Several red flags came up when “Conor McGregor: Notorious” was announced as a straight to DVD release. It’s marketed as an official documentary granting the viewer unprecedented access to Conor McGregor from his days as an unknown MMA fighter all the way through his recent foray into boxing against Floyd Mayweather. I immediately began to wonder why there was no Blu-ray release and why there didn’t seem to be much hype considering McGregor is a huge figure in not just MMA, but the entire world of professional sports.
Given that McGregor is such a huge figure, there was cause for concern that this release came out under the radar this week. This wasn’t a bad documentary, but it was a barebones account of McGregor’s career from the beginning in Dublin, Ireland to setting PPV records against Floyd Mayweather last summer.
There is some footage of McGregor with his girlfriend in a tiny apartment as well as some footage of him training in a small gym in Dublin before he got the call to UFC. McGregor began to pile up wins and you see him evolve as a persona and fighter on film. The documentary doesn’t explain his UFC persona or his motivations as a fighter behind the scenes other than when he started training to be a fighter in 2008 his goal was to be a world champion. There are some quick sound bites and footage here and there, but this footage would have been better served to be presented with a narrator and some sit down interview footage to blend in with what was shot by his team for the documentary.
The best piece of footage in the documentary is footage of Arnold Schwarzenegger visiting at his house as he prepared to face the undefeated Jose Aldo for the UFC Featherweight Championship. Arnold has a priceless line in response to McGregor inviting him to the fight that MMA fans will enjoy immensely, although, in the end Aldo ended up having to pull out of the fight.
The meat of the documentary covers Conor beating Aldo in short order to become the undisputed UFC Featherweight Champion. Conor’s desire to win multiple titles in UFC in different weight divisions is touched on and the documentary focuses on his training as he moved up from featherweight to face Nate Diaz.
The documentary does a great job of covering McGregor’s two-fight series with Diaz complete with in-ring highlights, corner footage, and backstage footage. The most compelling footage shows a distraught McGregor sitting in his dressing room after getting choked out by Diaz in their first fight. As with the rest of the footage, I felt this just skimmed the surface and didn’t offer anything new that I didn’t already know about those two fights.
After covering the pair of fights McGregor had with Diaz, the documentary sputters to a finish. It feels like more footage was needed to flush out the remaining highlights of McGregor’s career. His UFC Lightweight Championship win over Eddie Alvarez is brushed over and is fit into the narrative of him wanting to capture championships in three divisions.
The portion of the documentary that covers his boxing match against Floyd Mayweather is even more disappointing, as it unfolds with written text during the end credits. The final stages of the 91-minute documentary feel extremely rushed.
Overall thoughts: (6.0) – For an official documentary that promises a behind the scenes look at Conor McGregor’s career, this is disappointing. There is a lot of behind the scenes footage, but rarely did it feel like the footage being shown gave the viewer a look at who McGregor is behind the scenes. Instead, this felt like a rough outline of McGregor’s career with training footage and a sanitized look at his life with his girlfriend and interaction with his team and manager. I give this release a mild recommendation, but the documentary is disappointing given what a fascinating figure McGregor is in the world of MMA.
ATTENTION: Conor McGregor: Notorious can be purchased digitally and on DVD at most major retailers.