MOVIE REVIEW: Conor McGregor: Notorious

The champion MMA fighter gives us an peek behind the scenes look at his rise through the ranks to becoming the first ever two weight champion of the UFC.  The film ends with a montage of the farce that was the Mayweather fight and the promotions that went along with it. So if that annoyed you as it did me you can just save yourself some time and get to your bus quicker!

That last bit of the first paragraph isn’t an indication of what I think of Conor.  I’ll be honest there are a lot of things that he says and does that annoy me, to the point where I’m reaching for the remote for the mute button, but I admire what he has achieved and what he works for.  I started watching the UFC a few years ago to find out what all the hoopla was about and remember one fight of Conor’s that I watched.  The rest of the card that night was humdrum fighting, that didn’t inspire any feelings to keep on watching, then Conor stepped in the Octogon.  There was a confidence that just seeped out of every pore of his body, and as the fight started he just took his time and methodically beat his opponent down until that one punch that knocked him out.

In Notorious we see that Conor isn’t just an overnight success.  He worked hard for what he has in life.  The sacrifice that him and his family went through to get to the point of the big bucks for the fights and the benefits of the sponsorships is made clear.  From living with his Mother with his ever loving partner Dee, to the heights of the mansions in America where he prepared for his fights, it’s not all glamour and easy street.  His dedication to his craft is undeniable.  When we enter the ring with him for the big fights that the documentary shows it’s like I’m watching them again for the first time.

The problem I have is that his own company is in charge of this documentary so it’s very one sided.  There are only a few moments where you get to see the darker side of him.  This isn’t the warts and all documentary that I wanted.

It’s shot in a way that shows that his bravado is more PT Barnum than anything else, he knows how to work the fans and the crowds at the fights, he knows the psychology of his opponents and knows how to get under their skin and hit the first punch before the match even starts.  His showmanship, unlike most in the UFC, is also matched by his hard work and talent.

There is little here that I didn’t know before going into see the film.  For fans of Conor it will be a nice addition to their support.  Showing famous faces getting behind the man, along with the UFC heads being impressed with his work ethic when one of his big opponents wimps out rather than facing him.  For those who have followed his career there is nothing to little new so for us it’s more a recap of his career to date.  Personally I admire him and hope that it’s not long before he is back where he belongs in the UFC and fighting the good fight.  Either way he’s put Ireland and Irish MMA fighters on the map and as he said “We’re not here to take part, we’re here to take over!”

Director: Gavin Fitzgerald
Stars: Conor McGregor, José AldoDee DevlinNate Diaz & more.. See full cast & crew

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