The story of legendary UFC fighter Conor “The Notorious” McGregor is a classic rags-to-riches story that should inspire anyone looking for a hero to idolize. The story starts in the sleepy town of Crumlin, Dublin, where on July 14, 1988, Toby and Margaret McGregor welcomed their son to this world whom they would name Conor Anthony McGregor. Little did they know then that their son’s name would be iconic in the world’s future.
Crumlin played a big part in the development of Conor, as he spent the next 18 years of his life there. He attended Harold’s Cross – Gaelscoil Scoil Mológa primary school before moving on to Tallaght in Crumlin for his secondary school education at Gaelcholáiste Coláiste de hÍde. While in school, Conor McGregor’s interest in sports would be evident to all. He developed a passion for football and dreamt of turning pro one day. While this dream did not materialize, he would still show his quality as a footballer, albeit at a youth level, when he played in the youth team for the famous Lourdes Celtic Football Club.
Like most boys his age in the 1990s, he would have his bout with bullies, which played a big part in his desire to learn martial arts, as he wanted to have the ability to defend himself if the need arose. But never in his wildest dreams did he think that this conscious desire to learn martial arts would eventually lead to a highly successful career in mixed martial arts and the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship).
When he turned 12 years of age, McGregor joined Crumlin Boxing Club, where he learned the basics of boxing. He even won several boxing titles while mastering his craft, including the much-coveted Dublin Novice Championship in 2004 at the tender age of 16 years. It is where his confidence to take on Floyd Mayweather Jr in a boxing bout years later is rooted.
By the age of 18 years, the McGregors left Crumlin for the more vibrant city of Lucan in Dublin. Conor would have a short stint as a plumber’s apprentice in Lucan, but after encounters with legendary UFC fighter Tom Egan, Conor’s love for mixed martial arts eventually became his sole focus in life. Tom Egan served as a mentor to Conor McGregor, and they were not only training buddies but also great friends.
The Making Of An Icon- Conor McGregor’s MMA Career
Conor McGregor’s mixed martial arts career would commence in earnest. By 2007 in Dublin, he would make his first in-ring debut as an amateur MMA fighter in ‘The Irish Ring of Truth’ where he faced and defeated Keiran Campbell by a first-round technical knockout (TKO). Conor would turn pro after this fight and be signed in 2008 by the famous Irish Cage of Truth promotion. He would train in Dublin at the revered Straight Blast Gym (SBS) under the expert tutelage of John Kavanagh.
It was not long before McGregor made his professional MMA debut in the lightweight division against Gary Morris on the 9th of March 2008. McGregor also faced Morris and got a second-round technical knockout (TKO) win. Conor would then march up the ranks to featherweight, where he lost to Artemij Sitenkov on his MMA debut in this weight class. This loss was followed by a win against featherweight MMA fighter Stephen Bailey. But despite his victory, Conor grew increasingly disillusioned and wanted to end his MMA career altogether.
However, he found renewed belief and motivation after talking to his trainer and loving mother. Conor will go on to record win after win after win against light and featherweight MMA fighters to eventually emerge as the champion of two titles, namely the CWFC Lightweight and CWFC Featherweight Mixed Martial Artist, to win two titles across two different divisions at the same time.
Conor McGregor Joins The UFC
By February 2013, Conor McGregor joined the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) when he signed a highly lucrative multi-fight UFC contract. On signing this contract, Conor became the second known Irish UFC fighter to join after his very good friend- Tom Egan, who was the first. Conor debuted in the UFC by fighting Marcus Brimage on the 6th of April, 2013. This fight was on Fuel TV: Mousasi vs Latifi, and Conor won the battle by a first-round knockout which made him claim his first of many “Knockout of the Night” UFC Awards.
By August of the same year, Conor McGregor was billed to fight Andy Ogle, but an injury to Ogle would see Conor fighting Max Holloway instead. McGregor would win this UFC bout by a unanimous decision, but he picked up a torn ligament injury during the fight and could not fight in the UFC for the next ten months. Conor’s recovery went according to plan. He returned to the Octagon about 11 months later, in July of 2014, when he fought and defeated Diego Brandão, winning his first “Performance of the Night” UFC Award.
The victory against Diego Brandão was followed by four straight victories that saw him win the “Performance of the Night” Award in each of his successive four fights to earn him five of these awards in quick succession. He also defeated Chad Mendes to win the interim UFC Featherweight Championship, followed by a win against Jose Aldo to unify the UFC Featherweight Championship.
With no one left to fight in the UFC featherweight division, Conor McGregor moved up to the welterweight division but lost on his debut to Nate Diaz on the 5th of March, 2016. The latter was the Ultimate Fighter Season 5 winner. Four months later, in August 2016, McGregor won a rematch against Diaz through a split decision. Three months after this fight, Conor defeated Eddie Alvarez in November 2016 to win the UFC Lightweight Championship title, which he would eventually relinquish because of his inactivity in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Conor McGregor had other interests besides the UFC and a famous boxing fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr, which he lost. After this legendary boxing fight, Conor McGregor would return to the UFC to face Khabib Nurmagomedov, an undefeated UFC fighter, and then UFC Lightweight Champion. Conor McGregor lost that fight, and on the 26th of March, 2019, Conor McGregor announced his retirement from the UFC via social media.
Nevertheless, Conor would return to the UFC after a short retirement to fight and defeat Donal Cerrone. After beating Cerrone, McGregor had two UFC fights against bitter rival Dustin Poirier, which he lost, with his second match against Poirier ending with a broken leg. Conor “The Notorious” McGregor has not fought in the UFC since then, but it would be no surprise to find him making yet another comeback into the sport that won him worldwide fame and fortune.
