Photos by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC
According to reports circulating today, UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor will be getting his dreamed-of rematch with Nate Diaz at UFC 200 on July 9. Which means we can all look forward to 3 ½ months of MMA fans arguing over whether actually McGregor deserves another shot at Diaz; 3 ½ months of every other UFC featherweight grousing about their champion vanishing to another weight class and denying them their rightful shots at his title; 3 ½ months of McGregor and Diaz bad-mouthing each other at press conferences, in interviews, and on talk shows; and 3 ½ months of Conor McGregor talking about money.
Money is Conor McGregor’s favorite topic of conversation, of course, his idée fixe, his obsession, because for him it’s the quickest and most effective way to determine the value of a human life. Money, in McGregor’s worldview, is the world’s great clarifier, a kind of shorthand to gauge success and worth. When McGregor wants to truly discredit and get at the heart of one of his opponents he aims for their bank statements and then compares them with his own. Inevitably he finds theirs, and by association them, lacking. And he sees it as an act of disdainful noblesse oblige to change their “bum lives” for the better by embarrassing them in the cage.
During their build-up to their fight on March, McGregor was relentless on the subject of Diaz’s highly publicized salary, which Diaz found simply meager but McGregor found telling. Your pay is proof of your worth, McGregor would say, which means you’re worth almost nothing. I tip what you earn. But don’t worry, I’m here to save you and make you a rich man. Even a loss to me (which is as inevitable as death) will change your world forever.