Love him or loathe him, the personality and amazing MMA skills of Conor McGregor cannot be ignored. Charting an epic initial four years, from Conor living with his mum in Dublin on social security benefits, to becoming a UFC Champion earning millions. “Notorious” is a must see for fans of martial arts, the UFC and of the outspoken fighting Irishman himself.
The documentary mainly features Conor and his wife Dee, but also watch out for his trainer, John Kavanagh, UFC President Dana White, and even an appearance by the bodybuilding and movie legend that is Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Throughout the documentary there are fascinating insights into Conor’s training. It’s interesting to note that, despite his obvious innate martial talents, Conor attributes his success to an almost obsessive-like work ethic. If you practice MMA, Muay Thai, kickboxing or BJJ, there will be plenty here to keep you gripped (excuse the pun) and satisfy your interests.
For me, some of the highlights of the film are McGregor’s jaw-dropping UFC performances, discussed below:
Vs. Chad Mendes
The first fight features Chad Mendes, a talented wrestler for the UFC featherweight title. After a close call with Mendes who takes Conor to the mat to utilise his devastating wrestling skills, McGregor manages to get to his feet and instead defeat him with his sharp striking.
Vs. José Aldo
Aldo, himself a legend unbeaten in almost a decade, posed a formidable challenge for McGregor. However, Conor opens with a flurry of strikes finishing his opponent off in just 13 seconds.
Vs. Nate Diaz
As the commentator said, ‘Round one in the books’ for McGregor. However, following being caught and very much surprised by a hard left by Diaz, he is shortly taken to the ground and finished with a rear naked choke. McGregor, unstoppable up to this point, looked visibly shaken.
The Press Conference
Although not part of the fight or training action, this is certainly a highlight. McGregor arrives late to a press conference with Diaz, who then storms out in protest, shouting, “F*** your whole team.” The event morphs from a sports press conference into a wild west-style bar room brawl with water bottles flying amid general chaos.
Vs. Nate Diaz (2)
After opening well with a hail of well-timed kicks and punches, McGregor seems to tire and falter, with the crowd shouting for Diaz.
However, as the fight develops, both fighters give their all, with McGregor finally being announced the winner on points.
McGregor, talking into a microphone announces, “Surprise, surprise the king is back.”
A fascinating insight into the training, personal life and mind of a fighter – this is an emotional roller coaster ride of a docufilm charting the rise of a UFC champion albeit a distinctly polarizing one. Regardless, it’s a must see for aficionados of martial arts, the UFC, and of the man himself.
- The DVD version comes along with a documentary, “The Fighting Irish’, covering the huge explosion in MMA in Ireland following Conor’s meteoric success.