Why Jumping on The Conor McGregor Bandwagon Isn’t So Bad
Why the whole of Ireland is currently reeling in the success of Ufc Featherweight champion in Las Vegas, I’ve watched the reaction of some people online, with the opinion they are many out there that are not real fans. It got me thinking about how any involvement in a movement must surely be positive, right?
Let’s start with a definition, the phrase ‘Jumping on the Bandwagon’ was a phrased coined in the early 19th century in America and is defined as;
‘Join a growing movement in support of someone or something, often in an opportunist way, when that movement is seen to have become successful or popular.’
Now when we take the UFC as an example and my own experiences as the case study we can see how this can be proven. My first acknowledgment of the UFC and MMA as an entity like many people was the first season of The Ultimate Fighter. A reality series where fighters lived together and fought in a competition for a UFC contract, ultimately ending in one of the greatest bouts in UFC history between Stephen Bonnar and Forest Griffin, a must see for any new UFC fans.
This was a turning point in UFC history and propelled them fully into the mainstream. The drama, violence, skill and unfiltered, ardenline fueled spectacle would even set the tamest of folk’s hearts racing. In the years following I’ve had an interest but not until I heard of this young cocky Irish guy debuting in Sweden was my interest so peaked as it was the night I watched Bonnar and Griffin slug it out. The result that night, the almost seminal moment of when Conner Mcgregor talks after knocking out his opponent. He spoke about being proud to be Irish and how he had just been collecting social welfare payments and now would be picking up a knockout of the night cheque worth 60 thousand dollars. I as well as many other young Irish people out of work and with seemingly no hope on the horizon were instantly was invested.
In the time between that night in Sweden and where we are today, Mcgregor has seen a meteoric rise not just as a UFC fighter but as a global superstar. But what does he represent? A loud, brash, flashy, mouth who just beat guys up for a living? I think the idea of what he represents is much more than this. I belive he represents a sense of new hope we are beginning to feel in Ireland. We are just at the tail end of a recession, where there was massive job losses, people lost there homes and there was a sense that unless you ran far away from here, you would never escape it.
Now emerges this man who went and took on the world with nothing more than hard work, skill and a strong sense of identity and character. And you know what? He won. If that dosen’t inspire the hearts and minds of a nation to rise from the embers of a destructive period of our history, Then I’m not sure what will.
Beyond even looking at Mcgregor, the recent success of the Irish soccer team has pumped a massive amount of belief and given a sense of unity to everyone who posts a #COYBIG on twitter. It seems for all the throwaway thigs we can post online, that paticular hastag carries quite a bit of emotinal weight.
Whatever steps he may take after this we can be sure Mr. Mcgregor will be watched and continually supported by a nation that he so proudly hoists the flag of on every occasion he gets the chance to.