That’s about to change.
The UFC announced today that next week, Sept. 20, a press conference with UFC President Dana White, Nurmagomedov and McGregor will be held at Radio City Music Hall in New York.
There are two, no three, actually four things to consider at the outset of this story:
1.) This very well may be the biggest fight in UFC history.
2.) The UFC has become known for promoting the hell out of their bigger fights; cooking up absolute juggernauts to throw gigantic bankrolls behind in order to reap the even bigger returns.
3.) Conor himself usually subsidizes the UFC’s promotion with his own tidal wave of social media shit talking, interview soliloquy’s, and released, ominous training footage.
4.) There has been precisely MINIMAL promotion for this fight so far. Not from the UFC. Not from Conor. Not from Conor’s “team” (I hate that concept and phrase) who are also usually a promotion vehicle in and of themselves. Virtual radio silence on the part of everyone.
So this press conference was announced this week and by the time it occurs we will be a little more than two weeks out from the fight itself. That is, again, possibly the biggest fight in UFC history. At Madison Square Garden. For Conor to stay quiet is one thing. He has that whole “throwing a dolly at a bus and injuring people” thing to deal with. Sure, he is still Conor Fucking McGregor and so it is a bit odd for him to stay silent because of anything. I can’t help but wonder if he has something saved up his sleeve for when the fight is that much more imminent.
While we have excuses and possible explanations for Conor, for those that follow the business-side of MMA and the art form that is the UFC promoting MMA, the company’s silence is absolutely mind boggling. Barely any social media coverage. No “On Demand” ads that I’ve seen so far. I don’t want to go so far as to question whether or not the UFC has faith the fight will go down, but what the hell else explains this? For Mayweather-McGregor there was a 6 month, international press tour. This may not be THAT big, objectively, but it is the biggest thing MMA has to offer and features 2 internationally born and beloved fighters, so what gives?
I don’t know. I honestly don’t have a clue except to maybe speculate that Conor and the UFC are on the same page and are going to see what happens when they wait for a couple weeks out to both light the fire and throw 310 pounds of gas on it. But is that even enough time to REALLY get people excited? I’m not sure it is.
We can ask, wonder, ruminate, and ponder all we want but in the end on September 20th the two best 155ers in the world will be on the same stage, speaking in wonderfully distinct accents, discussing what should be a monumental fight and a bona fide game changer in terms of the landscape of 155 pounds and beyond. Nothing will be the same after the first Saturday in October.
Here. We. Go.