“I run this whole thing. I run New York. I run this whole ship. Without me none of this happens. I run this whole sh*t.” That was Conor McGregor talking with characteristic modesty about his contribution to the UFC. In the process, he’s following the tradition of top fighters from time immemorial.
That’s because putting your body on the line necessitates absolute self-belief. Allowing the merest chink of doubt to enter your psyche can prove disastrous. Hence the endless stream of braggadocio and positive self-talk, whether it’s Mohammad Ali proclaiming “I am the greatest” or Floyd Mayweather insisting “There is no way to beat me”. Fighting at the highest level seems to breed a special type of supercharged egotism.
When it comes to a fighter’s wristwear, this is often expressed in some truly eye-popping watches. Whether it’s McGregor dropping $3.9 million on Jacob & Co watches in a single day or Mayweather flaunting a diamond-covered watch worth $18 million USD, the prevailing aesthetic at play is rarely “less is more”.
That’s why it was strangely refreshing to hear a recent interview with Michael Bisping. The UFC hall of famer and former middleweight champion was responding to one of McGregor’s seemingly daily watch-buying sprees when he admitted that flaunting a wildly expensive watch just wasn’t for him.
“It’s not my style,” Bisping said.”I have a few nice watches but I don’t even wear them these days.”
“I’m a working class lad from Lancashire, for crying out loud. I’ve got a solid gold Rolex, but I never wear it because I feel like an absolute w***er with it on. You know what I mean?”
To get a better understanding of exactly what Bisping does mean by that comment, check out this deep dive into why a gold Rolex is still the most polarising watch on the planet.