Russel Brand joined Joe Rogan on the latest Joe Rogan Experience podcast and as you’d expect, the two packed a ridiculous amount of topics into their two hour chat. One topic that took up a decent chunk of their time? UFC superstar Conor McGregor, with Russell Brand trying to understand the greatness that McGregor is channeling. Joe kept things generally tethered to the sport while Brand took it to the next level and got philosophical on the topic.
“Well you’re never going to see another one like him,” Rogan said. “Because he’s literally being himself. You’re going to see a bunch of people try to mimic that, and in a sense he’s mimicking the people that came before him like the Chael Sonnens and the Muhammad Alis. The difference is, with what Conor’s been able to do, he’s the first guy in the UFC that’s been able to do that that’s had spectacular results.
“And also showed his real character in losing, and then coming back and winning very quickly afterwards with the same guy. The Nate Diaz fight. That was a very important character exposing fight because he lost a fight, he got humbled. And then he jumped right back on the horse and ended up winning, and then he comes back and blows Eddie Alvarez out of the water to become the first two division concurrent champion in the sport.”
“I think he’s a unique guy in a very … it’s almost like we don’t really have a strong enough word, unique isn’t really a strong enough word. Brilliant ability. Massively smart. And he’s very innovative in his techniques and his approaches.”
Rogan went on to talk about the love Conor gets from the Irish, and that’s where Brand offered up his view on the phenomenon that is McGregor.
“Their myth aligns with his myth,” he said. “The myth of the Irish people as being oppressed by British colonialism and having to fight for their freedom, and this resonates with what this man represents. And perhaps this is always what happens with figures of greatness, whether it’s within the realm of sport or the realm of politics. Temporarily a person kind of captures a particular mood, a particular energy, and this is what I think again is to do with unconsciousness. I don’t think people are aware of these kinds of feelings. It’s stimulated on a level that’s not about thought.”
“This is one of the things I’m very interested in, what lies beyond the rational. We can equate, we can work out, but there seems to be some sort of ingredient even in Conor McGregor that you can’t quite pin down. yes there’s the greatness as a boxer, yes the Irish people. But there’s also some flavor is being caught.”
“I wonder if you can ever preempt or understand these things. I wonder if you can ever drill down. But like the work of Joseph Campbell, the work of Carl Jung, the work of these people to say there are unconscious archetypes, there are unconscious themes, there are stories that are running below the surface, patterns, coordinates that can be connected to.”