While the world was still absorbing the news that UFC champ Conor McGregor had decided to join the fight against President Trump in a boxing match, other major MMA events were already underway. Bellator MMA is one of the first major US-based MMA leagues that has started its 2020 competition. With four events planned for the year starting with a tour of the UK, it’s never been a better time for fight fans who want to follow the sport.
So, it’s not surprising that MMA fans had plenty to say about the upcoming matches. One of the most popular betting markets for UFC events is MMAFighting.com’s daily deal site, MyBookie.com. The site’s managing editor, Scott Morris, broke down the significance of what happened next.
Conor McGregor Makes History
The Irishman’s historic foray into boxing came at the end of a glorious year that began with a victory over UFC legend and boxing great Floyd Mayweather. McGregor’s boxing debut, however, was anything but glorious – at least not from the get-go. Mayweather’s trainer urged the undefeated star to “keep his gloves up” as the challenger rushed in for the attack. As the fight went on, McGregor’s attacks didn’t get any fiercer and his desire to prove himself in the boxing ring was visible in every round. In the end, it was McGregor’s inexperience that cost him the victory. He was unable to withstand the onslaught of Mayweather’s experience and savvy. This was by no means a poor performance by McGregor. He made history, becoming the first UFC champion to challenge a boxing legend. It’s just that the game he played was not his favorite one.
But the story of McGregor’s historic fight with Mayweather doesn’t end here. The Irishman’s boxing aspirations were dashed when he suffered a brutal cut early in the fight. This forced the 35-year-old to temporarily retire from the sport. While McGregor made a full and speedy recovery, his career in boxing was irrevocably damaged. The injury wasn’t caused by a freak accident either. Mayweather knew exactly what he was doing. He cut McGregor in an attempt to dissuade the hype train that was hurtling towards his star. McGregor might have been able to recover from the cut, but he would never be the same boxer. And, as luck would have it, this is when Bellator and MyBookie.com came knocking.
More Than Meets The Eye
While McGregor’s cut wasn’t fatal, it surely was a major blow to his chances of ever becoming a successful boxer. Many fighters recover successfully from similar injuries, but it doesn’t hurt to be a little lucky. The injury provided McGregor with the perfect platform to make the transition to MMA, a sport he’s always been fascinated by. After all, what is boxing if not a test of courage and stamina?
McGregor made the switch more than successfully. He won his first 5 MMA fights, including 4 by KO/TKO, before being signed by Bellator MMA for their debut event. The former boxer wasn’t matched up against any of the other fighters on the card, as he quickly disposed of all of them. In the end, the only person he didn’t KO/TKO was himself. McGregor’s performance against long-time rival Floyd Mayweather in April 2020 was the stuff of legends. They met again for a second time at a press conference held before the event. The crowd chanted “Floyd Who?” as the two men stood face-to-face for the first time in nearly 10 years. No one predicted these two would be seen together again. And they weren’t. This time around, McGregor walked away with a unanimous decision win, ending the fight with a flourish as he spun around multiple times and threw punches in all directions. The end result was a display of power that is certain to go down as one of the greatest KO/TKO performances in history. Everyone knew this was going to happen. McGregor had been preparing for this moment his entire adult life. While Mayweather was still a force to be reckoned with in the sport, his time was up. McGregor had grown up and was now ready to take over. The boxing world – and the betting markets – had finally noticed. As the UFC continues to grow, so does McGregor’s renown.
This Saturday, McGregor faces returning UFC lightweight champion Joseph Parker at UFC 249 in Brooklyn, New York. The undefeated Irishman is 14-0 and looking to defend his title against Parker, who comes off a loss to ex-champ Frankie Edgar in July. The bout is officially billed as a “superfight,” with the winner being considered among the best pound for pound fighters in the world. With the win, McGregor would go on to make history a second time. He would become the first man to hold the UFC titles in two different weight classes at the same time. While this might seem like the perfect time for McGregor to solidify his place among the sport’s elite, the Irishman is a perfectionist and won’t rest until he’s proven he’s the best in the world at what he does. It might take a while, but McGregor will find a way to show the world that he’s still got what it takes to be the greatest ever. Even if it means toiling away for a couple more years in the gym, McGregor’s determination to become the best ever gives him the will to fight through any adversity. This is something that will resonate with fight fans everywhere. And it’s why we’re likely to see McGregor’s fists flying again before too long.