Whenever Conor McGregor fights, TV ratings and tickets sales goes ballistic. But for him it’s all in a days work. However, six of his 12 fights had his original opponents being replaced and a question is certainly lingering around fight fans, does he have his way around the organization even around UFC president Dana White?
Other may see that the UFC wants to protect its investment with McGregor but his coach John Kavanagh has just one piece of advice for those who would want to get a shot at his ward.
“If you want to fight Conor McGregor, get ready — even when someone else has got the gig. There’s only a handful of names who could have received the call, so they should have been ready. There’s a lesson to be learned here for any guy who genuinely wants the opportunity,” Kavanagh said in his column at The42.
McGregor did not disappoint fight fans after winning his UFC debut in 2013 by a TKO against Marcus Brimage in the preliminaries of the Mousasi-Latifi fight, this after signing a multi-deal contract with the UFC.
After that fight, it would bring McGregor to the spotlight of things – as everyone in the UFC wanted to get a shot against him.
However, for no apparent reason McGregor’s six of his 12 fights had his original opponents being replaced – mostly sighting injuries suffered during training.
The first to pull out of the fight was Niklas Backstrom in Cage Warriors Fight Night 2, having suffered a broken hand after falling somewhere at the airport on his way to fight McGregor.
Then it was followed by Jim Alers, who also backed out due to a hand injury, then Andy Ogle for UFC Fight Night 26, because of an injury and was replaced by Max Holloway. Then for the UFC Fight Night 46 Cole Miller also pulled out of the event after a thumb injury and was replaced by Diego Brandao.
After which McGregor was set to face Jose Aldo for UFC 189, but 11 days going into the fight Aldo back out of the match because of a rib injury which he allegedly sustain in training and was replaced by Chad Mendes.
McGregor would end winning the match and become the interim featherweight champion. He would go on to beat Aldo in December 2015 via a knockout unifying the titles in the featherweight division, the only European male to win it by beating the champion.
Come March 5 McGregor is all set to face Nate Diaz, who is also a last minute replacement to Rafael dos Anjos after backing out due to an injury to his left foot.
“In a time when so many fighters are unwilling to compete due to a wide variety of little issues — not enough notice, minor injuries etc. — Conor’s mindset is unique. He could have walked away from this without consequences but that never came into consideration,” Kavanagh added.
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