Conor McGregor: Notorious
Jacob Richardson | 08/11/2017
For Conor McGregor aficionados, there is limited new content here that you won’t have seen more evocatively cut together in some YouTube video prior to the Mayweather fight, but for those who aren’t die-hard fans, it’s not only an interesting insight into one of the most well known men in the world, but also into the gruelling training that goes on behind that braggadocious facade.
Chronicling a four year period of McGregor’s rise to fame in the UFC and generally ending around the time he succeeded in defeating Diaz, Conor McGregor: Nortorious dives into McGregor’s training routine, particularly around his most famous fight; his first round knockout of Jose Aldo.
McGregor organised the shooting of this documentary four years ago, and you can see that in what it portrays. We get early coverage that is poor; shot by Conor himself, an amalgamation of iPhone videos and poorly filmed footage that skips years at a time. This content was clearly not part of the documentary shoot proper, and is used almost as an extended introductory piece.
It’s in the preparation for his fight with Jose Aldo that Notorious really flies. We get to experience the highs and lows of Conor’s training regime, from the obligatory running montage, to the information that Jose has broken a rib and the fight is to be delayed. It’s astounding, too, to see behind the curtain for some of his experience. The moment where he meets his childhood hero Arnold Schwarzenegger is touching, as we can see the real emotion in his eyes. Similarly, it’s horrifying to see a skinny, emaciated McGregor struggle out of his house on the day of the weigh in, given that we are used to his bouncing energy even when looking that skinny. It truly shows the toll this regime takes on a man, and the incredible ever-present team that is needed around him in order to facilitate his skill.
It’s a shame that, after this thrilling middle act that ends with McGregor’s famed knock-out of Aldo, the film struggles to maintain it’s momentum. McGregor’s initial loss, and eventual victory, against Diaz are rushed through, likely due to a lack of footage. But even they get more screen-time than what most viewers are likely keen to see; the build-up to his highest profile fight in Floyd Mayweather. Unfortunately, that journey is relegated to a brief ending montage.
Conor McGregor: Notorious has incredible pacing issues, but does offer viewers the chance to see a young Conor McGregor and the hunger in his eyes, as well as see a little of what goes on behind the curtain of the UFC.