Something exciting happened Saturday night. And it wasn’t just Conor McGregor beating Jose Aldo to become the unified Featherweight Champion
He’s cocky. He’s arrogant. He’s brash. And with one punch he just changed the UFC for the foreseeable future. For years the UFC has stated how no one fighter is bigger than the organization. Anderson Silva, Jon Jones, GSP, never were they bigger than the UFC. The UFC would always promote fights. Never the fighter. And when all those fighters eventually had their fall from grace, the UFC was quick to move on and not show any allegiance to the men that brought the UFC millions and millions of dollars.
GSP decides to unexpectedly walk away from fighting and the UFC was quick to ban him from press conferences and openly mock his stand on PED Testing. Jon Jones gets arrested for fleeing the scene of an accident and had a known substance abuse issue. UFC was quick to strip him of the title and ban him “indefinitely”. And lets not forget the very well known beefs between the Dana White and Tito Ortiz, Randy Couture, & Nick Diaz. All these times the UFC shed loyalty and put the company’s interest first.
And this goes back to the fact of fighters being Independent Contractors vs Employees. Employees get guarantees. Independent Contractors need to look out for themselves. The UFC never wanted a fighter to get bigger than the company. If that happened, then as an Independent Contractor the fighter can essentially dictate his own terms and not be forced to comply as an employee would have to do. If a champ refused to take fights on short notice, or agree to fight the next guy in line,
the UFC PR machine Dana White would have some condescending comments about the fighter. Never promote the man, always the fight. That was the UFC’s credo.
Then Conor McGregor came along and changed all that. He’s half bad ass motherfucker, half WWE Heel. And he can cut one hell of a promo. He’s gonna make the UFC a ton of money. But its gonna be on his terms. His talk of wanting to fight in both the Featherweight and Lightweight divisions is putting the UFC’s title plans in a complete 180. Guys who are in line for title shots (Jose Aldo rematch, Anthony Pettis) will now be forced to wait. Conor has stated saturday night that he will fight as often as possible. Which could be anywhere from 4 times a year based on medical suspensions. If he wants to fight for the Lightweight title next the UFC is gonna be powerless to stop him. Conor knows he controls all the cards. He knows he’s gonna be printing the UFC money. Look for Conor to fight the winner of next week’s Dos Anjos vs Cerrone lightweight title fight.
What makes this interesting is that we can now be seeing the start of a fighters union. If Conor is truly able to dictate his fight terms, you will def start seeing other fighters saying “Well I want that too”. Then once the UFC starts putting their foot down, I believe that the fighters will unionize and finally make themselves bigger than the company. And maybe, just maybe they can get rid of the shitty ass reebok deal and go back to getting the proper endorsements they deserve.
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