In every major combat event, there is always the lunatic fringe who claims, “The fix is in” before the opening bell even sounds, and that refrain only grows when there is any disappointment in the outcome of fight night. Although these posts and comments get a decent amount of support from other lunatics, I like to believe that most rational people do not take these posts seriously, with the organization that would be behind the fix losing its license being chief among the reasons not to take these accusations seriously as well as the complete absence of any proof whatsoever, only crackpot spewings that are easy to write off.
For those who spend time debating with these folks, one can imagine how frustrating it must be to try to reason with the habitual conspiracy theorists who have their minds made up that a fight was fixed, never mind the nonexistent proof. Well, MMA fans, if Conor McGregor pulls off what the boxing community will consider the biggest upset of all time, prepare to be frustrated with the conspiracy theorists like you have never been before.
Conor McGregor is in a win-win situation. He has a chance to earn the biggest victory in combat sports history, bar none. To cross over to another sport with a 0-0 record and defeat whom many consider the greatest of all time would be the biggest and greatest victory of any combat sports athlete of all time. And if he fails, and even if he fails badly, he still walks away with around the neighborhood of $100 mill (Only in sports can you make that kind of money and still be considered a failure.). But within the boxing community, McGregor is in a lose-lose situation. If McGregor loses, the words, “I told you so,” will be uttered with smirks around the boxing community among the purists and experts who have repeatedly given him no chance to win. But here’s the thing that people are overlooking: Even if McGregor defeats Mayweather, you can expect the crackpot conspiracy theorists to spread to the Max Kellermans, the Freddie Roaches, the Bob Arums, etc. While I do not expect all of them to suggest the fight was fixed, I would not be surprised if the majority of them publicly say that Floyd took a dive in order to set up a rematch and make a bigger payday. I actually believe that they would rather join the crackpot coalition and put their professional credibility on the line and say the fight was fixed than to eat the crow that they would be served after a McGregor victory, because no crow of that size has ever been consumed by anyone….even if shared by a large table of others. And regardless of how many of the experts will say the fix was in, you can be sure that the number of fans who make this claim will be at a record high.
Conor McGregor defeating Floyd Mayweather would be like the 9/11 for the boxing community. It would be a tragedy of such unimagined proportions that there would be different coping mechanisms for those who bore witness to the event. Just as many scholars, educators, credible scientists, and quasi-intellectuals joined the crackpot coalition of truthers to the point where any given person you run into on the street could believe that 9/11 was a hoax, you can expect the same proportion of people who believe the fight was fixed should McGregor win, and maybe even more. Conor McGregor would not fully get the credit he deserves outside of the MMA community even if he does pull off the unthinkable. He would only incite the largest conspiracy theorist population in the history of combat sports. This movement will be spearheaded by the boxing community, but it will spread to many of the MMA community as well, particularly anybody who would be eating crow with the boxing panel.
And if that happens, whether it’s an expert with a large following or another brainless moron in the comments section, do not be gaslit. Be confident in what you saw and what you know. And instead of wasting time arguing with those who can’t or choose not to cope with reality, just walk away…and do so knowing that no matter how many conspiracy theorists will continue to linger, you were there, too. So you can stand strong and not waver on the history that you bore witness to with your very own eyes, and then continue to dwell in the real world with those who saw the greatest victory in combat sports history.
Do I think it will happen? Hell no. And you can put that on record. So that should McGregor come out victorious on the 26th, I can grab these same utensils and gladly eat up.