Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Conor McGregor/Jose Aldo and the scam

Much hoopla was generated in the run-up to the Conor McGregor -- Jose Aldo UFC octagon showdown. Two tough characters indeed.

Once upon a time not long ago, yours truly thought Jose Aldo was the baddest pound for pound dude on the planet. Inside the cage, Aldo could do everything in a world class manner. Strike, kick, grapple, and had other moves that were jaw-dropping. The man was flat-out dangerous. It came as little surprise he held the lightweight title for several years. Who could defeat such an animal?

But then along came the blarney boy -- one Conor McGregor. Turned out, CM had been wading through the ranks and up the ladder while obliterating opponents as well.

It seemed only right that these two square off and see who would prevail in the octagon. Unlike boxing, where it took a full six years for Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao to finally get in the ring -- by which time the excitement of a fight that should have happened long before had severely waned -- the UFC folks (see Dana White) don't much put up with such shenanigans. When they have two elite fighters in the same weight class, they'll quickly find, or even mandate a way for that fight to happen. And so it was with Aldo and McGregor. A much anticipated showdown indeed.

And lord knows they hyped it. True, like boxing anymore, an average viewer just can't tune in to a major network and watch such a super match. The wonderful world of savagery has either graduated to cable TV, or the major networks aren't interested in airing matches of people getting their brains beat out. Or perhaps it's the money thing. Ah yes, it always boils down to that anymore -- right?

But the ultimate insult to fans of this sport was yet to come. A cable channel began airing all the preliminary matches leading up to the McGregor/Aldo main event. Hours of free coverage. Very cool and some great fights.

Yet all along the evil plan was in the works. Lead on the suckers and then just as they had been worked into a frenzy of bloodlust -- zap them in their wallets. Bwahahahaha.

Seventy bucks to watch the McGregor/Aldo match. Click here and be cha-chinged later on your monthly bill. Evidently lots of people did. The fight generated millions of bucks in pay-per-view revenue. That's all well and good for the fighters, their entourages, and the UFC folks, but it was a slap in the face to TV viewers. Who wants to cough up three Jacksons and a Hamilton to watch a fight?

Well OK. If it was, say, Obama squaring off against Putin, or maybe Hillary in a death match against the Donald, then now we're talking about getting our $70 worth. Hell, either match would probably be worth at least a C-note, and I'd have gladly clicked on the "pay" option, while firing up the DVR to record it for all posterity. But Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor didn't seem to rise to that level of interest. So of course I didn't pay it.

The UFC fans that ponied up know what eventually happened. McGregor knocked out Aldo with a single punch a mere 13 seconds into the first round. The math is simple enough. They wound up paying about 5 bucks a second and then -- wham -- it was over. Extrapolated, that would equate to roughly $18,000 an hour. Bet you wouldn't click on that option even if they guaranteed a full 60 minutes of non-stop brutality. You know, like a mass tag team match between the Republican and Democratic members of Congress. Interesting for sure, but hardly worth 18 grand to watch.

After all the hype, in the end it turned out to be nothing more than another money making scam that preyed on the suckers.

You'd think they'd learn. Then again, how is it that "public servants" get to make all the rules normal people have to follow, while only serving themselves?

Beats me, but it makes about as much sense as paying 70 bucks to watch a fight between two guys with cauliflower ears that nobody will remember in a few years.

But Hillary and Donald in a death match? Both enter and only one can leave the octagon alive? Now we're talking some serious history in the making.

Bring it on.....

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