This weekend one of the biggest fights in the UFC history happened between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov, and what stood out was everything but sportsmanship and respect. The whole build up to this event started with controversy, and unfortunately, it ended in the same tone.
Khabib drew first blood when he confronted Artem Lobov, a training partner of McGregor. Conor, the Irish flamboyant and charismatic fighter, responded by throwing a trolley into the bus which would take Khabib’s team. This, in turn, led to legal trouble to the “Notorious” and set up the pre-fight cold war game.
As expected, McGregor did his research and displayed his renowned trash talk, which helps him selling his fights and reaching audiences far from the fighting world, although this time, he might have gone too far with it. When the discussion gets to family and religion issues, it may be over the limit, especially for people who put a high value on it.
Anyway, Khabib, before the fight commented on this situation, saying “we have to think about the younger generations (…) I want to be a good role model”. Just after dominating the fight he jumped over the cage and rush to fight Dillon Danis, another training partner of McGregor, who was trash talking Khabib.
And this culminated into a big brawl in which Conor also got involved with members of Khabib’s team who jumped into the octagon. After the whole scene, the Russian fighter apologised for his behaviour in the press conference, but still, right after that, he asked: “Why are you talking about me jumping over the cage, when Conor talked about my religion, my country, my father and even threw a trolley at a bus?”
In this occasion, it is pointless to find someone to put in all the blame for what happened. As a matter of fact, both athletes created this outcome. If we had to pick, McGregor had his worst moment when he hit the bus and Khabib stood out negatively when he jumped over the cage after the fight.
As outsiders, we can focus on the controversy and superficial comments, or we can realise that these are just two great fighters who had bad moments. They may be extreme opposites, both in their personas and their fighting styles, but there is one thing in common: they are great inspiration sources for their followers.
While this fuss is all over media and covers front pages, that certainly was not the case when Lebron James inaugurated the “I Promise School”. Why is that? Is it because there are so many good things happening around us, that when something bad happens it is news? Perhaps.
At age 33, Lebron James, already one of the greatest basketball players ever, builds a public elementary school specifically aimed at “at-risk children”, which means students who require temporary or ongoing intervention in order to succeed academically.
In an effort to develop the community of his hometown, the NBA star put together an educational organisation which is unique. This school will provide several things:
- Free tuition, uniforms, bicycles and helmets;
- Free transportation within two miles;
- Free breakfast, lunch and snacks;
- Food pantry for families;
- General Education Diplomas (GED) and job placement services for parents;
- Guaranteed tuition to the University of Akron for every student who graduates.
What should be more important: a post-fight brawl, or a great athlete showing his commitment to the development of a world with more opportunities? This is for us to reflect upon. As we know, media go with the flow of what the public wants and what keeps people entertained.
“Choose the world you see, and see the world you choose”