Saturday 24 February 2018

Why Conor McGregor is the man of the year

For a nation of begrudgers, there are few among us who would begrudge the boxing sensation his recent success, writes Brendan O'Connor

Conor McGregor has jumped up two weight divisions
Conor McGregor has jumped up two weight divisions
Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

A strange thing happened to me early on Friday morning. I looked at a story on about Conor McGregor. It was a picture from his twitter account and it showed him going to do some Christmas shopping in Vegas in a $440,000 Drophead Rolls Royce. The piece also mentioned that McGregor owns a Mercedes S500 AMG Coupe, and Escalade, and several BMWs. And the funny thing about it was I didn't feel any hint of begrudgery. I was actually glad for him. And most people are, aren't they? All the bling, and all the showing off on social media, and all the shopping trips, and no one begrudges him it.

You could argue that this is because McGregor is a great sportsman, who has just won a world championship, and in Ireland any world champion we can produce is alright by us, so we forgive him a bit of bling. But that doesn't explain me. I'm not a big fight fan, and despite watching McGregor beat Jose Aldo several times, I still couldn't figure it out. So while I accept on some level that McGregor is a great sportsman, I don't quite understand it.

But, of course, the fighting is only one part of what makes Conor McGregor. McGregor is the show isn't he? McGregor is a remarkable creature. Mesmerising, almost addictive to watch. Physically, I don't think I have ever seen anyone as in tune with their body, anyone who inhabits themselves as well as McGregor does. And the way he moves. Total control. Deliberate but so smooth and lithe. Almost like an animal you would say.

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