Conor McGregor was born in Dublin, Ireland in July 14, 1988. Initially working as a plumber, McGregor was inspired to take a new path when he attended UFC 93 in 2009. It is where he started dreaming of becoming a UFC champion. To pursue this dream, he started training for boxing under Phil Sutcliffe. His early apprenticeship years was followed with a Jujitsu training under the supervision of John Kavanagh. This further honed the potential of McGregor and made him a step closer to his dream.
Martial Arts Background
With boxing and Jujitsu as his basic martial arts trainings, Conor furthered his quest for an Ultimate Fighting Championship belt by immersing himself to other martial arts disciplines. Prior to competing in professional Mixed Martial Arts, he also trained hard in Karate, Capoeira, Taekwondo and Kick Boxing. These trainings were not easy for him, but this tough guy driven with ambition and motivation worked very hard to pursue his UFC dream.
Early Professional Career
March 9, 2008 marked the start of McGregor’s professional career when he defeated Garry Morris at the Cage of Truth 2. It only took him two rounds to knockout his opponent and score his first ever win – a very convincing win. The year 2011 was the start of McGregor’s golden years, he scored an amazing 13 games winning streak, 11 of which are via knockouts and technical knockouts. What impressed the audience more is the fact that 9 out of his 11 knockouts happened in the first round. During the same time, he was able to make history by ending a fight at Immortal Fighting Championship in Letterkenny, Ireland 4 seconds after the bell was rung. This is one of the fastest knockouts in MMA history.
In 2012, McGregor captured the interest of UFC when he grabbed the titles of CWFC Featherweight and Lightweight Championships. This incredible performance gave him the distinction of being the first ever professional Mixed Martial Arts fighter from Ireland to hold three division championships at the same time. These winning streak made him rise in ranking and earn him the respect and attention of the UFC. In February 2013, McGregor’s dreams are slowly becoming a reality when UFC had signed him for a multiple fight contract.
Ultimate Fighting Championship Career
McGregor’s UFC career debuted with an undercard match during the UFC on Fuel TV: Mousasi vs. Latifi where he faced Marcus Brimage. He won via an impressive first round knockout and earned his first ever Knockout of the Night award.
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Not everything is coming in favor of McGregor’s way. In August 17, 2013. He suffered a torn ACL injury when he fought against Max Holloway, a replacement to his initial foe Andy Ogle who pulled out of the match due to injury. McGregor won the fight via unanimous decision but was advised to stay out of the octagon for ten months for recuperation. McGregor went back into action in July of 2014 where he fought against Cole Miller. Again, the notorious McGregor proved that he is definitely back by winning a TKO in the very first round. This earned McGregor his first Performance of the Night bonus award.
UFC Featherweight Championship
Dubbed as “The Notorious” primarily because of his multiple first round knockouts, McGregor diligently prepared for the UFC Featherweight Championship – his first ever title bout in his UFC professional career. He is set to face Jose Aldo at UFC189 but the latter backed out due to a rib injury acquired during training. He was replaced by Chad Mendez, the UFC ranked #1 contender. The fight did come that easy for The Notorious. He was taken down to the canvass in the first round multiple times by Mendez who is also an All American Wrestler. However, using a great combination of his fighting styles, McGregor was able to get back on his feet and scored second round TKO.
McGregor proved that he is a bankable fighter as the championship fight set a record of 16,019 attendance in the MGM Grand Arena with a $7.2 million gate revenue.
Fighting Styles and Stats
This Irish UFC Champion is known for its superb timing and striking punches. He is good in intimidating and pressuring his opponent’s straight lefts and jabs with combinations of body and head punches. Once the opponent is stunned, expect that the fight will be ending soon as he will go for a finishing flurry. McGregor enjoys an impressive 18-2-0 record with a 14 fight winning streak.
McGregor is set to face Diaz in a unification match on March 2016 at UFC 196.
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Image credit: “UFC 189 World Tour Aldo vs. McGregor London 2015 (18776759002) (cropped)” by Andrius Petrucenia