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The Fight That Stopped The World

31/08/2017 16:11 BST | Updated 31/08/2017 16:11 BST

Throughout the last few months I have been salivating in anticipation for the Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather 'Super Fight'.

It took place in Las Vegas over the weekend and it was without a doubt one of the biggest events of 2017. I am a huge mixed martial arts fan, so this was always going to be a contest that peaked my curiosity.

There were so many narratives that somehow became attached to this duel - e.g. racism, sexism, homophobia, tax audits and so on. In the end perhaps 'Boxing vs MMA' was the least controversial of the lot.

After a long build up to sell the spectacle, Conor and Floyd finally got down to business last Saturday.

Both men gave a good account of themselves in what most observers have deemed a thoroughly entertaining affair. In fact aside from a select few boxing journalists, I haven't heard anyone say they felt ripped off or short changed by anything related to the fight.

It was really quite amazing how this event managed to capture the attention of human beings from all walks of life. Seeing 'Mayweather vs McGregor' tweets from people who aren't remotely connected to combat sports was a real eye opener.

Boxing has been around for hundreds of years, but the UFC was almost like an underground movement that only die hard enthusiasts knew about at the turn of the century.

Some two decades later it played a significant role in hosting one of the most watched sporting events this year.

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Author's image of fans gathering before the fight

The fight was broadcast in over 200 countries with people of all ages flocking to bars, casinos and house parties to catch the action. According to UFC President Dana White, 6.5 million people purchased the pay per view event. I guess it was one of those spectacles that few wanted to miss - kind of like a sporting lunar eclipse.

Heck even my mother was curious about the outcome, and she wouldn't know the difference between a jab and an uppercut.

The biggest surprise for me came on the Monday morning after the fight. At the corporate office where I work, colleagues were discussing their respective weekends and almost everyone (both men and women) were talking about how they watched the fight and enjoyed the spectacle.

I am a combat sports junkie so I was always going to watch it, tweet about it and consume every piece of content I could get my hands on - but hearing these so called professional people in suits (who had previously only associated the word octagon with Geometry class) talk about the fight in detail truly shocked me.

I sat there quietly and listened to them share their opinions on where the contest was won and lost, who had the greater ring walk, and which fighter they were cheering for.

Since that meeting ended, I haven't been able to stop wondering exactly what it was that made this event so compelling to the mainstream.

Perhaps it was the fact that both McGregor and Mayweather made more money in one hour than most of us will see in our lifetimes. After all we are a voyeuristic society that have become obsessed with living vicariously through public figures.

Maybe it was that people just couldn't risk missing that 'shock the world' moment which ends up being passed on from generation to generation. Would this fast talking young Irishman who was receiving welfare payments just four years ago, back up his claim that he would come in to a new sport, take on the best guy and actually beat him?

Or could it just be that human beings are intrigued by a contest, and despite the fact that many label fighting as barbaric - it is something that dates all the way back to biblical times.

Whatever the answer - millions of us dedicated a portion of our weekend to witness the outcome and we're still talking about it today.

When I was a kid in school, nothing would draw a crowd like a fight - and it seems as a middle aged adult, times haven't changed.