Conor Mcgregor V Jose Aldo has been dubbed the biggest MMA fight of all time.
Jump back 2 years ago – to Frankie Edgar V Jose Aldo, and nobody really gave a damn. Edgar, dropping from lightweight had been the man to dethrone one of the greatest of all time – BJ Penn, as lightweight champion.
The Edgar, Aldo bout was a competitive 5 round fight, but there was never any chance of my staying up to watch it live.
So what’s different now?
Basically, it’s Conor Mcgregor’s ability to piss off Jose Aldo, and hype the fight. Regarded by Joe Rogan, as the greatest trash talker the UFC has ever seen, some find Mcgregor incredibly annoying, whilst other fans adore him.
Either way, he has a polarising influence that makes people want to watch him win or lose. Both sets of fans are excited either way.
Does Trash Talking give a fighter an advantage?
In Mcgregor’s case, I’d have to say ‘yes’. Mcgregor is so confident, and so extrovert that he thrives on the pressure. His coach described the fighters who perform great in the gym, then fall apart in competition, and how Mcgregor is the opposite of this – he improves as the pressure mounts.
Mcgregor’s talking, builds the fight up and winds his opponents up too. For a championship bout, of 5, 5 minute rounds, the last thing a fighter should be is angry and tense.
By continuously insulting Aldo, he’s giving him many things to stew-on, and think about.
By making Aldo unsettled and emotional, he’s effectively having an impact on Aldo’s mental state, making him angry which does 2 major things.
1. It effectively shuts down his frontal lobe
Which is a bit of a bastard for Aldo, as the frontal lobe controls voluntary movements like kicking and punching. This is why you see people do some many illogical things in the ring or cage. Despite what their cornerman is shouting, an angry or anxious fighter is often completely unable to make logical decisions and carry out techniques that are performed with ease in training.
2. It may effect Aldo’s ability to focus.
By giving him so much to think about, and creating negative feelings and resentment, he may impact Aldo’s ability to focus and be in a ‘flow-state’. Especially with additional trash-talking in the cage.
Here’s a loosely related video about ‘psychic bandwidth’ and the ability to deal with things then focus on the present:
Add to this the infamous adrenaline, and adrenaline-dump and you’ve got an effective tactic for Mcgregor who stays relaxed and focused whilst he watches his initial game-plan come to fruition.
The only potential problem with all the talking and self confidence, is that people do like to watch people fall from a self-made pedestal:
Mcgregor, to be fair is not created his own pedestal, he now has his adoring fans to do that for him, thanks to his personality and performances.
He’s also a great striker with a style that is attractive and easy to understand for the casual-fan. Whether he’s good for the sport is debatable, when you look at some of the helmets & meatheads within and on the fringes of the sport, it’s not how it was when the humble Randy was LHW champ…
Prediction – McGregor by KO in round 2 (if Jose is angry!)