Ask the Insider: Is McGregor No.1 contender?

Conor McGregor

In the latest edition of “Ask The Insider,” we focus on contenders, super fights, a dilemma for GSP and some disdain for a certain Brit.

@AlbertarocksTA: “You know what kind of blows my mind? I can’t even watch an interview if Bisping is in it. Just can’t stand that guy.”

You are definitely not alone, but I’m on the opposite side of the fence. Every time Michael does an interview, I can’t help but tune in. I find him a polarizing character who doesn’t mince words and rarely uses cliches. In an age when fans and media despise bland interviews and recycled responses, I always find it refreshing when guys like Bisping pipe up.

@IamMrDutch: “In all honesty do you really believe that when it comes to his pure technique and abilities Conor McGregor is the No. 1 contender?”

McGregor’s technique and ability are just now being appreciated, as he is showcasing what the Straight Blast Gyms and systems have been perfecting over the years. I think his game is underrated and while he will likely be next in line for a title shot, I personally believe the No. 1 contender is Cub Swanson. But if Frankie Edgar disposes of Swanson on Nov. 22, then the laying of the red carpet for “The Notorious” vs. Jose Aldo Jr. will begin.

@m–toone: “Will Sportsnet continue airing UFC events?”

They haven’t stopped, so I guess the answer is yes. They may not show every UFC event, but to my understanding that was never the expectation. It’s business as usual, despite the fact there is more hockey on the network now.

@ZachThomas93: “Will there ever be that fight between Anthony Pettis and Jose aldo Jr.? Would still love to see that fight next year.”

No one can predict the future and like all super fights, the MMA stars need to align. I’m of the belief that in order for a bout like that to be put together, each fighter must clear out their division. Aldo has almost done that; Pettis has yet to defend his title and has his fair share of work still to do. Then again, (usually) where there are dollar signs, there are super fights.

@forilqc: “Does the cut man get a bonus if his fighter wins?”

I’ve never heard of a bonus being handed out to a cut man, but I’m fairly confident many of them get more than just Christmas cards from certain fighters. The impact of a cut man is huge, so if they are able to give the fighter one more round or prevent the doctor from stopping the bout due to a serious cut, I would hope a fighter would throw them something extra.

@george1ufcfan: “Any idea what the special announcement from the UFC is?”

I feel like this is the million dollar question. I have no idea to be honest and I can’t wait to find out what it is. I’ve done some snooping around and unfortunately reached my fair share of dead ends.

@SAMMANTX: How does MMA as sport continue to have such a low pay (most, not all) and still have so many fighters out there.”

That’s a question only fighters can truly answer. When you mix one’s competitive spirit with the desire for glory, sometimes financial compensation can be accepted at a lower value than what we perceive it to truly be. I believe every fighter should make tens of thousands of dollars per fight. Some, hundreds of thousands. Others, millions. But the going rate is what it is. No one is forcing them to compete. The majority do it because they love it, while accepting whatever compensation is offered in a contract. Should they get more? Yes, but MMA is a different model than every other sport out there, including boxing. Like many observers of MMA, as time goes on I sincerely hope the rate of pay increases as well.

@MDavies15: “Do you think it’s smarter for the UFC to go with two events in two days compared to two in one day? Think they’ll stick with it?”

Two in two days can be difficult to follow, namely because of the event duration. Generally speaking, it requires a dedication of 4-6 hours to enjoy a UFC event. With two in one day, it gets difficult for even the most hardcore fans to keep up. Personally, I’d like to see 24 events a year. One pay per view a month, and one major Fight Night a month. Trim the fat and let’s truly go back to seeing the best of the best compete in the Octagon.

@APizzola: “Theoretically, say GSP returns and Rory is the welterweight champion, what does GSP do? Fight Rory, stay in the division or move up?”

Unless a gong show happens behind the scenes, GSP won’t fight Rory. If St-Pierre does come back, I can see him doing it at middleweight or for super fights only. That, and a whole lot more money to return.

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