Long before the UFC existed, actor Ronald Reagan became President of the United States of America.
Since then we've seen many celebrities turn their hands to politics. The likes of Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura, Arnold Schwarzenegger and, of course, Donald Trump.
In its simplest terms, democracy is a popularity contest. A famous candidate with a big following can have an advantage over a more qualified but lesser known counterpart. Often those who naturally ascend the political ranks fail to boost a nation’s confidence, so you can understand why the public often feel the need to elect a larger-than-life character to ‘fix everything’.
Professional boxer Manny Pacquiao has been a senator in the Filipino government since 2016, so it is not far-fetched to believe that a UFC star could represent their country politically in the near future. Let’s imagine if UFC fighters were Presidents of their own countries.
Conor McGregor [Ireland]
While ‘President of Ireland’ may sound good, in reality the title holds little political power. Conor McGregor only accepted the role once he could simultaneously serve as Taoiseach [Prime Minister]. This double-reign feels familiar to ‘The Notorious’ - a former ‘champ-champ’ in the UFC.
McGregor’s stint in office started with a nationwide renaming campaign: St. McGregor’s Day replaces St. Patrick’s Day and the ‘12 Days of Christmas’ will be known as the ‘Proper 12 Days of Christmas’.
Unfortunately, his short tenure was marred by controversial policies; forcing parents to teach their children to be violent, thirteen seconds of applause before every national sporting event [the length of his victory over Jose Aldo] and declaring war on Dagestan - despite Ireland’s neutrality.
Kevin Holland [USA]
Before ‘Trailblazer’ Kevin Holland took his rightful place as the 47th American President, citizens of the ‘land of the free’ had been familiar with leaders who seemed to endlessly warble on. ‘Big Mouth’ took this a step further, distracting other politicians by constantly talking in congress.
Holland made international headlines during an audience with Irish President/Taoiseach Conor McGregor - the leader of the free world appeared to look into the crowd and ask Vladimir Putin for advice.
Whilst ‘Big Mouth’ had some small success in the Oval Office, he ultimately failed to deal with bigger issues - they just got on top of him.
Francis Ngannou [Cameroon]
Continuing with this alternate 2021, Francis Ngannou became only the third president in Cameroon’s entire history - replacing controversial dictator Paul Biya, who had been in charge since 1982. ‘The Predator’ took a more hands-on approach than the rarely-seen Biya, unselfishly using his wealth to create the Francis Ngannou Foundation.
The foundation has provided Cameroon with its first fully-equipped MMA gym, a precedent set for the country’s future by President Ngannou, from his hometown of Batie.
One of the few successful transformations from the octagon to parliament, ‘The Predator’ is loved by every single Cameroonian. Prior to the UFC, fighting rats for food in order to survive, President Ngannou has shown that anything is possible. His tenure has been so positive that you’d nearly forget about his devastating punching power, only to be gently reminded by his presidential car of choice - a Ford Escort.