Documentary Review: ‘Conor McGregor: Notorious’ Shows The Man Behind The Fighter

Review by Smee

You don’t have to be a mixed martial arts fan to know who Conor McGregor is. The boisterous Irishman has made his name in the UFC by taking on all comers – including recently boxing against Floyd Mayweather – and securing titles in two weight classes simultaneously, something that has never been done in the UFC, all in a short span of four years. “Notorious” is a view of the four-year journey of McGregors rise from small MMA gyms in Dublin to sold-out arenas worldwide.

As the film opens, we find that Conor, still virtually an unknown in MMA, is sharing a flat in Ireland with his mother Margaret and longtime girlfriend Dee. He’s severely in debt and barely has a dime to his name, but he’s determined to make it as a professional fighter. He’s strict with his training, he’s strict with his diet – there’s absolutely no room for failure for him. His first foray into the UFC came in August 2013 against Marcus Brimage. Going into the fight, McGregor let everyone know that he was the featherweight champion, despite the belt belonging at the time to José Aldo. He also dominated the fight in true Conor fashion that UFC fans are accustomed to seeing, winning by TKO in the first round. At his first press conference following the fight, Conor stated that just the week before, he was cashing a welfare check to make ends meet and now he would be depositing around $60,000 in the bank and wasn’t quite sure what to do with himself. Of course, we see him do the usual – new car, new clothes, some jewelry. Despite saying he was in it for the money, Conor’s main focus is the UFC featherweight belt and lets it be known nothing will stop him. Not even José Aldo’s ten-year undefeated streak.

“Notorious” is a documentary that gives a peek into not only UFC fighter Conor McGregor, but also Conor McGregor the Man. He makes sure to take care of his mother, who has always supported her son, but also delves into the relationship he has with Dee. The pair have been together for almost a decade, when Conor first started getting into professional MMA, and has been the calming foundation behind him since. We’re accustomed to seeing the beast that has been tearing up the octagon, but “Notorious” is a great glimpse at the person behind the persona and the support system he has behind him.

“Notorious” will have a one-day theatrical release in the US on Wednesday, 8 November (check local listings for times and theaters).

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