What would you do if you became fantastically, filthy rich in one night?
What would you buy? Where would you go?
How would it change you? Would you still be the same person you are right now? Or would you be different in some way?
Therein lies the question for Conor McGregor, a man who once lived near the poverty line and who dreamt of riches, one who now has enough money to change the lives of generations of his family. Has his newfound wealth changed the core of who he is, or has it just stripped away a public-facing veneer and allowed us to see him for what he is?
If McGregor's sudden windfall has indeed stripped his exterior away, what we are seeing now is a man who believes he is above the rules, and a man who is petulant and childish when he's told to quit doing something he wants to do.
McGregor's New World Order-esque invasion of the Bellator cage in Dublin on Friday was merely the latest step in a crescendo of baffling social snafus. He can't be blamed for being exuberant for his teammate; McGregor is a man who lives with his heart on his sleeve, even if he often covers it with vulgarity and outlandish clothes. But thousands of teammates have undoubtedly been happy for their fellow fighters in victory, and yet none have leaped into the cage the way McGregor did.
The real issues are McGregor's pursuit of referee Marc Goddard and his assault on the Bellator official who was trying to get him down off the cage.
Make no mistake about it: McGregor's actions constitute assault, plain and simple. Though his legions of fanboys will try their best to justify his actions, there is no way to do so.
His jumping in the cage to celebrate can be chalked up to passion and joy overruling every other instinct in his body. But the moment he didn't get what he wanted, when Goddard had to tell him for the second time in a month that he was somewhere he wasn't supposed to be, McGregor lost control. There is no justification for putting your hands on a referee or for slapping a Bellator production worker.
The strangest thing about it is the silence from the UFC.
"I don't care how mad you are, how upset you are," White said at the time. "You don't touch a referee ever. Unforgivable. Don't come back, ever."
McGregor has done far worse than what High did on that June night three years ago. And judging by McGregor's short-lived Monday morning tweet (which he deleted within minutes), he still isn't remorseful.
"Bloke KO'd on floor bout a minute straight and ref trying to say, 'Fight's not over, Conor.' That's when I lost it. F--k yous all," McGregor's deleted tweet said.
And yet, we have radio silence from the UFC.
Do you think White will cut McGregor after his shove and slap heard 'round the world? If you do, I have some oceanfront property out near Albuquerque I think you'd be interested in. And we already know the athletic commissions aren't going to do anything to McGregor because none of them want to risk losing the potential influx of cash he brings to their coffers.
What we're seeing now is a weird circle of life. McGregor knows he holds more power over the UFC than any fighter has ever held. As such, he knows he can get away with things no other UFC fighter would dare attempt. And the UFC needs him, so it doesn't punish him. That, in turn, validates McGregor's thinking, which only makes him feel even more above the law than he already does.
The UFC is in a tough position because it has no superstars to replace McGregor and Ronda Rousey. It has to cede to McGregor's demands. There is no other option.
But in doing so, the UFC is only helping to strip away the last remnants of McGregor's veneer of civility. That's allowing us to see even more of the monster we've all helped to create over the past four years.