When Conor McGregor punched a man in a Dublin pub, it was the type of incident that should make any MMA fan cringe.
Seeing a person who is supposed to represent the world’s premiere MMA organization, perhaps as its biggest star ever, engaging in such a heinous act was awful. But one man seemed to get a laugh out of it more than a cringe.
Joe Rogan is someone who knows MMA inside and out. A man who has trained in various arts, he’s called MMA for over a decade and has become the most familiar voice fight fans known when they tune into UFC events.
When he isn’t lending his voice to the commentary booth, he’s hosting his podcast the Joe Rogan Experience. His assessment of the situation was that it was “McGregor being McGregor,” and he seemed to get a good laugh at it. Even after admitting he misspoke he has drawn some criticisms from those who don’t believe this was funny in any way.
Former UFC champion Matt Serra spoke about the issue, noting how Rogan mentioned McGregor’s money and how UFC president Dana White was going on about how smart McGregor was. However, Serra said none of that mattered if McGregor was not a good person.
Coupled with his infamous bus attack, assault on a Bellator official, sexual assault allegations, Islamophobic comments on social media, and his incident of slapping a phone out of a fan’s hand and stomping it, it seems the once calculated Irishman has completely lost his marbles.
McGregor’s latest transgressions have finally drawn more attention from White, who always seems “disgusted” by McGregor but never quite enough to fire him. White said he didn’t know much about the sexual assault allegations, and that he didn’t tell the fighter to apologize. Even if McGregor did apologize on his own, did he mean it? And what does it mean if he doesn’t change his behavior?
Think of what would happen if the average person, who didn’t have millions of dollars and millions of fans, did any of these things? They do, and when it happens, they end up going to jail. McGregor hasn’t, and his ability to skirt away from accountability and still remain a popular figure in his sport is troubling.
This isn’t to say he’s beloved by his colleagues. Fighters and coaches alike have criticized him over the bar incident, and there have even been videos released of bars dumping his whiskey down their toilets as a sign they’ve officially cut all ties with “The Notorious.”
McGregor recently did an interview about a potential return to the sport where he discussed potential opponents like Frankie Edgar, as well as potential rematches with Nate Diaz and Khabib Nurmagomedov. All three of those men have their own fights moving forward, so it is curious where McGregor will fit in.
Are people like Joe Rogan being too forgiving of McGregor? What should the UFC do about McGregor’s behavior?