Friday 21 July 2017

Mouthy and magnificent - why we have a love/hate relationship with Conor

Conor McGregor celebrates after beating Chad Mendes in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
Photo: Esther Lin
Conor McGregor celebrates after beating Chad Mendes in Las Vegas on Saturday night. Photo: Esther Lin
Ed Power

Ed Power

Down the steps they tumbled, giggling, hugging one another, eyes shiny with excitement. Many were flushed. A few - actually a lot - giggled like schoolgirls. I remembered similar expressions on the faces of teenagers at a One Direction concert several months previously. But here were fully grown men, spilling out of Dublin's Convention Centre in an endless cascade of blokey bonhomie.

One or two were rowdy, possibly liquored up (schlepping through the throng on my way to the 3Arena I was frontally shouldered twice). Most simply looked besotted.

Later, I learned the Jack and Jones-attired swarm had come from a public press conference by Conor McGregor, the scary-bearded Dubliner currently creating a fuss in the world of mixed martial arts - that wham-bam hybrid of boxing, kung fu, wrestling and free-form tickling. Suddenly, the swooning made sense - McGregor fans have a raging 'man crush' on their hero that is not to be trifled with.

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