August 26: What if? A fictional history about an unlikely event
The date August 26 has been engrained in almost all of our minds, we know that is the day when one of the strangest and biggest events in sports history will take place in Las Vegas. We know all-time boxing great Floyd Mayweather Jr will face UFC superstar Conor McGregor in a boxing match. We know that this fight doesn't really make sense, Floyd is a retired boxing world champion with a 49-0 record, and McGregor is the reining UFC world champion at 155 pounds. We know both of them have other match-ups that seem way more logical, Floyd could be waiting for the winner of Canelo vs GGG (Or stay retired), and Conor should be defending his 155 pound belt against Tony Ferguson (Or Khabib).
This fight doesn't make sense, it shouldn't be happening... Except it is.
Now that there are less than two weeks left to go before this massive event, and everything that can be said by everyone who could have said it has been said, I'll indulge myself in a little thought experiment. Something that goes against every conceivable logic and every expert, something so ridiculous that will deprive this article from any credibility, but... What if? What if the unthinkable happened? What if against all odds and logic, not only Conor McGregor defeated Floyd Mayweather Jr, he fulfilled his own prophecy and KO'd him inside four rounds?
CHAOS! PANDEMONIUM! VEGAS WOULD BE SWALLOWED BY THE DESERT!
Relax relax, I don't believe none of that would happen, it would be far less dramatic.
At first, a general feeling of shock would engulf the arena, you would be able to hear a pin drop... Except you wouldn't. Deafening noise would shake the arena, confusion would mix with celebration and ecstasy. You do realize that a lot of non-Irish people are supporting McGregor, right? And then you ad the ever rowdy Irish people who are descending on Vegas for the fight. Yikes. Party falls short.
As the night went on and Saturday turned to Sunday we would start seeing the mixed reports by the press, this is when things get interesting, because we would be presented with a lot of different takes coming from a lot of different places. We would have the MMA media and community raving and celebrating a huge moral triumph for the sport, mixed with all the scepticism and resentment from other fighters who dislike Conor as it is.
But as wild as the MMA side would be, it would be nothing compared to the boxing side of the spectrum; from people proclaiming the end of the sport, to the ones that suddenly saw it coming because they decided that Floyd was washed up after the fight, coming all the way around to the conspiracy theorists claiming that it was all a scam so that they can sell us a rematch. For me the most interesting part would be if anyone on that side dared to give McGregor any credit. (Can you be excommunicated from the boxing community?)
The next 2 weeks would be very similar, and like everything else, it would slowly fade and people would move on with their lives. Conor would probably defend his 155 pound UFC belt in December against Ferguson or Khabib (That is if the mermaid song of boxing pay days doesn't allure him out of MMA for good). And Floyd, well Floyd is making a billilion dollars out of this fight, he'll be fine.
Then again, this is just crazy speculation, just a scenario to excercise imagination, because of course this could never happen, how could it? Something like it has never occurred before... Except it has.
February 22, 1980.
A team of young American amateur hockey players went against the experienced and professional Soviet hockey team (By the way, the Soviets had won 6 out of the last 7 Olympic gold medals, that is over 40 years of dominance in Olympic hockey). All logic should indicate that the more experienced and dominant team would have easily defeated the young amateurs, right? Well yeah, but it just didn't happened that way, the amateurs defeated the professionals in one of the biggest upsets in sports history.
It is known as "The miracle on ice" for a reason, it went against all logic, it shouldn't had happened, but it did.
We live in a probabilistic world ladies and gentleman, that mostly means that anything can happen, and I am not trying to get you to bet money on McGregor (Smart money is on Floyd), I'm just presenting the idea that if the unthinkable happens, it doesn't have to be related to a nefarious ploy or a marketing scam. If it happens it will be because, just simply, it could have happened.
Having said all that, my final thought is, as McGregor said it "One will win, one will lose, and the world will carry on"