Celebrating the pride he holds in his heritage, Conor McGregor recently took to Instagram to post a photo of himself. In the caption, Conor McGregor wrote:
"It’s what Will Wallace woulda wanted."
Sir William Wallace was a Scotsman who fought for the freedom of Scotland against the English. He was one of the leading figures in the First War of Scottish Independence and is widely considered to be the catalyst for Scotland's freedom.
Scotland fell prey to English rule after the demise of Scottish King Alexander III. Scottish Lords formed a contingency known as the Guardians to handle Scottish affairs. Twelve contenders announced their claims to the Scottish throne, this was known as the "Great Cause".
It was during this Great Cause that King Edward I of England was asked for assistance by Scotland. Instead, King Edward gradually spread his own authority over the country, beginning in the 1290s.
Nevertheless, Scottish nobility grew tired of being under England's rule, which led to Sir William Wallace emerging as a potential leader.
He participated in many revolts and acts against English rule, gaining the reputation of a great warrior. He was named a Guardian of Scotland after he led the Scottish army to a brilliantly-planned victory at the Battle of Stirling Bridge on September 11, 1297.
He continued serving as the Guardian of Scotland until the Battle of Falkirk, where he was defeated by the English army. The oscar-winning movie 'Braveheart' is based on the life of Sir William Wallace.
In what way does Conor McGregor relate to Sir William Wallace?
As mentioned earlier, Conor McGregor is extremely proud of his Irish heritage. And much like the Scottish, the Irish too have their own history of struggle against the English.
Sir William Wallace became a beacon for freedom against the English reign. But, this was not just due to his successful exploits against the crown.
Sir William was captured in Robroyston and accused of high treason, leading King Edward to sentence him to be hanged, drawn and quartered. Yet, Sir William did not plea for mercy when asked to do so in exchange for freedom.
This incident inspired even those Scottish lords who had betrayed Sir William Wallace earlier to fight for their freedom unitedly. Before engaging in battle, they allegedly yelled Sir Wallace's name in defiance.
Conor McGregor relates to the spirit of freedom and victory over the English empire, not just for the message it represents, but because of his own family history. In 2015, he said:
"My family originated from the Scottish highlands, they fought for their independence. It's something that runs in my family's history, I've become obsessed with that a little bit. It reiterates to me that I am on the correct path my family was on before me. It gives me added motivation to fight"