The corporate figures behind the UFC’s natural evolution have worked their own
brand of unique ‘magic’. However, the UFC would not be where it is today without the
presence of fighters that can truly act as the face of the brand.
The likes of Royce Gracie, Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz and Anderson Silva have all contributed
to the growth of the UFC. Crucial though their exertions were in their respective heydays,
many would argue that the brash and outspoken Conor McGregor has taken the UFC brand to
new, unprecedented highs.
Currently in the midst of a sabbatical from the Octagon, after his pulsating pro boxing debut
against Floyd Mayweather Jr, McGregor has celebrated his new height of fame by becoming
an ambassador of online betting price site Betsafe, which specialises in boxing and MMA
betting. Coming after his public backing of several charities, including the Kevin Bell
Repatriation Trust and the Gifts of Hope Foundation, it is a development that further boosts
McGregor's public image away from the Octagon. So too does it provide a foil to his brash
Positive actions lead to positive outcomes, and with the Dubliner now financially secure for
life, many of his fans are wondering exactly what he will do next. Wild though the idea is at
present, some now believe that he is a potential future candidate for part ownership of the
UFC. But what exactly could be expected from McGregor, if the Dubliner became a part owner of
First up, there would undoubtedly be the potential for an expansion beyond mere 1-on- 1
fights. McGregor himself has experience of representing a ‘team’, when he (along with
several other fellow Irishmen) took on a Belgian stable at Cage Rage, and won one of a
victorious Ireland’s six fights to Belgium’s three.
McGregor, quite literally, pulls no punches when it comes to reaffirming his Irish roots, and
depending on how much he values that long bygone event, could contribute a similar idea for
a future UFC event. Even without any context of warring nations, a ‘team battle’ (or
‘survivor series’ as it is known in the WWE) could be a more regular occurrence in the UFC,
if McGregor was a part owner. It is already common knowledge that McGregor himself is a
wrestling fan, having adopted the famous ‘McMahon strut’ in his own victory celebrations.
Beyond a ‘survivor series’, the practicalities of adopting other forms of wrestling begin to
wear thin. For instance, a UFC Royal Rumble – though a wonderfully chaotic affair in
thought – would be a thorough impracticality. With McGregor partially calling the shots,
UFC fans could also expect more colourful promos (in attire and language!), in which
fighters boast a unique style. McGregor has already done this to an extent, with his liking for
tweed and flat caps over tailored cotton further embossing his Irish heritage.
Fights like this might become a part of UFC if boyhood wrestling fan McGregor takes part
ownership of the franchise.
For McGregor, the opportunity is wide open, and represents an optimal learning curve where
part ownership of a sports entertainment franchise is concerned. The UFC’s main draw is
simplicity, with the focus always on two athletes set to go to war, and through revising UFC’s
common elements with the WWE brand, McGregor has a good foundation on which to build
a plan for the future of the UFC, as its PPV buy rates continue to grow.