It’s now unofficially official that the UFC is all about Conor McGregor.

Yes, they love Ronda Rousey to bits and pieces. She has revolutionized the sport, become the face of women’s MMA, if not the sport, according to many mainstream media sources (you know MMA experts like Entertainment Tonight and The Today Show), and she gets preferential treatment.

But McGregor is a special case. In a good, and bad, way.

McGregor truly does get it when it comes to promoting a fight. As an MMA PR guy, I wish more fighters were as engaging and could speak cliché-free in just one interview.

But McGregor goes too far. And the UFC allows it.

Case in point, past press conferences when McGregor could say, and do, whatever he wanted at the expense of Jose Aldo including swiping the champ’s belt. There’s a line between hype and disrespect, and McGregor went way past it.

At the recent ‘Go Big’ press conference where the UFC laid out its grandiose plans for main events and title fights for several of the next cards, McGregor went out of his way to interject upon and disrespect fighters who weren’t even in the same conversation as him, in particular Donald Cerrone and Rafael Dos Anjos, who will meet for the lightweight belt.

Like or dislike Cerrone, he is the ultimate gamer. He fights anyone, anytime, and he brings action every single time. His demeanor is up for debate at times, but he scored big with me by firing back at McGregor.

“He’s real good at talking out in front of the public, but when we all stand in the back he ain’t got nothing to say. I stood back there for 30 minutes right next to him, and [he had] nothing to say to me, but he was very cordial with my man [Mendes] next to me. Of course we get out here he wants to run his mouth, but it’s good, you know, he sells the fights. But if he comes to 155 I’m gonna bend his little ass over.”

Finally, someone had the sack, or at least the verbiage, to shoot back at McGregor, who seems to love to hear his own voice, but has shown a tendency to clam up if there’s returned fire.

The UFC has also shown a level of favoritism to McGregor that even Rousey has yet to reach. Backstage after beating Chad Mendes for the INTERIM title, McGregor was greeted with champagne by celebrities plus UFC mega-boss Lorenzo Fertitta. That’s something that never happened before, and unless it’s going to be a trend moving forward for all champions, it should have never occurred.

Then there’s TUF, where it became known that McGregor was not really going to be doing much coaching as his team squares off against the squad led by the exceptionally likable Urijah Faber. If the whole show is based around prospects being coached by UFC stars, then how do you allow the biggest star in the game right now to get away with not coaching?

Two days ago, UFC boss Dana White openly stated that Conor McGregor will defend the featherweight title in Ireland if he beats Jose Aldo. And there’s no issue with reading between the lines here. That ‘if’ was basically a throw in. Like it’s a foregone conclusion that Aldo is dead meat.

Has Luke Rockhold been told, “Hey, you can have your first title defense in San Jose … if you beat Chris Weidman”? No.

Has Aldo even been offered the opportunity to defend his belt in Brazil if he beats McGregor? Probably not.

It’s not that planning ahead is a bad idea. Arenas (maybe stadiums) need to booked, TV arranged, etc. But would it have killed the UFC to just hold back the McGregor hype train by just a little bit?

You’d think after the distasteful aftermath of the promised title shot to the Miesha Tate-Jessica Eye winner which twisted its way into Holly Holm’s crack at Rousey that the UFC might have learned from promising anything about titles until after the fight is over. That caveat was a throw-in minutes before the live TV broadcast started, and there’s no way in the world it would have been done if the UFC didn’t have a firm belief that Eye was going to win.

And now the latest revelation. Former champion Chuck Liddell was given a front-office job by the UFC after his fighting career ended. On Friday, Fox Sports posted a segment from a recent interview Liddell did with MMA Junkie Radio wherein he offered his take on trash talk, which he was certainly a part of during his tete-a-tetes with Tito Ortiz.

“I’m not big with the trash-talking. But I do like Conor because he comes out and fights the way he talks.”

So apparently you can trash talk as long as they owners find it cool or funny.

