Conor McGregor and other MMA topics that could get the 30 for 30 treatment

Robert Vallejos MMATorch Managing Editor

Recently ESPN released the latest installment of their 30 for 30  documentary series, chronicling the rivalry between Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz. Here are some additional MMA topics that ESPN could dive into.

Conor McGregor and other MMA topics that could get the 30 for 30 treatment

Conor McGregor
Oct 6, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) reacts after his fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov (red gloves) during UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The rise and fall of Conor McGregor

Ok so this one is pretty obvious, but that does’t mean that it is unnecessary. In less than a decade, McGregor has gone from surging superstar-to potential cautionary tale. On the surface it seems that the public knows most of the McGregor story. However, gaps do exist in the narrative. A 30 for 30 director could unveil the story behind McGregor’s posturing prior to UFC 202, his ability to land a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather, and his legal troubles that have surfaced in recent years.

Jones charged
Mar 2, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) and Anthony Smith (blue gloves) during UFC 235 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The mind of Jon Jones

A documentary about Jon Jones might feel repetitive in a world where Conor McGregor has received the 30 for 30 treatment. An ambitious documentarian might do less chronicling of Jones’ transgressions, and more examination of Jonathan Dwight Jones. While Jones is never hesitant to share thoughts on Twitter, the public knows so little about why Jones often operates in a counterproductive manner. In the past, Jones has opened up to Joe Rogan, but the the richness of a documentary could add so much more context.

Ronda Rousey (photo credit Jayne Kamin-Oncea © USA Today Spots)

Ronda Rousey: where did she go after November 2015

Like the subjects listed above, the public fall has been very visible. The difference here is that no one really knows what happened for a whole year. From November 2015 to December 2016 Ronda Rousey was essentially a ghost. During that time, the only insight that fight fans had into Rousey were a pair of profiles written by ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne (click here for links: Link 1  Link 2) Those profiles gave the public a glimpse into Rousey, but they were criticized for reading like a Rousey-approved PR pieces. Perhaps ESPN could present a more complete picture in documentary form. Not to be too cynical, but they do have a vast resource in Shelburne…and maybe a pipeline to Rousey.

Royce Gracie (photo credit Mike Lano © MMATorch)

Everything Gracie outside of the UFC

ESPN may have folded Grantland in 2015, but before they closed up shop David Samuels penned a fascinating long-form piece on the Gracie family. (See link below) For their part the UFC has done a great job of chronicling the involvement of Royce and Rickson Gracie in the formation of the UFC. But there is so much more to the story. The Gracie innovation, hubris, and family rivalries deserves to be digested by the masses. The UFC has controlled the Gracie narrative for the past two decades, it might be time for some counterbalance.


One Hundred Years of Arm Bars

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