On Sunday, trash-talking MMA champion and first-time professional boxer Conor McGregor is going to put his fists where his mouth is and get in the ring with long-time verbal sparring partner Floyd Mayweather Jr.
That stoush has dominated sports headlines for months, with Mayweather the odds-on favourite to take out the fight. McGregor faces an uphill battle to victory, but it would be a fool who’d count him out. After all, the Irishman nicknamed “The Notorious” has overcome major adversity before.
SBS VICELAND docuseries The Notorious follows McGregor during the most difficult period of his professional life. In August 2013, he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament during a fight against Max Holloway. Although McGregor won the bout, the injury required major surgery and kept him sidelined as he completed 10 months of gruelling rehab.
When The Notorious begins, the fighter is preparing to make his comeback. In his hometown of Dublin. In front of almost 10,000 people. So no pressure then.
“After all this talk, all the build-up, if I don’t show up here for this fight, it’s over, it’s done,” he says as he trains for the headlining event. It’s not only his career it will affect, McGregor considers a loss will be a blow to the entire MMA scene in Ireland.
For a sportsmen who attracts as much attention for what he says and does away from the ring (or octagon, if we’re being accurate) as what happens inside it, The Notorious is the perfect vehicle. Far from camera shy, McGregor happily shows his struggles as well as his triumphs – and there are plenty of both in the lead-up to his comeback fight and beyond.
Watch The Notorious at SBS On Demand: