It has become increasingly evident in the aftermath of Conor McGregor’s crazed attack on the bus that long-term rival Khabib Nurmagomedov was travelling in that a prerequisite to preeminence in the world of cage-fighting is to be a head banger.
For a brash, trash-talking Irishman who is reputed to have earned $100 million for taking on the peerless boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jnr, even this latest stunt is so far beyond the pale it is frightening.
McGregor was caught on video hurling a heavy barrow and an aluminium rubbish bin at the bus full of fighters, injuring at least two scheduled to compete last Saturday.
Popular lightweight Michael Chiesa, in direct line to the window smashed, opted out of his fight with Anthony Pettis as a result of the facial and upper body injuries he sustained in the fury-fuelled attack.
Flyweight Ray Borg was also injured in the wake of the McGregor attack, with glass fragments reportedly damaging his eye. It was soon announced that his fight with Brandon Moreno was also off.
Videoed brawls lately have been isolated to drunken England cricketers in the road outside a bar, and the attempted assault on South Africa’s Quinton de Kock – thankfully brought to a halt by his Australian team-mates – by an incandescent David Warner.
Boxing’s modern-day exception was the glowering Mike Tyson, a street hoodlum who had been arrested 38 times by the age of 13, but whose fistic talent was unearthed at a juvenile detention centre in New York. Without that Tyson would have arguably become a lifelong penitentiary inmate.
Tyson was handed into the care of the great trainer Cus D’Amato. He won the world heavyweight title, but in 1992, the echoes of his past caught up and he was convicted of rape and sentenced to six years in prison, being released on parole after three years.
But the worst was still to come, in 1997, when he succumbed to thuggery and he was disqualified for biting off the top of Evander Holyfield’s ear.
McGregor might not have sunk to those depths, but he faces the criminal and civil charges certain to follow after handing himself over to New York police. The perverse spin-off is that root of rage could permeate throughout the world of the octagonal ring.