The Lose-Lose Situation Conor McGregor is in that No One Wants to Talk About

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.

UFC Fight Night Long Island Summary: Personal Bets, Predictions, Gambling Tips, and Ranking the Fights

UFC Fight Night Long Island airs tomorrow night live from the new Nassau Coliseum. Here are the bets I plan on making:

My Main Parlay:
Dennis Bermudez
Jeremy Kennedy
Timothy Johnson
Chris Wade

Bonus Parlay:
Kennedy/Bochniak OVER 2 ½ Rounds
Timothy Johnson
Chris Wade
Jimmie Rivera
Ryan LaFlare/Oliviera OVER 2 ½ Rounds

I left Bermudez out of the second one in case he craps the bed again. Both parlays would win a lot of money regardless of how much you put down, and each bet is wise. Below, you will see my somewhat detailed analysis for each fight as well as a ranking from least interesting fight to most interesting fight. Although of course, I am interested in all 13 fights.

My Most Interesting Fight List (From Least Interesting to Most Interesting)

13. Good/Zaleski:
This is probably too low for many, especially seeing as how it is the feature bout on Fox. But for one thing, I have a feeling this fight will be a dud much to the surprise of many people. And even if I’m wrong and it is an awesome fight, which it very well could be….I do not see either of these two men breaking into the elite ranks of their divisions. Therefore, I am less interested in the fight.

12. Sherman/Grabowski.
This is also probably too low for most. But at the end of the day, they have a combined UFC record of 1-4. I am adept at seeing beyond hoopla and looking at facts. Although, Sherman is more than capable of putting on a great show as he displayed in his classic against Coulter.

11.Johnson/Albini: It’s always interesting to see a new face against a veteran. That curiosity puts this fight slightly above Sherman/Grabowski. And Timothy Johnson is a fighter’s fighter so I’m interested to see how he approaches the newcomer.

10. Cummins/Villante

9. Bochniak/Kennedy

8. Kelleher/Vera

I have this placed above Bochniak/Kennedy because although I am very interested in Kennedy keeping his undefeated record, I am more interested in this fight because I want to see more than one UFC round out of Kelleher, because from the little bit of him that I saw, I saw a lot of potential.

7. Wade/Perez

6. Natal/Anders

5. Bermudez/Elkins

4. Burgos/Pepey

This may be too high for most. But I see a lot of star potential in Shane Burgos’ fighting style, especially in him being undefeated. And stylistically, I am curious to see how Burgos’ fights against another aggressive fighter with experience.

3. LaFlare/Oliviera

2. Rivera/Almeida


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UFC Fight Night Predictions and Betting Guide: Chris Weidman vs. Kelvin Gastelum

Chris Weidman (13-3) vs. Kelvin Gastelum (14-2)

It’s always great when the main event is actually the best fight of the night, and that’s what we have here, MMA fans. Although for years, I have opined that Chris Weidman is overrated, he does make for some of the most interesting matchups. I was particularly intrigued by his pairing against both Yoel Romero and Gegard Mousasi. And I may be more intrigued with this matchup than any other Weidman matchup.

If you look at these two athletes and their styles, though, the gameplans should be pretty apparent. Weidman will attempt to use his size advantage to wrestle with Gastelum and control him. If I’m Chris Weidman,I would feel Gastelum out standing up to get into the rhythm in case Gastelum’s takedown defense holds up. Weidman should get his plan B in motion by way of fluid striking and getting a gauge of how he fares against Gastelum in this area. Because if he goes in with just a wrestling mentality, that could spell boom for Weidman if the fight remains standing.

But ultimately, for Weidman, the gameplan should, without question, be to close the distance. But the secret to victory for Weidman is not to exert too much energy going for the takedowns, but to be content with grinding out Gastelum against the cage, where Gastelum would be trapped against the heavier foe.

If I’m Gastelum, I use my speed to get in and get out with snapping punches and when the timing is right, try to set up for power shots and aim for the big statement victory. When Weidman shoots for a takedown or clinches, I use my wrestling acumen to immediately disengage and break free.

