The Irish Invasion takes over the MGM Grand


Burt Watson took to the stage of the MGM Grand’s Premier Ballroom for his usual task of getting the fans hyped up for the weigh in that was due to begin in the next few minutes. However, just as the “babysitter to the stars” was telling the crowd that he needed more volume, he was stopped in his tracks.

“Ole, Ole, Ole”, rang through the lavish function room with the same intensity it had on July 19 in the O2 Arena, to the point where Watson had to try to bring them back down. “Okay guys, let’s keep it for the fighters,” he laughed marveling at the gathering who were decked out in green, white and gold.

Such was the scene that the Irish fans made, the journalists in press row stood to document the frenzied support with their mobile phones, some shaking their heads in disbelief. Indeed the infamous crowd from the homecoming of Irish MMA had revealed itself in North American, and what a sight it was.

Soon the Italia ’90 anthem turned to “There’s only one Conor McGregor”, the same song that had been sung during the SBG man’s assault on Cage Warriors, all before a single fighter had registered their weight for the much-anticipated event. The chorus grew stronger as more eyes locked onto the various clusters of Irish fans that became unified through their homage of the Irish featherweight.

When “The Notorious” emerged the crowd became frenzied. Forcing themselves up against the barriers, when security guards rushed to meet the motely crew they were smiling. Although it sounded like the crowd was reaching a certain level of aggression once they were asked to calm down handshakes were extended to the workers who were doing their best to hold them back.

The next two weigh ins were barely noticed after the climactic face off between Dustin Poirier and McGregor. Such was the influence of the Irish that the American felt he needed to address them. “This is my house,” Poirier told them as he beat his chest, but McGregor’s army had already received the reaction that they were looking for from him.

The atrium that supported the hall’s escalators that shepherded the crowds from the venue was awash with the Irish support. Up and down they cried the ballad of McGregor as fans of different nationalities danced between fear and excitement.

As the droves made their decent to the ground floor they were met by Irish frontline singing, laughing and dancing. The Irish from the top floor were singing along with stronghold at the bottom of the atrium, who then began to make their way back up to Premier Ballroom to get more of their countrymen involved in the festivities.

“A lot of people don’t understand what it means to the Irish,” said Ireland’s first UFC fighter Tom Egan. “He is lifting a whole nation, it’s incredible.”

Although the fight game is essentially two men striving to best each other through combat, McGregor’s Army should definitely spur their hero on should he need it when he meets Dustin Poirier tomorrow night.



Ireland's leading MMA media outlet. Home of Severe MMA Podcast. Producers of 'Notorious,' 'The Fighting Irish' & other MMA docus

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