Conor McGregor’s motion picture ‘Notorious’ premiered in cinemas across Ireland and the UK on Wednesday night with the UFC Champion sitting down for a live Q&A after the screening.
The film featured several extraordinary moments that had not been seen by MMA fans before. A discussion with Dana White regarding the withdrawal of Jose Aldo from UFC 189 and a heartbreaking moment with his team after his loss to Nate Diaz at UFC 196 certainly standout.
However, it is McGregor’s preparation ahead of his interim title bout with Chad Mendes that is given the most time and, given the injury that the Irishman was suffering from at the time, it’s easy to understand why.
Eight weeks ahead of UFC 189, McGregor’s team learned that he had suffered an 80% ACL tear in his knee. However, rather than pull out of his upcoming bout, the SBG team around the ‘Notorious’ swore themselves to secrecy, and McGregor pushed on.
Speaking about the severity of the injury in the documentary, McGregor’s teammate Artem Lobov is seen stating ‘Conor is training without an ACL. You’re not supposed to be able to walk without an ACL.’
Although news of the injury has popped up in the media on certain occasions since the fight in question, McGregor has never really spoken about it. However, after the Irishman’s struggles ahead of the Mendes bout were dealt with in such detail in his new documentary, McGregor finally opened up about the severity of the tear in a Q&A after the premiere.
‘It was the most horrible thing I’ve ever gone through in my life. The whole thing was shredded. I couldn’t even put weight on it and I’m what? Eight weeks from the biggest fight of my life.’
‘It’s not like a football match or something where alright, you get surgery and the matches continue and you win one week and lose one the next week. If I didn’t show up to that fight, that night? After all the build-up and then pulling out with an injury? It’s over. I don’t eat. You know what I mean? Food comes off my table. I’m broke then.’
‘So, I just kept going. I just stuck with it and said; ‘you know what, fuck it.’ It built my character. You know what I mean? I knew after that I could come through anything and that’s it.’
McGregor went on to laud his team for their extraordinary support of him during that period of time stating that they had been with him from ‘day one’ and that there had never been a single rift between them.
‘I have to give a shout out to my team around me. Coach Kavanagh, Coach Roddy, Artem Lobov… Artem is a fucking soldier. You seen him in there. I’m in there with one wobbly leg and we’re just sort of flow tapping each other just trying to feel the positions I might end up in a fight.’
‘I have a fucking solid, solid team with me and they’ve been with me the whole way. There’s been no split, there’s been no nothing. It’s just been a solid unit and that’s how you reach the high heights.’