Opinion

Published on November 28th, 2017 | by George Mitchell

As ‘Notorious’ debuts in cinemas, is McGregor losing the plot?

Conor McGregor’s rise from penniless Dublin plumber to UFC bill-topper is the subject of a new feature-length documentary Notorious.

It charts the four years between the Irishman’s UFC debut and his second fight with Nate Diaz; a mixed martial arts rags to riches tale which sets up an eagerly-anticipated third and deciding bout against Diaz in 2018.

‘Notorious’ serves as a testament to the 29-year old’s character, reminding us how far charisma combined with hard work and talent can propel a rising star of the octagon.

Having banked a reported $30m from his August match-up with Floyd Mayweather in the boxing ring, with his reputation enhanced by a decent display against the multiple world champion, the future looked bright for the 29-year-old.

However, McGregor’s recent fracas at the Bellator 187 MMA promotion in Dublin on November 10th has dampened that mood and suggested all may not be well in the Mac’s life.

Chaos

McGregor hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons after hurdling into cage at the Bellator event in his hometown to celebrate with the seemingly victorious Charlie Ward.

Referee Marc Goddard had appeared to stop the fight just before the end of the round, after Ward left his opponent John Redmond slumped on the canvas.

But Goddard proceeded to usher McGregor out of the cage, and Ward back to his corner, insisting the fight hadn’t finished.

McGregor made a beeline for Goddard, aggressively shouting and waving his finger whilst being held by officials.

After being removed, McGregor attempted another charge at the cage door calling Goddard a ‘savage’ and demanding the fight be stopped.

Damning footage later released, appeared to show McGregor slapping an official as he tried to remove him from the cage.

Stressed

This isn’t the first time Goddard and ‘The Notorious’ have clashed.

Last month, Goddard had to interrupt a fight between Andre Filli and another one of McGregor’s stablemates Artem Lobov, asking the UFC lightweight champion to sit down and to stop screaming instructions from cage side.

Later that evening, McGregor was filmed backstage consoling the defeated Lobov, calling Filli a ‘faggot’.

This comes after footage surfaced of McGregor acting out of character in a night club, looking visibly stressed as a club-goer reached out to touch him.

Rapid ascent

“The illusion of crazy is over,” McGregor tells his coach John Kavanagh in Notorious, moments after the weigh-in for his second fight against Diaz.

McGregor’s zero-to-hero timeline has certainly been short in scale – and he will make sure you’re aware of it – but it’s entirely possible that his rapid climb has not benefitted him entirely.

It’s ironic that, having adopted a nickname based on his notoriety, he now risks becoming a victim of it.

There is a chance that the huge amount of cash McGregor made in his boxing debut has upset the apple cart somewhat.

Having earned so much for one fight, how difficult is it to return to fighting for a lot less in a more savage sport with a greater risk of serious injury?

McGregor is expected to defend his UFC crown in the lightweight division shortly.

Tony Ferguson currently holds the interim belt, and UFC president Dana White has told the media that “this is the fight to be made”.

Will McGregor defend his belt further his claim to be the best mixed martial artist of all-time?

Or will he be swallowed by fame and the pressures that come with it?

For more information on Notorious, visit the film’s website.

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