independent

Tuesday 15 October 2019

It's far from shy and retiring he was born

Conor McGregor salutes the crowd after defeating Denis Siver in TD Garden in Boston
Conor McGregor salutes the crowd after defeating Denis Siver in TD Garden in Boston

Daniel Gorman

Very few things can keep me up into the wee hours nowadays.

A few years ago, it was my time to come alive. Like a milkman or a baker or an owl, the night belonged to me.

While the cat was asleep in bed, I'd stay awake so that I could watch television or play X-Box or become engrossed in Football Manager and I'd be the king of the castle.

I've grown up since then. Now that I'm a proper adult, I'm very different.

Once upon a time I'd boast to friends about my wild antics on nights.

I'd brag of only getting in at 7am and sleeping on a roundabout while animals grazed on me.

Now I wax lyrical about how much sleep I get. The thoughts of a good nine-hour sleep brings a smile to my face.

So on Sunday evening, I watched with interest as people committed to fighting off sleep until 3 a.m. at least so they could watch the latest chapter in the Conor McGregor story.

I was not one of them. I fell into the bed at approximately 1.30 a.m. after many hours sat behind the laptop screen.

The thoughts of staying up to watch him never crossed my mind.

I don't buy into the hype. It's impossible to ignore it, but not compulsory to be engulfed by it.

I'm never been a UFC fan anyway and have never watched more than the very odd fight so it's easy to see why I missed the boat.

I can see why people are obsessed by him though. I can see why he gets so much attention and so much hype. He's a marketing dream.

He's a reporter's dream. Far from shy and retiring he was reared.

I haven't watched his fight and I don't plan on doing so. I saw all the vines and video clips of his crowning moment and subsequent leap over the cage to confront his next opponent.

Again, he proved to be a P.R. king.

While his previous opponent was still flat out on the mat, he was already poking the fire for his next bout and setting the media circus into full frenzy. Again.

He's the hottest ticket in town and he knows it.

He has been compared to Muhammad Ali, something that makes me die on the inside a little bit.

UFC head-man Lorenzo Fertitta said: 'I hate even saying this, but with his gift of the gab and his athletic ability and fighting ability, it's almost like the Irish Muhammad Ali in a way.

'To compare anybody to Ali is kind of stupid because of all the other great things that were associated with him from a social movement and everything else.

'But Conor has just got that sparkle, that thing to him.'

Fertitta is the UFC CEO, and he is also a TIT, obviously. If you lobbed some glitter on a dog turd it'd have a sparkle, it certainly won't make it the Muhammad Ali of the turd world though.

There is absolutely no denying McGregor's ability.

His personality didn't win him 17 of his 19 bouts (15 of which were earned by knockout).

He has the skills to pay the bills and he backs up his arrogance with devastating performances in the ring or quadrant or whatever you call the yoke.

Come May, he'll probably batter the living lord jaysus out of Jose Aldo and the country will overdose on Mr. Notorious.

Love him or hate him, you can't ignore him. He's everywhere. But he's not going to be fighting when he's 40.

He only has so long in the game so who can really blame him for making the absolute most of it.

He might not be my cup of tea and I do think his star will eventually fade and people will grow tired of him but right now his bandwagon is in full flow and the majority of the country is backing him every inch of the way.

What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

Just relax with the Muhammad Ali talk.

Wexford People

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