Conor McGregor (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)With McGregor on Self-Imposed Leave, is the UFC Still Relevant? The MMA Corner Staff March 6, 2017 News, Promotions, UFC There’s no doubt that the UFC has fallen off the mainstream media’s radar of late. Of course, with a new president in the US and all the drama that entails, it’s understandable that news editors may feel the general public may have interests that lie elsewhere. But for us, that’s not the only reason for the lack of attention. When Conor MrGregor decided to take some time out to wait for the birth of his first child, the world of UFC just got a little lot quieter. And while many fans of the sport may feel relieved that the bandwagoners left the building, that feeling of indifference towards the UFC is back again. As any true supporter of the UFC, or MMA in general, will tell you, one man does not make a sport, but the truth is that it was one man and his various spats with the hierarchy and his opponents that brought the world’s eyes to the cage. Like him or not, McGregor has done a hell of a lot for the UFC in terms of pay-per-views, the UFC’s bottom line, and fighters getting paid their fair share. We’ve all heard Anthony Johnson’s comments about McGregor ‘opening the door for other fighters’ regarding money, and he’s not wrong. Before ‘The Notorious’ came along the most money Nate Diaz made for a fight was $40,000, but two fights against McGregor earned him $2.5 million, and that’s before you add in his share of the PPV money reckoned to be over $10 million. These incredible figures the UFC pay both McGregor and his opponents in the cage are another reason that MMA has enjoyed a period in the spotlight. Everyone loves a big money fight, and it’s even better when it involves a trash-talking Irishman. In fact, UFC 205 smashed a whole slew of records, and no one can argue that it was almost entirely down to McGregor. Now with the man from Crumlin out of the game until who knows when, and the news that both he and Mayweather are pushing for that massive fight, the UFC is missing the attention and more importantly, the cash. The events since UFC 205 have come and gone with barely a mention in mainstream media, and while the money is still good, it’s never going to hit the dizzying heights of a McGregor PPV event. The biggest fight of the year so far will be the Cormier/Johnson fight, and it’s a tough one to call. And with Cormier stating that he will box rather than wrestle with one of the hardest punchers in the game, this could be an epic encounter. Still, no-one outside the UFC or MMA seems to be paying it any heed. Betstars have Cormier at 73/100 and Johnson at 1/1 but in all honesty, who knows how the fight will end up? An event like this is perfect PPV material and no doubt the numbers will be good, but do you think it will get more than an obligatory one minute on FOX or NBC? Of course, it won’t. But if this were a McGregor fight, they’d be talking about it on Jimmy Fallon and all the other late night shows. So it all boils down to this; MMA and the UFC, in particular, need people like McGregor if the sport is ever to become the accepted mainstream rival of boxing. Love him or hate him, McGregor was the shot in the arm that the UFC didn’t even know it needed, and if we want to keep the sport in the public eye we need more fighters just like him.