‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor has finally had his claim to a title shot by boasting, entertaining and selecting freakish predictions of his finishes. However, McGregor is certainly not your typical brash Irish fighter, broiling with pride. He is actually extremely talented physically. The Irishman has so far caught the attention of many by marketing himself with an egotistical attitude; many fans are uncertain of this approach but tune in to watch his justification despite that.
I am one of these people. A little unsure, but intrigued. What really catches my attention with Conor is his subdued attitude during interviews and documentaries. He demonstrate a collected version of the man who may be run on adrenaline in the Octagon, but somewhat of a poet outside of it. Many features have come out following McGregor during a day in the life of Dublin native, including one from Vice’s “FightLand”, exploring his in depth relationship with movement.
“Now my obsession is movement. The more movements you can have your body make, the more your opponent is forced into reacting off what you are creating, you know what I mean? It doesn’t give him a chance to create his own movement…I’m looking for all ways the human body can move. That’s what I do, I’m not even a mixed martial artist. I feel like I am a master of movement”
Watch it here:
McGregor’s philosophical approach to the sport is reminiscent of George St Pierre’s attitude. The noble Frenchman had described where his true happiness laid before his controversial title fight with Johny Hendricks at UFC 167.
“I feel like a Samurai, you know. I train everyday. I work on what I love to do, until I try to reach a perfection even though I know I will never be able to reach it…if I could do that for the rest of my life I would be happy”
Perhaps he isn’t parallel with McGregor in the sense that he is ‘obsessed’ with movement, but they’re unorthodox approaches to fighting is what makes them special. Regardless of the fact that McGregor could certainly lose to Jose Aldo when the two meet later this year, I don’t believe it takes away from his uniqueness.
However, I still can’t insert him into the elite club until that fight. Perhaps one of the most anticipated title shots (and questionable on part of the UFC, but this is a completely different story). We will see two true mixed martial artists explore each other’s movements in a fight of dangerous proportions. Maybe Aldo hasn’t expressed it vocally like McGregor has, but Aldo is certainly a movement artist himself. The agile, flexible, powerful,quick and threatening tools that’s Aldo has could seal the lips of McGregor; at least for one night.
Jose Aldo is in a class of his own, with some of the sports most violent leg kicks and creative striking –McGregor may not have the time against him to ‘explore’ his own movement. But this is exactly what is so exciting about this fight, their weight class and talents colliding. The featherweights are a fast-paced division which often offers fans a glimpse into tough strength before it becomes too frenetic.
Now, the place where I believe McGregor will have the most difficult time, is his pre-fight mind games. Aldo is one of the most collected fighters I’ve ever seen, making him a very comfortable– but undisputed champion. McGregor has utilized his giant voice so well, it’s gotten to many of his opponents in the same way prior to their fight.
The perfect example lies against Dustin Poirer at UFC 178. McGregor’s persistence to undermine Poirier, who has an outstanding work rate saw the Lafayette native expressing his annoyance prior to the fight more often than he ever has. What he didnt realize, on part of the clever Irishman, is that he fell into McGregor’s trap.
I do not discount Poirier in any way, shape or form; he is actually one of my favourite fighters. But from various “Embedded Blog” features, it was clear the virus had taken hold.
There is no doubt that this fight will be a few things. It could be an exposure of Conor’s weaknesses. A gritty battle which goes the distance. Or a true beginnings of a new Champion.
I personally couldn’t tell you which it will be, but I can say that the collision of movement artists will be explosive.