The Bonds Forged at Dawn: The Irish UFC 202 experience.

Perfect morning for some tea and violence...
Perfect morning for some tea and violence…

As Sunday morning dusk approached, thousands of people in McGregor’s homeland were awoken by their phone alarms. Many scrambled bleary eyed to find a working stream or find the correct channel on their TV. While most viewers were expecting another quick fight those of us who braved the entire night’s fight card were building up to a mouth watering duel.

Durability was the name of the game and both McGregor and Diaz have it in spades! Fans, both old and new, ducked behind pillows and bit at finger nails as both men gave their all. Neighbouring apartments were woken up by screams as McGregor dropped Diaz twice within the opening two rounds (mine arrived over to complain, but were enticed inside by tea and toast).

All ages were engrossed as McGregor endured strikes from Nate’s arsenal! A teacher whooped as McGregor defended a take down, a shop assistant cheered as he pushed Diaz back against the fence! Finger nails were shorn as the fight entered its last round. “It’s 2-2!” “It’s 3-1” “Shut up will yeh?” Both combatants entered the fray for the fifth time. You could hear a pin drop! The toast was burned! The dog drank the cold tea from a mug left unattended on the floor. Arms and shoulders twitched as the round progressed! Heads fell into hands when Diaz eventually scored the takedown! “That’s 3-2 Diaz” proclaimed the neighbour as he headed home, “Cheers for the tea.”

The room was cloaked in silence as Diaz helped McGregor off the canvas. Not a word was said as both men stood alongside John McCarthy…sitting and waiting to find out McGregor’s fate, one of our own on the world stage; our boxers were cheated, our rowers magnificent, but the lone man, covered in another’s blood drew our attention. We were invested; redemption & courage for the world to see!

“Judge Jeff Mullen… 48-47 McGregor.”
“Judge Glenn Trowbridge scores it 47-47… draw.” The silence was deafening.
“And judge ….Derek Cleary scored it 48-47…The winner by majority decision …McGregor!” Pandemonium reigned. As the judge’s decision was read out the roar we exclaimed drew the neighbour back in, shaving foam suds on his face. “He didn’t…He did!! Jaysus!”

The room was filled with enthusiasts and those watching the sport for the first time; “ah the leg kicks won it,” “he moved well,” “the head movement?!” piped up another! But all agreed it was the heart! Both men played their part!

As others drifted off to bed and others to the couch, the neighbour joked as he walked out the door, “Call me for the next one right?”