Uber, Alibaba, Airbnb… Conor McGregor? Is the Irishman going to bring disruptive innovation to boxing?

Disruptive Innovation: An innovation that creates a new market by providing a different set of values, which ultimately and unexpectedly overtake an existing market

(Source: Adapted from Altran.ch)

Few people give the Irishman a chance on Saturday night and why should they? McGregor is 0-0 as a professional boxer and he’s arguably lacing them up against the greatest of all time in Floyd Mayweather.

Ever since the fight was announced earlier this year, people from both the boxing and MMA communities have argued that it’s a ridiculous fight given both men’s records, but since when has anything in combat sports been about stats or what’s written down on a piece on paper?

Next Saturday, night two men will enter the ring in the T-Mobile arena and by the time they both exit, combat sports could be changed forever.

The most tired argument used by the narrow minded is that McGregor has no chance whatsoever. If the Irishman steps between the ropes looking to beat Mayweather at his own game as a conventional boxer that’s likely very true, but since when has the Irishman done anything the orthodox way.

Being unconventional and innovative is exactly what the likes of Uber, Alibaba, Aribnb and many others have done to disrupt their markets.

  • Uber don’t own any taxis, yet they are now the world’s largest taxi company.
  • Alibaba have no inventory, yet they are now the world’s largest retailer.
  • Airbnb own no real estate, yet they are the world’s largest accommodation provider.

Can McGregor walk into a boxing ring without a professional boxing fight to his name and do what he say he’s going to do… become boxing? Can he change the world of boxing forever with his own brand of footwork, timing, speed, and power, and defeat the 49-0 kingpin?

The easy thing to say is that he can’t, that he’s got no chance, and that things will never change. You can hide behind stats, common sense, and betting odds all you want, but none of that will matter when the two men start throwing leather.

Logic, percentages, stats and history mean little in a fist fight, especially when they involve McGregor. The Irishman has shown up his doubters time and time again and he’s arguably been at his best when the deck has been stacked against him.

After all, he wasn’t supposed to ever beat the American wrestler…

(Photo: Getty Images)

He wasn’t supposed to beat the best featherweight of all time…

(Photo: Getty Images)

He wasn’t ever supposed to defeat a man that had beaten him just five-months earlier…

(Photo: Getty images)

Now we say he’s not supposed to beat the greatest boxer of all time…

“Great innovation happens only when people aren’t afraid to do things differently”

And if there’s one thing that Conor McGregor celebrates, it’s the fact that there’s no one else like him in the world.

“I am not like any other mixed martial artist and I’m not like any other boxer. I am in a league of my own.”

(Photo: Conor McGregor Facebook)


  • Disruptive Innovation definition taken from HERE
  • Innovation quote by Georg Cantor from HERE
  • Conor McGregor Interview: “We’re ready to go change the face of the fight game once again” with The MacLife – HERE
  • Graph adapted from Altran.chHERE
  • Early feedback suggests parallels to Robin Black’s recent videos. This works was done in isolation to Robin, but please find all of his content HERE