The pain of getting your hopes up

I was so excited. I was there at the weigh-ins in January when the drunken Irish faithful berated Jose Aldo with questions for the better part of an hour.

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

When Conor McGregor made sure he hit 145 pounds on the button and declared, “Tell Jose I’m coming.” I was there when McGregor jumped over the cage and manically laughed in the champ’s face, almost as a de facto declaration of war. I was so excited.

I watched each of the press conferences during the promotion world tour and all of the subsequent episodes of Embedded. Fight posters were plastered all over trash cans, buses, and taxis throughout Boston. The hype machine worked. I was so excited.

Today, I’m so freakin’ bummed. Jose Aldo’s broken or bruised, or whatever you want to call it, rib forced him to withdraw from the biggest, and easily most heavily promoted, fight of the year. McGregor will now take on top contender Chad Mendes for an interim title that carries little weight outside of whatever number it reads on a scale.

I should know by now to not get my hopes up. This is a just common occurrence in the sport. Seven of the last twelve pay-per-views, the UFC has put on involved a late switch to the main event due to injury or other circumstances (The other circumstances being Jon Jones arrest prior to UFC 187). That figure also does not account for the countless injury withdrawals that affected other fights on those cards or any Fight Night event. The phrase should really be changed from “Card Subject to Change” to “Card Will Change”.

Clearly, something needs to be done in an attempt to curb the rash of injuries within the sport. However, what that is, I have no idea. The UFC claims they are working with gyms, researching, and hoping to put out some best practices. One would think that were would be even more motivation after potentially losing out on all of these promotional dollars.

As I write this, the sun is starting to peak out after what was an absolutely dreadful morning. I should probably take the same route and look at the bright side. UFC 189 is still a fantastic card, stacked top to bottom. Two title fights, prospects on the rise, other prospects looking to rebound, the return of Mike Swick, and the ballet of violence that will be Tim Means against Matt Brown. I am excited. Just not too excited.