Former UFC ‘champ champ’ Conor McGregor served as an Irish ambassador to the NHL on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day on Saturday, as he was invited by the Boston Bruins to drop the ceremonial first puck and deliver pre-game pep talk.
McGregor, who is in Boston as part of the Bruins’ Irish Heritage Night as well as being the focal point of the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, visited the team’s locker room prior to the game to deliver some words of encouragement in his typically notorious style.
“Remember, nothing heroic gets done without support, without unity. We must back each other, support each other,” McGregor said to the team in a video captured on his Instagram account.
“Look left, look right. Know that the people with you are your brothers, the people who you have to fight for. Fight until victory. Boys, I wish you the best. Let’s go Boston Bruins!“
The Bruins’ home arena, the TD Garden, is a place filled with good memories for the Irishman. It was the scene of his first ever fight in the United States – a unanimous decision win against current pound-for-pound great Max Holloway in 2013.
McGregor returned the arena in January 2015, defeating German fighter Dennis Siver by second round knockout, and given his successes in the building he was keen to impart some further words of wisdom to the team.
“Get this puck when I drop it,” McGregor said addressing team captain Zdeno Chara. Coincidentally, ‘chara’ is the Irish word for ‘friend’.
“This is your puck, this is your arena. Who is the enforcer? All of you! Every f***ing one of you are the enforcers. Take these people out, take no prisoners!“
McGregor was later invited onto the ice to perform the ceremonial drop of the puck, arriving to his now famous mash-up of traditional Irish song ‘The Foggy Dew’ and Notorious B.I.G.’s ‘Hypnotize’.
It seems that McGregor’s pre-game words of wisdom had an impact on the team too, as the Bruins defeated Columbus by 2-1 in overtime.