Conor McGregor Episode UFC 246: THE RISE OF COWBOY

Conor McGregor loses to Cowboy Cerrone Tonight.

Conor McGregor is no longer a fighter. He’s a Superstar.

And Superstars can never be fighters once they’ve traded in the passion to punch a man in the face with their addiction to hearing cheers from their adoring crowd of fans.

Conor and Cowboy at the UFC 246 Press Conference

No longer is he the young, inexperienced teenage fighter, inspired by poverty and neccessity. No, that Conor is long gone. Conor McGregor is now “The Notorious“, and in 2020 he is a virtual movie star, inspired only by the cameras recording his every move, his personal DJ that he brings with him to his fight camp, and getting praise from ESPN for making sure he has the right pair of gucci shoes on.

A fighter starts his career wanting to pay the rent, feed his kids, buy a house for his Mom, prove to his Father that he’s a champion, get out of the ghetto or channel his inborn desire to punch someone in the face. His actual goal, as true of most natural born fighters, is to “make it to the top” of their respective financial ladders. In the case of boxing, it used to be to make it to an HBO pay-per-view special and win the Heavyweight title. In MMA, it’s to make it to the UFC and become a champion.

But what happens when you’ve conquered your goals and become an undisputed double champion, holding two belts in the same company in two different weight classes? Do you go for three? 4? All of them?

Floyd Mayweather delivers one of many punches to the head of Conor McGregor

Conor decided to enter boxing. Although he’s never boxed in a professional match a single day in his life, he challenged the then 49-0 Floyd Mayweather to a fight in 2017.

Needless to say, Mayweather was quite happy at retiring with his now 50-0 record.

Immediately after his TKO loss to Mayweather, the shockwaves felt in Conor’s mind were put on display for the world to witness. He’s since aquired multiple arrests for assaulting people, he broke a fans cell phone outside of a nightclub, pissed off some important people in his homeland of Ireland, he had to answer multiple accusations of cheating on his partner with several women (one of which claims he’s fathered her child), he punched an old man in the face for not wanting to drink his whiskey, gets stripped of both of his UFC belts, and threatens another UFC fighter, Khabib Nurmagomedov, by throwing a hand truck at the window of a UFC bus filled with athletes, coaches and people uninvolved with the then brewing conflict with Conor and his adversary.

McGregor’s arrest after throwing a handtruck at a bus carrying UFC fighters in Brooklyn

This ridiculous and outlandish criminal behavior wasn’t punished but rather rewarded with a $50 Million Dollar contract offer to fight the new champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and get a chance to redeem his character and prove that his violent acts weren’t the result of a crazed man whose scrambled mind is now plauged by fear, frustration and an over-inflated ego which is unable to cope with defeat.

The match resulted in another loss for McGregor, his third most devestating defeat, and second fighting loss in a row. Not by knockout or TKO, but by tap-out. In other words, Conor gave up.

15 months after his loss he returns today, 1/18/2020 to fight Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, a UFC veteran who has broken more records than any other fighter in UFC history. Conor can brag about his former position as being the most dominant force in the UFC, but he certainly is the most popular, even with guys like Jorge Masvidal, Israel Adesanya and Stipe Miocic proving that no one cared about McGregor in 2019. The only people who seem to be excited about Conor’s return is the “casual” fan, who only knows about Conor thanks to some friend of thiers who mentioned his name in relation to the UFC or plays him in a video game.

Cowboy Cerrone serving up his patented Leg Kick to Al Iaquinta

But in terms of being a true hall-of-famer, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone is the person who holds the records for most wins, most knockouts, most bonuses and many other accolades unachieved by other fighters in the UFC. He challenged Conor McGregor back in 2016, but Conor declined his offer – despite previously saying he’d fight Cowboy anytime, anywhere – and chose what he believed to be an easier fight with Nate Diaz, who subsequently defeated Conor by choking him, causing him to tap, and resulting in the first of two forfeits in Conor’s UFC run.

