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Opinion: Does Conor McGregor deserve a movie?


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Set for UK release on November 1st, 'Notorious' is a documentary telling the story of Conor McGregor, one of the biggest names in combat sport. The UFC champion made headlines when he took on Floyd Mayweather in a controversial boxing match in August but didn't manage to defy the odds, eventually losing out via a TKO to the US fighter who now, in statistical terms, stands at the top of his sport. Is Notorious a premature cash in on the Irishman's stardom? Or is the time right for a documentary telling his story? Two of our writers engaged in some journalistic sparring to find out... 

George Crabb: YES- McGregor's career does merit a film

It's strange that this film is being released before McGregor's career has come to an end, but given everything that McGregor has already accomplished, it's enough to justify the Irish superstar getting a movie.

For people who are unaware of what exactly McGregor has achieved since his debut match in 2013, I will be explaining what he has achieved and why he deserves a movie to tell his story.

Since debuting back in April 2013 in the UFC against Marcus Brimage, McGregor has achieved a record of 21-3.

Within these 24 fights, McGregor has fought in two of the three best selling UFC pay-per-views in history, as well as winning the UFC Featherweight Championship.

More recently McGregor won the UFC Lightweight Championship and currently holds the title. Mcgregor is also the only man in the history of the sport to hold two belts in two different weight classes at the same time.  

McGregor's success can be seen outside the octagon as well as inside as Forbes magazine named the Irish fighter as the 24th highest paid athlete on their list from 2017. Reports claim that the Irishman earned £27 million from fights, endorsements and sponsorship in 2016 alone.

As well as UFC, earlier this year McGregor switched his profession and fought Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a boxing match. Mayweather is arguably the best boxer of his generation and for McGregor, a man who has never boxed professionally before, to go through with this challenge was a historic moment for the sport.

McGregor was able to last until the 10th round, which showed his class, determination and passion as an athlete. Despite losing in the ring he won fame and fortune outside, with the fight ranking as one of the biggest sporting events in history, in financial terms. 

McGregor was rumoured to make £23.2 million from the fight, which lasted less than 30 minutes, now that the fight has taken place a return to UFC looks like the athlete's next step. 

But at the age of just 29 McGregor is already established as a legend which is why I fully believe the movie Notorious is fully deserved. McGregor's story is an inspirational one that many people would love to get closer to. 

Jonny Hucker: NO Conor McGregor's career does not merit a film

The first thing to consider is his age. At only 29, McGregor is an active fighter in the prime of his career. Typically, films are made about extraordinary sports people after they retire – reflecting on their life, career and the struggles they’ve had to overcome. This is the case for Micky Ward, the inspiration behind 2010 film, The Fighter. This is also true of Vinny Paz (Bleed for This, 2016) and of course Muhammad Ali (Ali, 2001). It therefore seems premature to portray McGregor’s life on film, with his career nowhere near finished.

McGregor, whilst an undeniable superstar in the world of MMA, still has a lot to prove within his sport. After dabbling in boxing (in what turned out to be the richest fight in the sport’s history), McGregor now finds himself under pressure to reclaim his spot atop the UFC.

He must now return to the sport that made him famous and defend his title, which will go a long way to securing his legacy. If he could do this and once again dominate the world of MMA, then he might be more deserving of a film about his life. But he’s still got a lot to prove until then.

Lastly, I can’t help but feel that McGregor is cashing in on his name with this film. Much like he did with the Mayweather fight, Conor is using his star power to generate more income to his already swollen bank account. I get the sense that his team are grabbing their opportunity to make more money off the McGregor brand before there’s any chance of him losing his title and thus his reputation.

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