Conor McGregor: Fighter Spotlight

In UFC history, no fighter is responsible for creating more new UFC fans than Conor McGregor. McGregor is a true showman. Not only does he get results, but he also does so in style. The Irishman understands the importance of putting on a show for the fans. Every time he steps into the octagon, Conor McGregor delivers a spectacle.

McGregor quickly developed a reputation as a trash-talking fighter. Unlike most trash talkers, McGregor got the results to back it up. Whether or not he was the “better” fighter, McGregor approached every fight with complete belief that he would win. This mental fortitude is the backbone of his success. 

Conor McGregor’s MMA Statistics 

  • Age: 32 years old
  • Height: 5’9”
  • Reach: 74” (188cm)
  • Weight: 170lb
  • Current class: Welterweight
  • Style: Boxing
  • Stance: Southpaw
  • Wins: 22 (19 KO, 1Submission, 2 Decisions)
  • Losses: 4 (all by submission)

Personal Life

Conor’s path to mixed martial arts wasn’t easy. Although he developed a passion for boxing at the age of 12, he never pursued a fighting career as a young adult. Some would say a fated encounter changed the course of his life. In 2006 McGregor was on his way to becoming a plumbing apprentice in Dublin. 

During this time, he ran into soon to be UFC fighter, Tom Egan. Egan’s path to becoming a fighter was already well underway. McGregor’s interest in mixed martial arts was piqued after watching Egan train. Soon after, the two began to train together. McGregor’s natural talent for the sport was clear to see. He quickly shifted his focus from plumbing to fighting. That decision is not one the fighter would ever regret. 

A life influenced by fame and fortune hasn’t impacted his relationship with his fiancé Dee Devlin. The two have been together since 2008, way before Conor’s big break. They currently have two children together.  

Successful Business Ventures

McGregor’s career as a successful fighter opened the door for many business opportunities. While he’s certainly made a boatload of money from fighting, McGregor alone is a brand in and of itself. Some of his most lucrative endorsement deals have come by way of Monster Energy and Reebok. However, the Irishman was not satisfied with endorsement deals.

Recently, McGregor has spearheaded the arrival of Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey. McGregor is the founder of the newly established whiskey brand. The whiskey has gone on to sell out and generate incredible profits. Dana White stated that he expects McGregor to become a billionaire thanks to the brand. 

Due to these business ventures and a successful fighting career, McGregor’s net worth as of 2020 is estimated to be between $100 million and $120 million. This makes him one of the richest fighters of all time. Most of this came from the highly anticipated fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. We’ll get to this fight a little later. 

With some personal information about the larger than life fighter out of the way, let’s get into his UFC career. 

Fighting Style

McGregor is what most experts would call a striker. Due to being left-handed, most of the time, we can see him in the southpaw stance. If McGregor always had his way, he would stay on his feet for the entirety of a fight. That is what makes him a lethal striker. 

However, this reliance exposes his weakness of poor grappling skills and ground game. Something acquaintance Urijah Faber enjoys poking fun at. Both Urijah Faber and McGregor can be seen in The Ultimate Fighter television series as coaches. 

As we can see, McGregor’s four career losses have all come by way of submission. McGregor is at his best when trading blows on his feet. He is a tough fighter to grasp as he switches from a southpaw stance to an orthodox stance quite frequently. That throws off opposing fighters as he uses this technique to be the aggressor. McGregor’s style is far from patient. 

Nonetheless, his experience in the octagon will save him from making reckless decisions. Knowing when to land heavy blows is the reason he has earned countless knockout victories. His fights rarely go to decision. McGregor’s intuition is like no other. His natural ability to know precisely when to counter has caught numerous fighters off guard. Playing the distance game and coming from the outside with a left-handed strike is his favorite technique. 

The King of Mind Games

Aside from his phenomenal striking prowess, McGregor’s mind games are his most lethal weapon. McGregor often goes beyond your run of the mill trash talking. What he does is different. He engages in mental warfare that leads to a lack of focus on the side of his opponent. Making opponents despise him is part of the plan. Fighters become too fixated on destroying him that they lose sight of the fight’s bigger picture.