Cowboy is known for his devasting headkicks, perfect combos and his rear naked choke submissions. Conor is known for his left hand knockout power, and an inability to win any match that lasts more than 3 rounds, unless rewarded by the judges. In Diaz vs. Conor 2, McGregor spent 4 out of 5 rounds running away from Diaz, and was saved by the bell, nearly submitted just moments before the end of round 5. The match was given to Conor, but real UFC fans knew that Diaz just defeated Conor a second time.

Cowboy has a left of his own.

So how does Conor McGregor manage to get rewarded for losing multiple times in a row and beating up old men at bars?

Because he’s a millionaire. Because he’s “The Notorious”. Because he’s Conor Mcgregor, and “Casual Conor Fans” will have nothing else to cling to when they say they’re fans of the UFC unless Conor’s name is mentioned in the Pay-Per-View they’re willing to spend their sneaker money on.

As with any sport, millionaires never seem to be penalized unless they self destruct and spend all of their own money. Conor has managed to keep his bank account secured and paid off anyone who would have been a threat to his lifestyle or career. He’s avoided jail time and even with video proof of him throwing a left punch to a sitting, unarmed, elderly man’s face at a local pub, he suffered no penalty.

Conor McGregor is no longer motivated by the ferocity of his desire to fight. Instead, he bathes in the sea of cheers from his “my-man-can-do-no-wrong-even-if-he-kills-someone” fanbase. These days, he makes sure his sunglasses look good for the video cameras and uplifted cell phones during the weigh-ins, and puts on a big smile for anyone willing to give him praise for “making his comeback”: albeit for the third and final time.

Conor McGregor during the UFC246 Weigh In

Here’s what’s going to happen tonight: Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone will knock out Conor McGregor with a head kick in the first round. Conor will be over confident, will try to land the big left hand to hurt Cowboy, and Cerrone will be ready. Cowboy will get hit with a couple of big punches, and when Conor dives in a second or third time with the big shot, Cowboy will land a solid right kick to the head, Conor will go down, and the fight will either stop at that moment, or Cowboy will proceed to take Conor’s back and force a tap.

If this doesn’t play out in this fashion, you can count on two other possible outcomes:

  1. A third round submission by Cowboy
  2. A 5 round fight that ends in a decision, giving Conor the win and a huge middle finger to an amazing performance by Donald Cerrone, who will receive yet another post fight bonus.
Both Conor and Cowboy wearing their Darkest outfits to the UFC 246 Press Conference.

Casual fans will get upset at this prediction, but that’s expected. A “Casual” isn’t a fan of the sport. They’re a fan of Conor’s attitude, his cars, his house, his son, his Irish heritage, and his ability to entertain with his over-confident diatribe during any and all interviews he engages in.

But a true UFC fan will see that Donald Cerrone is bringing beers, bikes and a black snakeskin coat with a hat that covers his gaze to conceal that single headkick to the head that will finally give Conor the punishment he deserves.

Cowboy’s coming for Conor’s head… Dead or Alive.

Enter the BATMANdalorian: The newest entry into the Star Wars universe

“The Mandalorian” – The All New Star Wars TV show appearing on Disney+

The Mandalorian takes place in the Star Wars universe some time after Return of the Jedi and before The Force Awakens, and features a mysterious Boba-Fett clone whose sole purpose is bounty hunting. It plays like a western, complete with drunk bullies preying on innocent people while the vigilante comes in and saves the day. You might find yourself calling him the BATMANdalorian, especially when he uses his grappling gun to drag his victims to their painful punishment, and later when he flies away in his BATMANdalorian ship.

Movie quality special effects, wardrobe and costume design make you take notice of the incredible landscapes and detail given to every scene and character. With director Jon Favreau at the helm, viewers should expect nothing less, and he delivers.

The Mandalorian works very hard to make sure you know you’re watching a true Star Wars story, by forcing in as many past trilogy easter-eggs in one episode as possible. Every monster, greedo-twin and gurgling sore-throat sounding alien you can think of makes an appearance. A distant cousin of r2d2’s shows up, along with the classic garbage-can-with-legs droid hobbling down a corridor. Star Wars wouldn’t be complete without Storm Troopers, and they even throw in that little one eyed security guard that used to work for Jabba The Hut.