Conor McGregor’s MMA Ultimate Record To-Date
- Total no. of fights: 28
- No. of wins: 22
- No. of wins via KO: 19
- No. of Losses: 6
Conor McGregor’s Professional Boxing Record To-Date
- Total no. of fights: 1
- No. of wins: 0
- No. of Losses: 1
Conor McGregor’s Top Three Biggest Ever Fights
Conor McGregor has had several top-flight fights, but based on the pay-per-view (PPV) buy rates for his fights, here are the top three biggest ever fights in his illustrious career.
#1. Poirier Vs. McGregor – UFC 264 (1,800,000 PPV Buys)
The third match in the Poirier vs McGregor trilogy ended with a win to Dustin Poirier, a former interim UFC Lightweight Champion. The trilogy started in UFC 178, which was held in September of 2014, where Conor McGregor would beat Dustin Poirier by TKO and win the Performance of the Night Award. This fight would lead to a rematch in UFC 257 held in January of 2021. This time Poirier would come out victorious, beating McGregor via a second-round knockout. The third UFC fight between these fighters would gather enormous publicity leading to 1,800,000 PPV Buys. However, UFC 264 would end in a defeat to Conor McGregor by TKO.
#2. Khabib Vs. McGregor – UFC 229 (2,400,000 PPV Buys)
Tagged as “Bad Blood”, UFC 229 would see the hugely impressive and undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov facing Conor McGregor for the UFC Lightweight Championship title. This fight brought about 2,400,000 PPV Buys and would go down in history as the most successful UFC fight in terms of PPV sales. However, McGregor lost this fight.
#3. Floyd Mayweather Jr. Vs. Conor “The Notorious” McGregor (4,300,000 PPV Buys)
Ironically, Conor McGregor’s biggest-ever fight in terms of PPV Buys was in a boxing bout against Floyd Mayweather Jr, an eleven-time five-division boxing world champion. Held on the 26th of August, 2017 at the glamorous T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada, this fight would rake in 4,300,000 PPV Buys in Showtime US in addition to 1,007,000 PPV Buys in Sky Box Office (UK) to record the second-highest PPV buy rate in the history of the sport.
Mayweather beat McGregor by TKO in the 10th round, but the much-anticipated fight between an MMA fighter and a pro boxer would go down in history as one of the best boxing fights ever. Conor McGregor was initially billed to take home a paycheck of $30 million from the fight, but his take-home pay would eventually rise to an astounding $100 million, making it the biggest paycheck he had ever made from his career as a prized fighter.
Conor McGregor Trivia
In rounding up this article, here are a few interesting things you should know about Conor McGregor:
- Conor McGregor’s first love was football: Conor McGregor always wanted to be a footballer. In his native Ireland, he was talented enough to play for the renowned Lourdes Celtic Football Club, a famous youth football club based in Crumlin, Dublin. Conor McGregor has stayed true to his roots and has remained a sponsor of this youth football club to this day.
- Conor McGregor was bullied: You might not know this, but Conor McGregor was also a victim of bullies as a young boy growing up in Crumlin, Dublin. But by age 12, he would train as a boxer in the Crumlin Boxing Club. You can be sure that no bullies ever challenged him once they knew he was a trained boxer.
- Conor McGregor was once a plumber’s apprentice: After moving with his family to Lucan, Dublin, he trained for about 18 months as a plumber’s apprentice.
- Conor McGregor is best friends with Tom Egan: Did you know that while in Lucan, Dublin, Conor McGregor met with the first ever Irish UFC fighter, Tom Egan? He also trained with Tom after his plumbing career came to an abrupt end, and they remain very old friends to this day.
- Conor McGregor recorded one of the fastest victories ever in UFC: Conor McGregor defeated Jose Aldo in just 13 seconds during their match in UFC 194. He also won and unified the UFC Featherweight Championship title in the process.
- Conor McGregor has a history of fast knockout fights: Before joining the UFC, Conor McGregor had defeated Paddy Doherty by knockout in just four seconds in an Immortal Fighting Championship 4 between the two fighters.
- Conor McGregor is the first fighter from the Old World to hold two championship titles across two divisions: As a cage fighter, Conor McGregor won two championship titles across two different weight divisions. He won both the CWFC Lightweight and CWFC Featherweight titles to become the first European to do so.
Conor McGregor’s Net worth
Conor McGregor ranks number one in the 2021 Forbes list of the world’s highest-paid professional athletes. In addition, he was also ranked in the 30 Under 30 – Europe – Entertainment 2017 and Forbes List of Celebrity 100 of 2020. It is estimated that Conor McGregor has a net worth of between $250 and $415 million when posting this article. Besides his paycheck from MMA and UFC, he has amassed a fortune from various sources, including lucrative endorsement deals.
From his career as a UFC fighter, he took home a paycheck of over $230 million, with $100 million coming by way of his boxing match against Floyd Mayweather Jr. But Conor McGregor has also shown that he is a shrewd businessman investing in a large number of businesses including his brand of Irish Whiskey- ‘Proper Twelve’, which was reported to have raked in a revenue of $40 million before he sold it for a massive $150 million in April 2021.
Conor McGregor has also invested in fashion, partnering with David Heil- a top tailor, to start up ‘August McGregor’, a hugely successful menswear brand. Conor has a sports management company- McGregor Sports and Entertainment which makes him lots of money from promotion and advertisement deals. His hugely followed media house- Mac Life, which focuses on lifestyle, fitness and MMA events, is said to earn him millions yearly. Conor McGregor was once quoted as saying that he would be a billionaire by age 35, and from all indications, he appears to be on track with his prediction.