Thursday, May 19, 2022

Is Connor McGregor “Obsessed” Or Ducking A Title Fight?

Ducking fights against tough opponents is an often leveled and often overused criticism. If someone wants a title shot, an easy go-to-accusation is that the champion is scared and does not want the fight so the champ continues to duck him or her. With all that goes into negotiations to actually make a fight happen; however, ducking a challenger is not always what is really happening. And in the fight game, opponents do eventually meet because there can only be one champion.

The farce that is the headliner at UFC 200 could be another matter.

A McGregor-Diaz rematch is a fight nobody wants to see. At least not now and not at UFC 200. But the bigger issue than having a fight no one wants, is creating an interim belt when the current champion is fully fit and capable to defend his title. The Frankie Edgar vs. Jose Aldo fight is an unprecedented move by the UFC.

So, the question remains, is McGregor hell bent on defeating Nate Diaz, or is he ducking a dangerous fight against Edgar?

Consider this approach. McGregor, at least in his mind, loses absolutely nothing by fighting Diaz. He’s out of his weight class, no belt will be lost, even his reputation is intact because he is “brave” and a “risk taker” by facing Diaz. He also believes he will make a lot of money (as does the UFC), but the success of the UFC 200 card will not be because of this rematch. McGregor took his defeat gamely, which is commendable, but his desire for a rematch is questionable.

Facing Frankie Edgar; however, presents tremendous risk and real danger. Losing the belt would damage the Irishman’s reputation and set his other UFC ambitions back, and although he says he doesn’t care about belts he only cares about money, he definitely would not want to lose the belt in the Octagon.

Besides Nate Diaz, the only fighter to really bleed McGregor was Chad Mendes. Mendes gave ample evidence to the belief that with a full camp, a superb wrestler like Mendes could work McGregor on the ground and probably win. Exactly the type of fight Edgar brings to the Octagon.

McGregor did not fear Jose Aldo because he matched strength against strength with striking. McGregor is supremely confident in his striking abilities, but wrestling is another matter entirely. Does McGregor fear Edgar’s wrestling and jiu-jitsu prowess?


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