Leanne Quinn assesses the merits of recent comparisons made between ‘The Notorious’ and the great Muhammad Ali.
With the McGregor vs. Aldo fight soon approaching, prepare for endless crazed media coverage, bandwagon fans and possibly the most anticipated event of the year for MMA, UFC and even WWE lovers in Ireland and abroad.
Since Conor McGregor ‘notoriously’ burst onto our screens in the last two years, our little island has seen a dramatic increase in interest in mixed martial arts, the top-knot and how he likes to “look good and whoop ass”.
I for one, thoroughly enjoy McGregor’s antics. He has an extremely marketable personality, an undying self-belief and personally, I find him hilarious. You can’t deny that he makes for good TV but credit where credit is due, he has the skills, the mobility and the talent to back it up.
For anyone who hasn’t seen the UFC Rising documentary on McGregor, believe me, it is well worth a watch. In a lab designed exclusively to test the strength, endurance, mobility and speed of the world’s elite athletes, McGregor came out trumps.
However, the latest hype surrounding the Dubliner is that he is our generation's answer to Muhammed Ali. Opinions are understandably divided. After all, Ali was and to this day, remains the greatest in many an eye, but considering how young McGregor is, might it be possible for him to match and, dare I say, surpass Ali’s great legacy?
No doubt, McGregor has talent. And there is indeed a lot of similarities between the two. Everyone thought Ali was far too obnoxious and had a bigger mouth than he should have had for the times he lived in. McGregor too fell victim to criticism, laughter and mockery until he began to prove himself.
The difference between the great Muhammad Ali and 'The Notorious' Conor McGregor is that Ali stood for something. Any and every documentary ever made about the man born as Cassius Clay depicts him as not only the greatest fighter of all time, but one of the greatest men to ever grace the face of the earth.
If, like me, you’re prone to wasting a few hours on Netflix weekly, I urge you to watch I Am Ali; a great insight into the life of work of one of the greatest human beings of all time.
Muhammed Ali was a highly influential, intelligent and charismatic man, always seeking wisdom and purpose in his faith. He believed he was destined for greatness, but put his life in grave danger by challenging the U.S government at the time of his draft.
He took part in the Civil Rights Movement when it was at its peak in the U.S and identified himself as a proud Negro, gaining respect and a following from a diversity of races, all over the world.
He believed that everything in this world has a purpose and he was adamant to not only fulfill his, but to encourage everyone and anyone he met to do the same.
McGregor, on the other hand, is a sign of the times where looking good and getting rich can earn you a one-way ticket to super stardom. That’s not to say that he doesn’t train hard to maintain his admirable condition, but is there any substance to McGregor? Or does his showmanship reflect his character in full?
Perhaps we’ll see in the near future. But for now, roll on July.