Mixed martial arts superstar Conor McGregor faced perhaps his career’s most embarrassing defeat this past weekend, and it’s a good time to remember that the 32-year-old once claimed he would defeat Christ himself in the Octagon — to put it mildly.
In 2015, TMZ Sports asked McGregor who would win in a hypothetical matchup between him and Jesus. Rather than brush away the question, which nothing could have been gained from answering, McGregor opined.
“Me versus Jesus in the Octagon? I tell you what, there’s not a man alive that can beat me,” the cocky fighter said.
McGregor wasn’t finished there.
“But Jesus ain’t alive, is he? So I don’t f—ing know, maybe he can come back from the dead, I don’t know. I’d still whoop his a–,” he added.
WARNING: The following video contains vulgar language and blasphemy which some viewers might find offensive.
It didn’t take the son of God to humble the former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion this past weekend. It only took a few minutes in the octagon with 5′ 9″ Dustin Poirier, who ended the fight in Abu Dhabi by TKO with 2:32 left in the second round.
— George Balekji (@GeorgeBalekji) January 24, 2021
The fight wasn’t a good look for the man who is known for his arrogance, strength and quickness. McGregor looked slow, weak and humbled, which is perhaps exactly what he needed.
Naturally, proclaiming one will whoop Christ has its own set of problems, and it’s fair for Christians to be disturbed by his words.
McGregor’s faith, or apparent lack thereof, is between him and God, and hopefully, he finds redemption. But this story is larger than McGregor blaspheming Christ.
What would have happened if — say — he’d stated that he’d have whooped the a– of Muhammad, who Muslims believe to be a prophet? Do you think he would have made it out of the United Arab Emirates in one piece?
Christians are tolerant people in that perspective. It’s doubtful that had McGregor would be allowed back in the Arab world if he had uttered similar words about Muhammad.
What about stateside? McGregor would have been canceled for speaking such words against the Islamic faith, even in a mostly secular place like, say, San Francisco.
Speaking of San Francisco, what would have happened had McGregor said in his TMZ interview that he would, in a bizarre hypothetical matchup, roundly defeat gay rights icon Harvey Milk?
We all know the answer to that question.
Do you think McGregor would be canceled had he insulted Muslims?
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But McGregor was asked, and was eager to answer, a question about brutalizing Jesus Christ. He answered the questioned gleefully, and most people probably haven’t ever heard about it.
There was little to no controversy, as the establishment media and the sports media in this country don’t give a hoot about Christ or Christians. And those who took offense to McGregor’s absurd words likely forgave him, because forgiveness is a cornerstone of embracing faith.
McGregor’s humiliation, while deserved when going up against a superior fighter, might not have happened in today’s climate had he blasphemed any of the left’s so-called protected figures and icons, because he probably wouldn’t even be fighting anymore.
Unfortunately, it’s open season on Christians.
Now, McGregor is entitled to say what he will, and Christians should hope nothing for the fighter other than salvation. God will judge the man whose tough facade was forever shattered in this world over the weekend in the UAE. The words of Galatians 6:3 particularly come to mind: “For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”
This story carries with it a ton of baggage, though. McGregor, in a years-old interview, claimed he would have knocked out Christ himself if given the opportunity. But his words, if they landed, would have only offended the right people, per the standards of American journalists and the sports media.
But McGregor’s embarrassing defeat is an opportunity for Christians to continue to show him and everyone else who we are.
The fighter shouldn’t have been canceled, scolded or laughed at. We should wish him redemption — be it in his heart, in the ring or perhaps in both venues. He needs it.
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