many feel that he didn’t deserve to fight for 2 belts simultaneously.
UFC veterans Randy Couture and BJ Penn are 2 weight class champs, but were forced to drop their other belt first before going for another title.
Prior to McGregor, no one was ever allowed to hold 2 belts at the same time because it holds up the divisions. Additionally, McGregor has never fought in the UFC’s lightweight division, but was allowed to go straight to a title fight in that division.
On November 26 of 2016, just a few days after he won the lightweight title, McGregor was stripped of his featherweight title. Many believe Conor was just allowed to win the 2 belts so he could brag about being the first UFC fighter to hold 2 belts simultaneously.
12 Cherry Picked Opponents
Since entering the UFC, Conor McGregor steadily climbed the featherweight division’s ladder but people noticed something with his matchups.
Conor McGregor, in an effort to establish a claim towards the belt, did rack up an impressive win streak; stylistically speaking though, it seemed his matches were set to his advantage.
McGregor being a brutal striker was said to have a weakness against fighters with great wrestling capabilities. The fight could go to the mat where the Irish fighter’s punching power could be negated.
On his way to the UFC featherweight crown, McGregor has avoided fighting wrestlers. The only opponent he did face with a wrestling pedigree was featherweight contender Chad Mendes who fought on short notice because McGregor’s original opponent Jose Aldo had to pull out of the fight due to injury.
Though he did win against the wrestler Chad Mendes, many questioned if he could have won had Chad Mendes been able to get a full training camp.
11 Punched Nate Diaz At Their Press Conference
After claiming the UFC featherweight title, Conor McGregor ventured north to welterweight and took on another trash-talking fighter like him in the name of Nate Diaz. As to be expected, the buildup between the 2 got heated up.
The fight was scheduled for March 5, 2016 at UFC 196. In their press conference leading up to the fight, the 2 stood face to face in the customary stare down. Things got a little out of control when Nate Diaz, who had his fist up in a fight pose, got punched by McGregor.
Granted Conor’s swing did only hit Diaz’s fist, but fighters are never allowed to engage in physical contact during press conferences and other events.
Imagine if Diaz inadvertently injures his hand from the altercation. Even McGregor could have injured himself for doing such a foolish antic.
The months of build up could possibly go down the drain should the fight get cancelled due to injury.
Considering how much the UFC spent on promoting their fight, all that money could have gone to waste just because McGregor can’t control himself.
10 Asked For A Rematch He Didn’t Deserve
After losing to Nate Diaz at UFC 196, McGregor couldn’t get the monkey off his back and demanded to get a rematch against Diaz. McGregor couldn’t get over his first UFC loss so he forced the UFC to schedule the rematch.
The Irish fighter, being the UFC’s biggest superstar, had too much bargaining power which ultimately made the UFC cave in. Diaz and McGregor were scheduled to fight again at UFC 202 on August 20, 2016.
Conor McGregor had no business fighting in welterweight anyway. The first fight against Diaz shouldn’t have happened since he has yet to defend his featherweight belt, let alone a rematch. Why is he fighting at welterweight, 2 levels heavier where he holds the belt?
The UFC gave in to Conor's wishes because they couldn't risk upsetting their most prized fighter.
9 Fought In Pro Boxing With UFC Contract Still Up
Conor McGregor does what Conor McGregor wants. After winning the UFC featherweight and lightweight belts, Notorious took on the world of boxing.
Say what you want about McGregor, but the dude definitely isn’t scared to fight anyone, at any sport.
Mystic Mac took on another loudmouth fighter, one of boxing’s all time greats, Floyd Mayweather.
The 2 were set to touch gloves on August 26, 2017 and a lot of people thought that though McGregor has never fought in a boxing ring, McGregor could possibly pull off an upset because of his extreme punching power. Ultimately, McGregor lost to Mayweather via 10th round TKO.
A lot of people were entertained between the crossover of boxing and MMA, but the MMA world mostly weren’t in favor of the match; particularly the lightweight division because McGregor still held the lightweight title then.
Why was an MMA fighter who had no professional boxing record allowed to fight a then 49-0 pro boxer?
Moreover, McGregor’s contract with the UFC was still up and he has yet to defend his belt.
8 Charlie Ward Fight Referee Incident
Charlie Ward, McGregor’s teammate had a match at Bellator 187 on November 10, 2017 and Conor was at ringside to support his friend.
Charlie Ward won the match against opponent John Redmond via knockout. Ward was ecstatic with the victory and teammate Conor McGregor jumped over the cage to celebrate with him. Conor McGregor wasn’t a registered cornerman therefore, was not allowed inside the cage.
Chaos ensued as the organization’s officials tried to get Notorious out of the cage. Referee Marc Goddard tried to restore order and in the heat of emotions, McGregor shoved the British referee. Conor clearly didn’t appreciate his celebration being interrupted.
The Irishman was escorted out of the ring, but he clearly wasn’t done. McGregor hopped and sat on top of the cage fence and appeared to slap another commissioner in the face when told to get off the fence.
Conor McGregor’s actions are getting out of control. The audacious fighter’s superstardom is probably getting in his head making him act without regards for others.
7 Lost To Mayweather But Kept His Dignity
Many people thought that Conor McGregor’s plan to step outside the octagon and in to the boxing ring was a ludicrous idea. The Irish superstar would be completely out of his comfort zone treading into uncharted territory by taking on the most successful boxer in recent history.
