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Your handwringing over Conor McGregor’s future at UFC 200 does not concern Zuffa

By Zach Arnold | March 31, 2016

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Let’s consider the last four months, shall we?

Given all of this, it was an absolute no-brainer that UFC would book Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor for UFC 200. I think it’s hilarious that the Diaz brothers are once again creating chaos in modern day MMA. Everyone will profit off of this carnival. It may not be Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir and 1.7 million PPV buys, but nothing ever will reach that zenith again for UFC. Diaz vs. McGregor is cotton candy for the masses.

It’s also a no-lose situation for UFC.

You have to consider the Conor McGregor situation from their point-of-view. They built this guy up. They spent three years marketing him and building him up. He’s their creation. He (allegedly) got out of line and challenged the way they do business even while they gave him lots of rope. Remember his mansion stay? He got too big for his britches. They booked him against a 170 pounder and he lost. He lost some bark to his business bite. Zuffa made a ton of cash on PPV. Now they’ll do it again.

If McGregor wins, onto new opponents — perhaps the winner of Aldo/Edgar even if 145 pounds sounds hard for Conor to get back to.

If McGregor loses, he has no more business leverage and he’s disposable. UFC thinks they made him and they’ll simply make another superstar to replace him. And if he draws another 7-figure PPV buy rate on the way out, then they squeezed the orange and got two glasses of juice.

UFC views labor wars as their existential threat. Anti-trust lawsuits. Independent contractor status. The Reebok sponsorship deal. No matter how Pyrrhic the victories, Zuffa sees victory as victory. UFC has lobbyists ensuring that their Octagon girls aren’t classified as employees in the state of California. Any perceived slight to their business model is grounds for demotion or termination.

Regardless of what happens to Conor McGregor, UFC management is going to throw a party at UFC 200.

Colorful and crude marketing campaigns work in combat sports. You still remember them, even if you hated them at the time. Remember the Mike Goldberg exploding head video ad to hype the Jon Jones vs. Alex Gustafsson fight in Toronto? You mocked it at the time for being high-school, cable-access level production editing but you remembered it and the fight it promoted. Same deal with the upcoming marketing campaign for Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor II. The dumbest, racist, most vulgar quips are coming your way over the next three months and UFC knows that media lap dogs like Dan LeBatard will cover every single moment of it.

A look at the UFC 200 fight card:

Topics: MMA, Media, UFC, Zach Arnold | 4 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

4 Responses to “Your handwringing over Conor McGregor’s future at UFC 200 does not concern Zuffa”

  1. rst says:

    I dont have a problem with this fight. aldo sat on the 145 belt for 12 months, a few times. Some people act like they dont want to be entertained, or maybe their so desperate for entertainment that they’ll b!tch about anything to entertain themselves.

    I’ve got a much bigger problem with this “art” work.
    I dont really care for the f’arts in the first place, but that even makes smug art look bad.

  2. 45 Huddle says:

    Laughable main event and Featherweight Title situation.

    Don’t feel bad for Edgar though. He is getting PPV points on one of the biggest cards. He is going to be making some good money.

    They need to have Tate fight on the card.

  3. david m says:

    45 how do you know Edgar is getting ppv points?

    I hope Conor and Edgar both win and then Conor knocks his head off.

  4. JV says:

    I could care less about what has happened to the UFC in the last couple of years—if you are still one of those fanboys who has been dumb enough to drink the kool-aid throughout the years about how this is a legitimate sport, guess what? you’ve been had.

    I am sure this whole situation is a slap to the face to the ’sport’, but who cares at this point… Zuffa has made a killing, could care less about any of you & will be out of the MMA business soon—just in time before things get too nasty; More lawsuits, Muhammad Ali Act implementation into MMA, more brain studies, fighter’s union, etc.


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