Is downside of Conor McGregor's win the fact that some will think violence is ok?

Conor McGregor's 13 second demolition of Jose Aldo took Ireland by storm. As part of her work experience with the Irish Examiner, Transition Year student Isobel McCabe looks back on the night and asks, amidst all the hype, is the growth of UFC/MMA simply fuelling the 'Fighting Irish' sterotype and glorifying violence for some?
Is downside of Conor McGregor's win the fact that some will think violence is ok?

Fourteen months preparation ended with thirteen seconds of battle.

There was such huge lead up and anticipation to what had all the necessary ingredients for a majestic tight battle in the UFC 194 to decide the World Featherweight Champion.

The outgoing and bubbly McGregor, we all thought would have a tough battle ahead of him in the octagon on late Saturday night in Las Vegas Nevada.

As his Brazilian opponent Jose Aldo in the last ten years had never lost an MMA fight, thus marking an entire decade of invincibility, with 6 years ruling as a world champion in the WEC and UFC (18 fights, 10 title fights, 9 title defences).

So Ireland’s cheeky chap from Crumlin was facing a substantially tough battle.

McGregor was raised from his humble hometown of Crumlin in the south of Dublin. At an early age he began showing his passion for sport when he played soccer. A young, outgoing McGregor developed as an even more passionate sports player as he joined Lourdes Celtic Football Club.

At the young age of 17, McGregor moved with his family to Lucan in west Dublin where he started a plumbing apprenticeship. Only two years ago, in 2013 the Ultimate Fighting Championship, (UFC) announced that they had signed McGregor to a multi­fight contract.

This was a huge step in McGregor’s sports career as by joining he became only the second ever fighter from Ireland to compete for the company, following fellow SBG fighter Tom Egan.

McGregor’s “Gift of the gab” and bubbly personality has given off an aura of Muhammad Ali’s personality and style of “psychological warfare”,such as his pre­match predictions and trash­talking antics towards his opponents. Which has played a part in the success of his career with the 19 fights out of 21 that he has won.

I did not expect such astonishing and impressive history to be written in the process of thirteen sensational seconds at the jam­packed MGM Grand Garden Arena as Conor McGregor's world domination hit incredible, new heights on Saturday night.

Unfortunately I had just popped my microwave popcorn and was settled for a close match before the fight was over.

There was a great deal of tension in the air, before the first round started Aldo and McGregor refused to touch gloves and went immediately into combat. McGregor and Aldo advanced to the centre of the octagon with McGregor getting there first, throwing the first punch dodged by Aldo.

McGregor prodded with his right foot before pouncing towards Aldo with a perfectly timed left­ hand punch to the face which left Aldo slumped in the centre of the octagon.

The final outcome a victorious, beaming Conor McGregor, who now is the undisputed UFC World Featherweight Champion.

McGregor said in a post­fight interview," Aldo's powerful and fast. But precision beats power, and timing beats speed. And that’s what you saw there." Aldo definitely has no luck with the number thirteen.

The jam­packed audience at the MGM Grand Garden Arena was made up of many fans of Conor McGregor. McGregor has great influence over his fans.

As it was reported that a flight from JFK Airport en route to Las Vegas for the McGregor fight had to return to New York after about 25 minutes. As a row between two drunken Irishmen became heated and ended with one of the men striking out at the other.

One point that has to be raised is that all this promotion of fighting is giving a poor representation of what Ireland’s culture is all about.

At the moment we are basically living up to our stereotypical idea of “the fighting Irish”. Which is really bringing us back in time rather than progressing forward.

One could say that Ireland only does well in competitions promoting fighting and violence. Our greatest sports personalities are: Katie Taylor, Michael Conlon, Tyson Fury, John Joe Nevin, Paddy Barnes and of course McGregor. All of these names have the same thing in common. They are all fighters.

This is emanating a terrible impression to certain young people in Ireland. As late night brawls are happening more frequently.

With terrible consequences. People see their sports hero's fighting bare knuckle in a cage in nothing less than their underwear, giving some people the idea that it is okay to deal with an argument by means of violence.

There was fourteen months of preparation for this tough battle and the outcome was only thirteen seconds of combat. One would wonder should we put our focus towards other positive sports, in preparation for the Summer Olympics; such as tennis, golf, athletics, rowing, swimming, gymnastics, cycling and equestrian.

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up