Critics deemed Mystic Mac out of his mind for taking such a risk. Astute viewers, however, saw the brilliance in his masterplan.
From a basic viewpoint, whoever wins will be deemed the best. If you observe more closely, the whole scenario works to McGregor’s advantage. Had he won the fight, he would have pulled off the greatest of upsets by defeating the best boxer in the world despite his non existent boxing pedigree. Had he lost, which he did, he gets to have an excuse for being just an amateur boxer.
Win win for the UFC’s cashcow that racked in way north of 100 million dollars in paycheck from taking on Floyd Money Mayweather.
6 No Injury But Doesn’t Fight
When you’re a fighter who makes the UFC a lot of money, the leverage you hold is endless. The UFC though we all know it as a sport, first and foremost, is a business. Without booking fights, the UFC obviously can’t make money from sold tickets and pay per views.
That is the reason the UFC needs its roster to always be healthy. No fights, no money for everyone.
Conor McGregor being an exceptionally popular fighter is a very marketable brand. Fights he headlines always brings the UFC the largest dollar bills. Despite being healthy and uninjured, the last time Conor fought in the octagon was November of 2016, almost a year and half ago.
The Irish superstar though despite his inactivity could care less what the UFC thinks. Conor McGregor is probably thinking “What would the UFC do? Release me, the biggest, most money-making fighter they have ever had”?
5 Bottle Throwing at Press Conference
Press conferences are never uneventful when Conor McGregor is a part of it. In the UFC 202 pre-fight press conference, which Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz are the main event of, controversy once again ensued.
To the surprise of no one, the event once again turned south following the walkout of Diaz. Bottles were thrown between the 2 parties. At one point, McGregor even threw a Monster Energy Drink can. The press conference was cut short due to the altercation.
Both McGregor and Diaz were fined for their actions but McGregor commented about the fine in an interview with Rolling Stone stating "Whatever, it is what it is. Good luck trying to get it." McGregor then added, "I don't see Nevada in my future, for the foreseeable future is how I see it. I'm free to do what I want.”
Conor McGregor certainly feels that being the biggest star in the cage makes him untouchable in every facet of life.
4 Belt Grabbing of Jose Aldo’s Title at Presser
Conor McGregor was originally scheduled to take on then featherweight champ Jose Aldo at UFC 189 but that fight was moved to UFC 194 due to Aldo’s injury.
In the UFC 189 press conference, the event almost spiralled out of control when the Irish fighter grabbed the Brazilian’s belt.
UFC President Dana White stood between the 2 fighters to keep some form of order but instead of returning the belt, allowed McGregor to goad Aldo with it. When Aldo motioned to grab his belt back, White can be seen blocking Aldo’s arm to prevent him from reaching the belt.
The UFC sure loves a bit of drama to spice things up. A little show to make things interesting before the fight isn’t going to hurt anyone but Jose Aldo, being the then only featherweight champion the UFC has had; reigning in his division for a very long time, deserves more respect than that.
3 Demanded To Be A Co-Promoter
During the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight last August 2017, McGregor earned a nine digit payday through his company McGregor Sports and Entertainment for being the co-promoter for the said bout.
After that fight, fans have wondered how the Irish UFC superstar will go back to just a few million payout per fight? This question has been answered on an interview with Mcgregor on November 2017. The UFC superstar has stated that he will only be enticed to go back in the octagon if he is no longer a mere fighter but rather an equal by being a co-promoter as well for each of his bouts.
He stated, “They’ve got to entice me now because I came from a billion-dollar fight, so they’ve got to entice me with something. I want equity. I want ownership. I want to be true partners in this, similar to the way I was in the Floyd fight.”
It looks like greed is certainly getting to Conor McGregor’s head.
2 Has Not Defended His Belts
Conor McGregor has surely established himself as one of the most dangerous fighters who has ever stepped into the octagon.
The Irishman has racked up 9 wins in the UFC with 7 of those by knockout. Clearly, Notorious is one of the most fearsome strikers the organization has ever seen. Having captured 2 belts simultaneously in different weight classes doesn’t hurt either in making a case that McGregor is in the running for the best fighter in the UFC.
To this day though, McGregor has never defended any of the titles he has won. Many in the fight business be it fans, critics, and even fighters themselves agree that you aren’t really a champion until you defend your belt.
Defending the belt is a testament that you not only have reached the top, but can stay there as well and asserting your dominance against the rest. It’s hard to call yourself the best when you abandon your division and not defend your belt even once.
1 Rematch Majority Decision
The much anticipated rematch between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz was bigger than ever despite being a non title fight. Many were curious how McGregor would act after suffering his first UFC loss.
A lot was at stake for the Irishman because a second straight loss would be devastating to his reputation. Despite the risk, Conor felt he had something to prove and wanted to win badly against rival Nate Diaz. On August 20, 2016, the 2 went at it again at UFC 202. This time though, Conor McGregor would get the win as he defeated the American fighter.
The win however would be without controversy. The Irishman wasn’t able to finish his opponent winning just by decision. Moreover, it wasn’t a unanimous decision but rather just a majority decision.
Many questioned the judges’ scorecard for they saw the closely contested match going Diaz’s way. Some say that the judges favored McGregor because the UFC couldn’t risk McGregor losing twice to Diaz, who some consider isn’t even a top fighter, having never worn UFC gold.