Conor McGregor has become one of the most interesting man in all of sports.
Conor McGregor has become a box office draw for the UFC and has set records in attendance and Pay Per View buys as well. It’s not just because of how amazing he is as a fighter, but also his ability in trash talking. Each fight he has, he talks trash about the opponent he is facing or how he is the major attraction of any fight card he is on. He makes fans want to listen to what he has to says and see how he backs it up when he fights. McGregor has become a self promoter, which helped grow his brand and transcend the sport of MMA. People that aren’t even familiar with MMA, know of McGregor just because of how good of a trash talker he is. Its what Muhammad Ali did in his career and Mcgregor has also become an icon because of it as well.
The question is what about everyone else?
Other fighters feel Conor McGregor trash talking is unnecessary and feel their only responsibility is to fight. It’s just not that simple. For fans to become invested in a fighter and watching them fight, it has to be more than just skill. Fans need to care about the fighter and what they are fighting for. For the average man or woman, they don’t want to spend sixty dollars or seventy dollars(Hi Definition) on watching people fight that they don’t care about. That also goes for paying over one hundred dollars to go see a fight live they don’t care about. With so many entertaining attractions like sports, television or technology, we need to feel like the fight is must see.
Their are amazing fighters in the UFC, with many having incredible stories and personalities that we don’t get to see or hear. There are also many talented and intelligent fighters that could be superstars in their own right. This week on the legendary Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharp show on Fox Sports 1 called Undisputed, they had former Women’s Bantamweight Champion Miesha Tate and Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic. Skip Bayless would ask them about Conor McGregor trash talking and why they don’t do it. They both respectively gave credit to McGregor as being the best and said they couldn’t do what he can. McGregor is a very talented trash talker, but other fighter don’t have to be just like him to help promote themselves and their fight.
Yesterday on the Undisputed, they had current Women’s Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes as a guest. She was promoting her upcoming fight with Ronda Rousey and was asked a question about McGregor trash talking. She talked about how it was disrespectful and unnecessary, what many fighters have said in the past. Then when she was asked about her fight with Ronda Rousey, she did the unexpected and talked some trash. Bayless asked how she feels the fight would go and if it would go the same way as her last fight, which Nunes said I believe I will beat her and knock her out.
This made the crowd, Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharp excited and Nunes feeling hyped herself because of the reaction said she will do it in the first round. That is self promoting and creates excitement to want to see what she will say and do next. It makes you want to see how Ronda will respond and if Nunes can deliver on what she said. Fighters don’t have to be McGregor, but talking about your fight and making fans feel like we need to spend money is important. It creates more interest then just seeing two people fight, brings more attendance and pay per view buys and makes a fighter more intriguing to pay attention to.
Speaking is important. When UFC fighters after they win get that post fight interview, that is an example of a moment to promote yourself. Nobody wants to hear the generic I will fight anyone speech, what we want to hear is who do you want to fight next. By simply saying I want to fight blank, because I know I can beat this person fans would want to see that fight happen. These are opportunities to make a fighter stand out, make fans want to see what you will say or do next and help the fighter create opportunities by themselves, instead of waiting for someone to promote them.
UFC fighters don’t need to talk like McGregor, but they should look at what he is accomplishing. He makes people interested in whatever he is doing , in the process growing his brand and creating bigger opportunities by himself. Amanda Nunes just by being honest with how she feels and expressing her abilities in the octagon, made people even more excited for a fight that won’t happen until late December. It’s entertaining and creates interest, which fans love. Fans want to see someone they care about succeed, in the octagon and outside of it. Gaining endorsements, appearing on television or making more money, can be just from talking about your next fight.
Who is to say Nunes just from hyping her fight, has created more fans that didn’t follow the sport or made people want to know more about Amanda Nunes. What they would find is that Nunes is a leader and a hero to the LGBT community, because of the obstacles she has overcame and the fact she is the first openly gay champion the UFC ever had. This is an organization that has been dominated by men for years and up until the last year gave woman little opportunity to shine. Nunes now can be a hero to not only the LGBT community, but to woman who would want to see her be successful. Maybe the question shouldn’t be why can’t you talk like Conor McGregor, but why can’t you express how you feel and why we should be invested in you, like Conor McGregor does.