Activ8 Take: Conor McGregor

Activ8 Take: Conor McGregor

Activ8 Take: Conor McGregor

Brian Phillips / Contributor

Conor McGregor and the Art of Verbal Warfare

Conor McGregor’s quest to become the first UFC fighter to hold two championship belts at the same time hit a snag on Tuesday when current UFC lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos was forced to drop out of their upcoming fight at UFC 196 on March 5 with an injury.

McGregor has turned into a sports and UFC sensation, matching his bravado and brash demeanor with immense success, including a 13-second knockout of Jose Aldo, long considered one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world, to claim the UFC featherweight championship.

McGregor, who will also appear on the cover of the upcoming issue of Sports Illustrated, has backed up his bold predictions with stunning performances in the UFC octagon, becoming a master at the art of verbal warfare in the process. 

When the lightweight title fight with Dos Anjos was announced, McGregor quickly pounced on the champion, leaving no stone unturned to get inside his head. According to Activ8Media Co-Founder John Fosco, a veteran in the sports marketing world who also represents a number of UFC fighters, it was all part of McGregor’s plan.

“Conor immediately took to Dos Anjos in the first press conference and he did what he does best and he started the mental warfare,” Fosco said on the Activ8 Take. “He let Rafael Dos Anjos know in the most personal of ways that he was going to relentlessly assault his mind.”

Dos Anjos, who had been equally dominant in championship performances against Anthony Pettis and Donald Cerrone, even admitted that McGregor had got into his head.

Did that play a part in Dos Anjos dropping out of the bout with McGregor just two weeks before the fight? He listed a foot injury as the reason, but Fosco thinks there may be more to it.

“He says he has a foot injury. I say the mental warfare that Conor McGregor has shown, that no one else in the sport of MMA has been able to even come near, is the reason that Rafael Dos Anjos dropped out of this contest,” Fosco said. 

While a number of fighters, including Pettis, Nate Diaz and more offered to step in on short notice on social media, McGregor’s ability to thrive when it comes to mind games might give others pause.

Hear John’s full thoughts on the situation and McGregor’s unique ability to get inside fighter’s heads on the Activ8 Take below.



Activ8Media is an industry-leading digital marketing agency specializing in brand activation, sports marketing, UFC advertising and social media for businesses, athletes and entertainers.