Now does that mean Cerrone got spanked when he blasted McGregor? I’m guessing Daniel Cormier, T.J. Dillashaw, and others have to watch their quotes a heck of a lot closer than McGregor does.

Now, I’m not saying McGregor should behave and talk like Demetrious Johnson, arguably the most hum-drum champ in UFC history, and at least a factor of some consequence in why the lighter weight classes don’t sell with fans. But somewhere in between Johnson and McGregor lies the right way to go about things. By my way of thinking, like it or lump it, the perfect example is Rousey. She goes off when the time is right, but can also turn on the charm without looking ridiculous.

McGregor’s antics should have been curbed long ago. It’s going to be very hard to put the horse back in the barn now that’s been let loose to run wild.

About The Author

Scott Zerr
Staff Writer

Scott joins The MMA Corner having spent the last 14 years in mixed martial arts as Director of Media & Fighter Relations for the Maximum Fighting Championship. He will provide The MMA Corner with insight on breaking news in the sport, plus an insider's perspective on business developments, matchmaking, fighter signings, and much more. In addition to his longtime work in MMA, Scott was a sports reporter before moving into media relations and marketing. After growing up and working in Edmonton, Alberta, Scott has since moved to Bakersfield, California to be with his wife Christina (an avid fight fan, thank goodness) and kids.

  • Cathal Kingship

    You’re sickening to a comical degree. “Has Luke Rockhold been told, “Hey, you can have your first title defense in San Jose … if you beat Chris Weidman”? No.”. That quote should get you fired from any job in MMA media. Do you actually understand how much of a languid minded slob you are?

    This article is full of bias, unbalanced reporting, and repulsive inaccuracies.

    “Finally, someone had the sack, or at least the verbiage, to shoot back at McGregor, who seems to love to hear his own voice, but has shown a tendency to clam up if there’s returned fire.”.

    “If the whole show is based around prospects being coached by UFC stars, then how do you allow the biggest star in the game right now to get away with not coaching?”.

    Do you actually hear yourself? Or is the inferiority complex in you so strong, that a strong alpha like Conor forces you to spew that excrement from your mouth?

    “Scott has since moved to Bakersfield, California to be with his wife Christina (an avid fight fan, thank goodness) and kids.” Thank goodness…… how witty ahahahahahahhhahahahahahhahahahahahhahah.

    It’s very simple. YOU, just don’t like Conor. Did you talk about how Conor was previously slandered and attacked in the media by everyone he went at on the dais? No, of course not. How about Conor being a foreigner who just endured the longest promotional run in company history? No, of course not. How about him being provoked before going onstage by Urijah Faber, as confirmed on his instagram post? No, of course not. How about since he has started in the company he has been told that he doesn’t deserve promotion, he doesn’t deserve his ranking, he doesn’t deserve his money, he’s being protected, he’s beaten nobody, he will lose to x, he can’t beat a wrestler, his skills are embelished….. it’s endless.

    Conor is a blessing to the sport, and at a time when MMA really needed one. You truly don’t deserve to watch Conor fight, and are an embarrassment to the sport and your children.

    • Rc

      You are an idiot. Think more and type less.

      • John Close

        Great comeback. 10/10

      • Cathal Kingship

        You don’t have the ability to tear down my opinion factually nor logically so all you can do is be dismissive. What’s it like being strangled so, by the inability to articulate a proper argument against that which frustrates you to response. Drowning in your intellectual absence you can only muster up the retort of an upset child. You want to play just tell big daddy, but impotent dismissal doesn’t stir me to full engagement.

        • MD

          You’re trying way too hard.

  • NoMoreElbows

    I agree 100% with this. Connor acts like he has NO class and he’s VERY disrespectful. If you want to be a champion, then act like one. Nobody will respect you if you show no respect to anyone else, belt holder or not. I understand he’s selling fights, but he doesn’t have to do it to this degree.

