“There’s a common phenomenon that coincides with every Conor McGregor fight: Friends and family members who otherwise don’t care about MMA whatsoever suddenly ask me questions about “the fights this weekend.” The questions generally boil down to “Who is McGregor’s opponent?” and “Is McGregor going to win?” It’s a testament to how broad the Irishman’s reach has become.
At this point it’s hard to deny that everything feels bigger with McGregor. I’m not only talking about the verifiable things — the gate records, the pay-per-view buys, the paychecks — but also the general, abstract feeling. A McGregor event reliably evokes an air that it’s something more than just a fight card. It’s The McGregor Fight; it’s bigger than it actually is.
This whole week was like that, sort of. While the mood surrounding UFC 205 on Saturday was that of an excited largeness, with the full velocity of a historical venue and a legitimately stacked card behind it, the atmosphere of the week leading up to it was one of pensive sobriety. The presidential election concluded, finally, and people retreated back into whatever it was they felt about the results. No matter where you fall on the spectrum of responses to the outcome, from gloating to rioting, there was a feeling that we were all collectively experiencing something larger than just another presidential election. It was a nationwide hangover following an especially toxic election season…”