Hello, this is Chris. Welcome to another MMA Squared.
It’s no coincidence that the biggest selling fights are marked by rematches and animus. Conor McGregor looks forward to fighting Khabib Nurmagomedov again, but he risks losing a rivalry that will become an inescapable part of his legacy.
Let’s consider some wars that never ended: Miesha Tate tried to shake hands with Ronda Rousey after her UFC 168 drubbing, to no avail. Tate took quite a beating in each of her losses, but they elevated her profile to a wider audience and paved the way for her title shot against Holly Holm. Definitely worth the beating.
Frank Mir and Brock Lesnar made history and a plenty of money together, but the pair have never had kind words for each other. Mir even lost a commentating job after expressing a desire to see Lesnar die due to “Octagon-related injuries.” While Mir was brutalized in the second fight, the PPV success paid dividends: his UFC career lasted another 13 fights.
Currently we are living through the hundred tweets war between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier. This is particularly vicious because they’re magnetically drawn to each other. DC sees Jones as a final test before retirement, and Jones needs DC like the Joker needs Batman. DC should walk away, but like Batman, I don’t think he can.
After UFC 229’s main event (and aftermath), it’s hard to say why Conor should rematch Khabib. Can he continue taking L’s and sustain the McGregor brand that’s supposed to transcend MMA? Miesha got a belt, and Mir got to paid through ups and downs, but what can this rivalry offer Conor besides another flight on Dagestani Airlines?
MMA Squared is brought to you by Combat Wombat! an expression of marsupial violence known… somewhere. As always, this is Chris Rini. You can reach me on twitter @RiniMMA or chrisrini.com Take care of yourself and I’ll talk to you next week.