So, the talk today is of Conor McGregor versus Khabib Nurmagomedov being a very real possibility, perhaps for a UFC Russia/Moscow event. A couple of weeks after Conor McGregor threw a sack barrow at a bus, smashing a window and injuring colleagues, the hype train is back on track - thanks to the Barclays Center incident of course - and the biggest fight in UFC history may well happen.
So was it real anger? Or self-promotion? (By McGregor? Or by the UFC and McGregor?)
Whatever, these are yet more headlines in the Irishman’s combat sports career, after retiring, but not really, and fighting Floyd Mayweather in the boxing ring - actually happened - and plenty of other publicity-generating incidents over the past few years.
But, again, what caused the bus attack? We know there was an altercation between Nurmagomedov - the real target of the ambush - and McGregor’s friend and “team mate” Artem Lobov a few days earlier, but the extreme reaction, and apparently premeditated action - when you consider the flying over of The Notorious’s boys - seems to demonstrate a deeper psychological reason. So were the seeds of this sown prior to any particular beef with Khabib?
As an archetypal dummy-spitter myself, I may be able to offer a little insight. Plus, there’s all the money I have, and the excellent physique I maintain that contribute to my ability to empathise. Something, surely, set these wheels in motion long before the Lobov-Khabib disagreement.
Here’s my thinking: It was the poster what done it.
Several paragraphs in and only now am I mentioning Nate Diaz. Nate Diaz, onetime McGregor conqueror. Nate Diaz, UFC200 main event co-participant, as billed, prior to McGregor’s anger.
Nate Diaz, of the surname rendered in massive f*ck off letters on the UFC200 poster, compared with McGregor’s teeny little postscript.
I did actually remark upon it at the time - see, look at this tweet - and has that chicken ended up coming home to roost? I even considered whether it is UFC, or combat sport in general, policy or tradition to have the previous encounter’s victor’s name more prominent in marketing literature for a rematch. But even if it were, IT’S CONOR McGREGOR! Put his name BIG, FFS!
Would it have put McGregor’s nose out of joint? An ego like his? Yes, it’d’ve put his nose out of joint, far more than any - since avenged at UFC202 - octagon beatdown from Nate Diaz could. A black mark next to the UFC name, and arguments on the horizon.
To get all typographical, there are really simple ways to play with fonts so an eight-letter name - seven and a teeny portion, done right - shows as eye-catchingly as a four-letter one, but why on earth was the “2” put on McGregor’s already shrunken line? Surely “McGregor” below “Diaz”, of equal heights - immediately decreasing the areal discrepancy - and ideally the “2” to the right of them, spreading from upper to lower extremities. Y’know, I’ll stick my neck on the line and say that would’ve sorted it. Yep, crisis averted at the incubation stage.
Very kindly demonstrating below three options from which the UFC could have chosen to not enrage McGregor is John Devlin of The Design Practice - following my very specific brief under huge duress, and despite the simplicity of the illustration being beneath his talents and against his expert advice. Cheers, John.
So there you have it, mystery solved. And guidance for future marketing projects. And ways to avoid calling out Autoglass for bus repairs. Dana, you’re very welcome.
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