We’re also given not one but two cantina scenes in the span of 10 minutes. We get it. This is Star Wars.

The Mandalorian’s armor resembles the classic Star Wars bounty hunter “Boba Fett”

The show feels like an 80’s sci-fi drama, reminiscent of Buck Rogers, Battlestar Galactica and the original version of Knight Rider. It has a video game cinematic cutscene vibe to it. You’ll be looking for your Xbox controller to help maneuver “The BATMANdalorian” while he’s walking through the bar – I mean the “Cantina” – while hitting the A button to attack, B button to take the bounty, and X to change weapons. Don’t be surprised when “The Mandalorian” video game is released for in early 2020 with these exact same features.

We’re introduced to some new main characters who play an important role in the journey of The Mandalorian. The standout is one of the most creative droids ever created in the Star Wars universe: A robotic bounty hunter who resemebles a Terminator T-800, but with a 360 degree rotating sectional body capable of hitting multiple targets simultaneously. Of course, he becomes the Mandalorian’s sidekick.

Thankfully, the best part of “The Mandalorian” is The Mandalorian. He’s fearless, with an ominous presence, and has a caustic, impatient demeanor which is quelled only by tracking down his next target.

A new trend in movies and tv shows, probably due to Captain America: Winter Soldier, is to call the mysterious antagonist “The Asset“. It is compelling and annoying, but mostly annoying. How about a new word, like, “The Evader”, “The Bad Guy” or maybe the actual name of the “asset”?

Storm Troopers keeping The Mandalorian under close supervision

Aside from a few cheap gimmicks, and the unintentional repetition of specific scenes, I found myself interested in the mysterious bounty from start to finish, and enjoyed the adventure of The Mandalorian and the path he’s chosen. He starts off as “The Mandalorian“, he ends up as “Han Solo“, even acquiring a droid version of Chewbacca, who has a tendency towards suicide.

The soundtrack is phenomenal: appropriately dark and brooding. Aesthetically, the music is perfect for the main character, who never should be off screen. The problem is, unlike all of the great Star Wars movies, the music and mood remain unchanged, despite obvious humor, suspense and light-hearted interactions. There’s only one pace that matters, and the atmospheric theme is mystery and suspense.

Certain elements of this show seem like they were forced in last minute additions by Disney, and not the creators. It’s as if director Jon Favreau and writer Dave Feloni wanted a much darker tone, as evidenced by the storyline and fighting sequences. But there’s an inconsistency between The Mandolarian’s first-half personality as a castigating bounty hunter, to a sensitive droid-loving hero by the end.

A Storm Trooper’s head on a spike doesn’t interest The Mandalorian

The run time is less than 39 minutes, which is not the standard for a typical Netflix competitor show. With Disney+ trying to burst its way through the “pay to watch app” business, it’s curious why they’re deliberately shortening the run time. Fans simply want a good show, not a longer season with shorter episodes, something the newer comic book tv show adaptations can’t seem to process. The culprit may be over-producing episodes and too many corporate voices shortening the script, rather than letting the artists paint thier own picture.

On a side note, Disney is making the utterly unrealistic and outrageous claim that in one day they managed to lure in 10 million subscribers to pay for the service, at a rate of $7 a month. That’s $70,000,000 in less than 24 hours. How is it that an underpromoted, unknown network with a strange release date managed to penetrate the market by 10,000,000 subscribers in under a day? Until the proof is released, this is simply a fantasy created by Disney to persuade people to join the 2019 version of The Mickey Mouse Club.

The Mandalorian is a promising new adventure in a galaxy not that far away. Pedro Pascal dominates the role as the lead character and manages to carry the pace, despite slight annoyances by certain supporting actor performances. But that’s not enough of a hinderance to sink the ship to an unrecoverable depth. This bounty might just be worth the risk after all.