An Insightful But Somewhat Lacking Look At The Notorious One
Say what you will about Conor McGregor, there’s no denying his prowess as one of the most prolific, infamous fighters to ever grace the octagon in Mixed Martial Arts. Giving access to behind the scenes footage in Conor’s life, Notorious is an interesting but somewhat lacking documentary. Shot across the space of 4 years, most of the film focuses on Conor’s preparation and training for key fights in the UFC rather than giving a comprehensive breakdown of his life and how he got to the level he’s achieved.
Beginning with a bite of exposition to show how far Conor has come in a short space of time, the film opens with one of McGregor’s early fights before progressing to show the training, diet and sacrifices you have to make to succeed in the UFC. While this footage is interesting and breaks down the gruelling training one must undertake to be a top fighter, it fails to show any of his amateur background or family life in any great amount of detail. It’s a bit of a shame really, especially since many who are likely to watch this already know much of his history in UFC but not so much about his life before the octagon.
Seeing the struggle of this young boy who was on welfare and living in his Mum’s spare room, grinding out matches in the amateur leagues before being signed by UFC would have made the journey to the top much more satisfying.
Still, given what content we do get here, it’s hard not to be swept along for the ride. Conor’s book of quotes is a great reminder that positive thinking breeds positive results and it’s a message that’s reinforced throughout the film. The various training montages and bites of low-growled horns help emphasise the gravitas of various fights and the editing itself is generally pretty good.
I’ve long been a fan of McGregor’s charisma and fighting style in the octagon. When he burst on the scene back in 2008, he took the fighting world by storm. Unlike Ronda Rousey who had an equally meteoric rise in her division, Conor’s charisma and constant need to push himself is something that’s sustained his presence as one of the top guys in MMA. Although not as detailed and comprehensive as one may expect, Conor McGregor: Notorious is a fascinating and insightful documentary nonetheless and shows what it really takes to be one of the best in the game.