Leaving Ireland with little but the name they took, The Wild Geese® had to be determined and confident in their abilities to survive and succeed. This story continues today in the meteoric rise of Irish mixed martial artist Conor McGregor who shows the fighting, Untamed Wild Geese spirit.
“Passion is passion, whatever way it comes out,” McGregor describes when talking to Irish Central. For Conor this is in-ring fighting, which he took up from an early age.
Plagued by bullies when he was young, Conor showed a glimmer of that unique courage from The Wild Geese® in 1691. Faced with adversity, he didn’t flee but chose to fight. Unbowed, he started training at Crumlin Boxing Club in his native Dublin. He competed frequently in boxing matches before turning his focus to other disciplines like jiu-jitsu, karate and freestyle wrestling.
This passion grew and grew and today he is one of the top rising stars of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the largest mixed martial company in the world. Like The Wild Geese® , Conor turned adversity into success, letting his passion drive him.
He’s made a name for himself both inside and outside of the ring, gaining a reputation for talking big. But as he explains, this is more akin to the war drums The Wild Geese® beat before battle than misplaced arrogance.
“I feel that I am not just spouting stuff that isn’t true,” he describes, “I am saying it as it is and I am saying how I am going to beat my opponent and then I am going and doing it… I believe in my abilities, simple as that”
And like The Wild Geese® , Conor has found himself fighting away from home on many occasions, but on January 18th he’ll be returning to a home from home. In one of the biggest fights of his UFC career, he’ll meet Dennis Siver in Boston, USA, which he’s really hyped about. “This is Irish America,” Conor acknowledges, “I feel like I am fighting at home”.
Having a home crowd behind him will help. Conor has been turning his featherweight division on its head for some time now. A win this month could put him in contention for a shot at the UFC-145 title belt. One to watch in 2015, Conor is one of today’s unbroken Wild Geese.