Interestingly enough, McGregor is currently sharpening his Brazilian jiu-jitsu technique. The desire to round out his game and develop more tools is a sign of how committed he is to be the best. Conor is currently a brown belt in jiu-jitsu with his black belt set to be right around the corner. At the moment, he is training for UFC 257 with his head coach John Kavanagh.

Fighting Career

McGregor has been involved in several thrilling fights. Here are just a few to remember. 

McGregor vs. Diaz Saga

Apart from his rivalry with Nurmagomedov, McGregor’s biggest feud was with Nate Diaz. At the time, Diaz was outspoken about his disdain for the loud mouthed Irishman. He hated everything McGregor stood for. Diaz made a name for himself by beating McGregor at UFC 196 by handing the unbeaten fighter his first career loss. 

With McGregor being as prideful as he is, we all knew the rematch would be incredible. McGregor got his shot at redemption at UFC 202. McGregor left it all on the line, and the two fighters battered each other in what is now known as one of the most gruesome fights in UFC history. What’s more, is the fight came down to a decision, which left the fans in eager anticipation of the result. Conor’s win by split decision cemented the battle as one of his best. 

UFC 205

This performance is widely regarded as one of McGregor’s greatest. He certainly had extra motivation going into this one. If he won this fight, McGregor would write history as the first UFC fighter to hold two titles simultaneously. Eddie Alvarez was his opponent for this lightweight fight.

The dominance on display by McGregor was a sight to see. The pressure was a non-factor. McGregor came through and defeated Alvarez via TKO to become the first-ever champion of two simultaneous divisions.

Khabib Nurmangomedov

Things didn’t go as planned for McGregor in one of the most anticipated fights in UFC history. Outside of the octagon, Nurmagomedov and McGregor could not have been more different from one another. Nurmagomedov rarely spoke ill of his opponents. He preferred to show his opponent respect and fight with honor. Nurmagomedov was slowly developing a reputation that would eventually lead to becoming the best pound for pound fighter of all time.

Before the encounter with McGregor, the two were involved in a heated press conference exchange. McGregor and his crew attacked a bus that was carrying Nurmagomedov and two friends. The anticipation was off the charts, and UFC 229 set new records for PPV sales. After a few years away from the octagon, McGregor couldn’t handle the sport’s new face. Nurmagomedov earned a victory via submission.  

Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Conor’s willingness to enter the world of boxing is a true testament to his self-belief. In 2017, McGregor campaigned for a shot to fight boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. As one of the best boxers to ever grace the sport, Mayweather would always be the favorite. In terms of viewership, the fight was set to become one of the most-watched PPV sporting events in history. 

Viewers were mesmerized by Conor’s pre-fight confidence. However, experts understood that this would hardly be a fair contest. Due to his overwhelming technical prowess and experience, Mayweather wore McGregor down and won the fight via TKO in the tenth round. McGregor hung in there and proved he had guts like no other. Making $100 million in a losing fight also didn’t hurt. 

Impact on the UFC

As a fighter, Conor McGregor has had the most significant impact on the UFC. Not only were his fights the most-watched and most anticipated events, but he also cared about the sport’s longevity. McGregor frequently clashed heads with top UFC brass, including Dana White, over increased payouts. His refusal to fight for anything less than his desired amount meant the UFC changed their payout structure. It may not seem like it, but these choices have increased future payouts for all fighters regardless of stature.

Pushing the sport forward in this way and ensuring that his fellow athletes get compensated is not mentioned enough when discussing the legacy of Conor McGregor. Of course, it may be too soon to discuss his legacy within the sport as he still plans to compete.

His next scheduled fight is set to occur on the 23rd of January 2021. He takes on Dustin Poirier at UFC 257. That will be a rematch of their fight in 2014 when McGregor won by TKO. Although there is some bad blood between the two, it is set to be an exciting fight since it will be McGregor’s first fight in over a year. This won’t be the first time a figure comes out of retirement for a highly anticipated fight. Urijah Faber did the same back in 2019. 

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