Conor McGregor is Homo Economicus: I’m Going To Whoop His Ass
The Notorious Conor McGregor is one of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) foremost fighters today. He has come from a life of obscurity to UFCs most feared and respected cage fighter today. What will McGregor do to take the UFC title from Jose Aldo? Is McGregor unstoppable? Will McGregor take down everyone in his path to this title? Is McGregor so focused on the prize that he cares less about how much damage he will do to others? Conor McGregor is Homo Economicus.
Is Conor McGregor the Perfect Example of Homo Economicus?
Economics is a social science and the Greek scholar Hesiod (700 – 650 BC) is considered to be first economist when he wrote about scarcity and resources: “…through work men grow rich in flocks and substance…” The term ‘Homo Economicus’ is the central theme to which the study of modern economics has evolved, and is considered to be first mentioned in the 19th Century works of J.S. Mills. Homo Economicus or Economic Man represents a rational person who aims to maximise their abilities in order to seek an optimal or best outcome. Such a rational person is considered self-interested and is destined to achieve their targeted aims irrespective of its undesirable effects on others.
So does McGregor fit Mills’ “arbitrary definition of man, as a being who inevitably does that by which he may obtain the greatest amount of necessaries, conveniences, and luxuries, with the smallest quantity of labour and physical self-denial with which they can be obtained”?
Let’s Get Rich
Is McGregor a rational, self-interested man with the sole determination of acquiring wealth or success without any heed for others and given the constraints that he faces? Yes! But only in the cage.
McGregor admits that money was never his objective when learning the art of fighting: “I’d rather be poor. I’d rather have no money and just be training than in a job I don’t love”. This attitude appears to defy the ideas behind Homo Economicus, but McGregor’s focus is in the octagon and not in the office. McGregor trains extremely hard, both physically and mentally, so that he is in the best shape possible for a fight. He’s aiming to maximise his strengths and abilities to win.
McGregor wants to make his riches doing what he is passionate about. “Competing is what I love to do and money is what I love to get”. He described his fight with Dennis Siver in Boston on January 18th, 2015 as “a keep fresh, get rich fight”.
Is he self-interested? When it comes to fighting, his focus is on winning. There is no room for cooperation and McGregor will achieve success irrespective of the undesirable effects on others.
- McGregor visualized his Las Vegas fight with Dustin Poirier:
I believe that we will both come forward. I will crack him one or two. He will panic, he might rush in, I will crack him again, and then the fight will be done. I don’t believe he has many shots left in him and I don’t think he can take many of my shots. I will hurt him in the first couple of exchanges and then I will begin to play, to experiment. I am going to come out of the gates, spinning, flying through the air, and I will crack him with something that will put him down, and I believe it will be a first round stoppage.
- Likewise, in a Q&A session for UFC178 in Las Vegas 2014, McGregor said what he’s prepared to do in order to win the Featherweight Title: “I will collect heads on the way to that goal… I will go over to Brazil as well and take out every man, woman and child to get that belt”.
- In the same interview, McGregor mentioned that he didn’t like California and preferred his hometown, Dublin stating: “I’m over here conducting business, you know, and I don’t really care about anything else”.
McGregor shows all the characteristics that underpins the concept and ideals of Economic Man – someone who will fulfil a desired outcome irrespective of the undesirable effects on others.