Conor McGregor vs. Himself
By Luke O'Brien, espn.go.com
IN THE OCTAGON of Conor McGregor's mind, doubt loses every battle, gets choked out permanently, is stretchered into oblivion. So it went in Boston this past January, as the UFC superstar prepared to enter the cage at the TD Garden to secure his title shot. Everywhere you looked, the tricolor waved. For hours, the Irish in the stands had been singing, "There's only oooone Conor McGregor!" As McGregor often said, "If one of us goes to war, we all go to war."
The UFC had handed out illuminated thundersticks at the door, and when the Garden darkened before the main event, fans tore out the LEDs and tossed them into the air. The bulbs carved ghostly arcs through the gloom, a luminous rain to welcome the Irishman as a Sinead O'Connor rebel ballad called "The Foggy Dew" echoed through the arena. McGregor stalked toward the ring, toward the next step in his furious rise through the UFC: four wins in four fights, three of them first-round technical knockouts.