McGrath says McGregor’s success and the national enthusiasm around him reminds him of the support that the Irish football team experienced in their World Cup in the early 1990s.
What I most like about him is the way he carries himself as an Irishman. He plays the role brilliantly. Fair play to him, he’s making an awful lot of money while making people happy. I remember the first time I saw him in action. I was at home on my own, flicking across the channels. McGregor was fighting in Dublin. What I loved was his fearless gladiator shtick; he was pure theatre, a showman speaking confidently, articulately, and unapologetically about Ireland. And honestly, it sent a shiver down my spine. I was hooked..when I saw the number of Irish fans he brought to Vegas for UFC 202, it brought me back to the great days under Jack Charlton for the Ireland national team. Here it was again, sport offering a vessel for the nation to put its troubles to one side and just revel in the joy of identity, a raucous, uplifting celebration of Irishness.