This is a barometer for both fighters, but especially Gastelum. This will showcase just how compatible he is with the middleweight division.

I think the fight will go a bit similar to the Woodley fight and the Magny fight, in that Gastelum will be outpointed and outgrinded. But Gastelum is a fighter who is always improving and has looked stellar at middleweight, so this is another fight that I have no intentions of going near. I believe Gastelum is likely to hurt Weidman at some point, but Weidman will survive the scare and then outgrind the lighter opponent to a decision victory. That is my prediction, but I would advise you not to bet against Gastelum. He has proven time and time again, from the moment he won TUF against the favored Uriah Hall up to this day, that betting against him (especially when he is the favorite) is not a wise idea.

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UFC Fight Night Predictions and Betting Guide: Dennis Bermudez vs. Darren Elkins

Dennis Bermudez (17-6) vs. Daren Elkins (23-5)

I am very tempted to say that this is the best bet of the night, but I must admit, I have a gut feeling that I will have a lot to answer to if I am mistaken.

Darren Elkins is on an impressive four fight winning streak, but in his last fight, he was being dominated. MMA fans, like most humans, have a short memory. So many of them remember the remarkable comeback victory, which was definitely something to behold, but they overlook just how pieced up he was getting prior to the comeback. I look at Dennis Bermudez as a slim -210 favorite, and I say, “YES PLEASE.” Bermudez is a very, very tough guy to outfight. Practically all of his losses had him ahead until his opponent landed an unexpected strike, i.e. Jeremy Stephen’s flying knee, or another sudden victory.

I don’t see Elkins knocking Bermudez out, as although he was able to KO Bektic, roughly 70% of Elkins’ 16 UFC fights have gone to a decision, and coming into his fight with Bektic, he only had two KO victories. So Elkins is not a major threat to KO Bermudez, as his base is wrestling.

I feel that Bermudez is a stronger wrestler due to similar wrestling backgrounds and yet a power and speed advantage. So I feel Bermudez is the better grappler, although Elkins is both wily and unpredictable.

My outlook on this fight is: Anything Elkins can do, Bermudez can do better. Conditioning, grappling, standup, movement… But Elkins has an edge, and that’s why I’m afraid to leap: He has the advantage of intangibles, heart, and even fight IQ.

While Bermudez is a very intelligent fighter, he is known to make very untimely mental lapses that costs him fights. If Elkins were to do a repeat comeback performance….Bermudez would be the perfect cast for that supporting role. Because Bermudez is likely to be ahead of the fight, but as the past has shown, he is more than capable of letting his lead slip through his fingertips. And as Elkins has demonstrated, should this happen, he will more than likely catch the victory that the observer believed to be out of his reach.

Logically, Bermudez at -210 is if not the best value bet of the night, in the top two or three….but then again, this is coming from a guy who felt strongly about him heading into his matches with Jeremy Stephens and the Korean Zombie… I might just second-guess myself out of an awesome value bet.

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UFC Fight Night Predictions and Betting Guide: Patrick Cummins vs. Gian Villante

Patrick Cummins (9-4) vs. Gian Villante (15-7)

The fact that a 9-4 fighter is ranked #12 in the world and is on the main card goes to show just how top-heavy and narrow the lightweight division really is.

This fight is pretty simple to break down. Either Cummins takes Villante down and lays on him for three rounds, or Villante knocks Cummins out, likely within the first half of the fight. Since Villante also has a wrestling background, albeit not at the collegiate level, and since Cummins has not proven to be able to take down ranked opponents at the ease as the unranked ones, odds are Villante will score the knockout victory. -165 is pretty good odds for taking Villante…..but I am staying away from this one as well, because both fighters are inconsistent and though I don’t believe it will happen, I can visualize a scenario where Cummins survives round 1, and then is able to utilize a grappling heavy gameplan to a split decision.

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