The world’s largest distributor of excitement never would say this, but there was concern as Christmas approaches. Their number one (by far) action figure had been disassembled a few weeks earlier in front of millions. While she can certainly be reassembled and back for next season, she is on the shelf for a bit. Some tinkering to do at the moment.
Oh, what to do? When the biggest seller has lost some shine, where could they find another who was different, yet similar enough to capture the attention of a fan base needing a hero? The answer came quickly last weekend. And in typical American fashion it is an import that has now become the hottest commodity. He walks and he talks, and talks and talks and talks. He can be dressed to the nines or stripped down to his shorts and is comfortable either way. The most important thing is he backs up his talking with a powerful punch even more marketable than the Kung-Fu grip decades ago.
He can be Grinch-esque or GQ. Frightening or charming. Hateful or lovable (well, at least really likable). He is still relatively fresh off the assembly line for the conglomerate that had to have something like him before the final holiday rush. No assembly required and best of all, he supplies his own power and plenty of it.
Unwrapped, uncensored, and undeniably worthy of the hyperbole surrounding him, Conor McGregor was turned loose last Saturday the likes of which had not been seen in a men’s championship fight. In a record 13 seconds he had floored Jose Aldo, who hadn’t lost since 2005 and was on his own record quest with nine consecutive title defenses already in the bag.
The timing couldn’t have been better. McGregor is the early Christmas present the UFC needed. The showman is (if there were any real questions lingering somewhere) the real deal. He fights as good as he gabs. He has done everything expected since arriving on the international scene in 2013 with a first round TKO debut victory for the organization. No one could’ve created a more marketable gift for the fans. A PPV and live gate magnet who is poised to be the next magnate of the cage, the hottest thing from Dublin since U2. He probably sings as well, maybe that’s for next Christmas.
McGregor is at ease in front of a microphone; in the guest chair on a major talk show; or strolling into the octagon with an exuding confidence that is both applaudable and polarizing. He serves all needs, scream for him, root against him, but you are going to be mesmerized either way. At 27 years old the best is yet to come and the UFC has that “above the marquee” name it wanted right now.
The now undisputed featherweight king can sell a fight and back it up and that has been rare in the men’s ranks. Some sold it, ok but talk was all they had. Some do it well but are more comfortable just fighting plain and simple. McGregor is all of the above. So big a personality that the rest of the card was considered just that. Would McGregor, after the long anticipation and literally world tour to hype this fight, be able to deliver? He did, so fast the thousands of countrymen who followed him to Las Vegas barely had time to unfurl the Green, White, and Orange colors of the homeland.
He is a worldwide figure for a worldwide company that fits perfectly for their bold and successful approaches. A lot of Naughty mixed in with a few doses of Nice. Christmas came early thanks to a chiseled man with a reddish beard and a brogue. Santa he ain’t, but Conor McGregor is a gift to MMA fans wanting to see a star atop their tree this year.
Got something you’re burning on? Tell the man himself on Twitter.
Watch Kenny, along with Bas Rutten, LIVE on “Inside MMA” Fridays on AXS TV! Check out Kenny’s book “Not Hit Yet,” an insider look at the MMA world.
Copyright © 2019 AXS TV - All Rights Reserved.