  • Rachael Hemsing

    It doesn’t cross any of your lines of respect and classy behavior when Cerrone says he’s going to bend McGregor over in a fight?
    I’ve been tired of fighters saying they’re going to kill and maim each other in the octagon, it makes UFC an emotional farce- but threatening to rape a guy? Certainly raising the bar.
    Too bad your writing offers 0 actual evidence for your thoughts on how McGregor goes “too far”. Do better, because that calls your legitimacy into question.

    • Greg MacDonnell

      Unlike what some might think, could Cerrone have implied bending him over for a spanking? Why jump right to rape?

  • catm beretta

    Point your finger at dana. Nothing is said or done without his blessing. It’s about to hit the WWE level and then we will see the fallout. Dana ignores the ďrug use and care less attitude of his fighters outside the ring. This is one of two things that hurts the ufc. Once he thru with them they our put out, unless they make him a lot of money. Here’s a office job. I think once Ronda rousey gets bored of the same old fighters she will bail and that’s the second thing that will cripple the ufc.

    • John Close

      The PED issues with suspensions and Jon Jones craziness episode needed a distracting, entertaining and as great a scandal to level the media’s thus masses attention. It worked.
      Mayweather is someone who went over the line. At least McGregors antics don’t involve racial, political and religious type no go areas.
      Garbage article lacking in depth.

  • Cornflake

    Couldn’t agree more Scott. Conor was cool as an up and comer but he changed along the way. Now he’s just and annyoing clown that never shuts his pie hole. Fighters like Conor and Brock Lesner before him make the UFC look more like the WWE everyday. 8 years ago I watched religously and rented every PPV, now I can barely stomach the weekly broadcasts and free stream the 2-3 remotely interesting watered down PPV’s per year.

  • Earlywakening

    You cannot compare the comment about McGregor defending his title to Rockhold. Rockhold is good but McGregor is downright scary. There is a SMALL chance Rockhold might beat Weidman. There is a high chance McGregor will beat Aldo.

    This is a terrible match for Aldo. He is going to be dealing with a striker equally as good as himself. On top of that McGregor’s style is impossible to train for.

  • TheRedness268

    Did you have a good cry after you finished this, or were the tears soaking your salty jowels from the moment you first convieved this emotional diatribe until you triamphantly finished the last key stroke. I am happy he makes you sad. Please write more about your feelings.

  • Greg MacDonnell

    Some of these responses to an article stating an author’s opinion are pretty nasty, the love for Connor is obvious. I totally understand that Connor is great for this sport and I enjoy watching him fight, but as implied it’s going to be hard to swallow Connors schtick once he looses. It will lose it’s luster eventually.
    I also agree that it wouldn’t hurt for him to be a bit more respectful, because there are people that he might one day want to set an example for. You can still talk trash and stay classy, Sonnen and Tito had it right and even Ronda to a certain degree. Hell even Lesnar didn’t do anything too disrespectful. Offensive yes but not disrespectful.

    • Gabe B

      I never had a problem with Lesnar at all he even though he came over from Wrestling Entertainment. He was always respectful and never crossed the line with his talk. McGregor is the total opposite, he’s constantly crossing the line.

  • Vincent K.

    Scott zerr, life could of went on without you posting such a crappy no nonsense blog about a ufc fighter who you seem to have a vendetta against. Look at it like this, McGregor isnt allowed to talk shit in a job that is about straight ass kicking? Let me guess McGregor, being white makes him a piece of shit because he knows how to talk the talk but everyone who ever brings Muhammad Ali’s name up references how much shit he would talk and how hes the greatest fighter……. Your blog just made you look bored to me.

  • Patrick Justin Hickey

    Connor McGregor steps in the ring and risks his life to entertain us. That means that he can say and do as he pleases, so long as he is not hurting people. Think about it. Guys who get their faces beat in for our entertainment are a whole different breed of people, so lets show McGregor the acceptance he has earned through his fighting. He shows up to fight, and that is his job. Not being cordial to his colleagues.

    • Gabe B

      Risk his life? Hahaha