Conor McGregor has been one of the most talked about athletes over the summer ahead of his much-anticipated boxing clash with Floyd Mayweather Jr at the end of the month. The UFC champion has come a long way since his early years and is expected to earn around $100 million from his first boxing fight. Here’s Conor McGregor’s rags to riches story:
The Early years
Born in Crumlin, Republic of Ireland, Conor McGregor was involved in fighting from an early age through the need to be able to defend himself. Football was his main passion as a child until he turned to Martial Arts. His parents insisted he find a job when he left school, so he worked as a plumber for a short period of time. McGregor knew this was not for him so he left and focused all of his attentions on fighting and this is where his legacy began.
Conor was first noticed in the Irish Mixed Martial Arts scene winning several small fights until he submitted to a 19-year-old Lithuanian leaving him devastated. No training for two months followed until his trainer John Kavanagh told him he needed to come back and can have a clean slate. Finishing 10 of his next 11 opponents and becoming a multiple Cage Warriors World Champion is when the UFC came calling.
The Rise of Mcgregor
Still collecting his welfare cheque of €188-a-week (£165) to stay afloat, little did he know this would be a distant memory. Following a meeting with UFC president Dana White in February 2013, a contract with the UFC was secured. White famously said “if Conor can even throw a punch he is going to be a star matching his unrivaled personality”. A demolishing knockout in just over a minute and a $60k Performance of the Night bonus is when the young, brash Irish lad began to take off.
With his continued self-promotion through trash talking and his passionate Irish following, McGregor’s rise continued. He began to predict when and how he was going to finish his opponents calling himself ‘Mystic Mac’, which even got non-fighting fans watching online. His devastation continued and the UFC began to become more and more in the spotlight. Conor McGregor then earned a title shot with the previous pound-for-pound king; Jose Aldo. The Brazilian champion had been unbeaten for 10 years and was renowned as an unbeatable champion. A 13-second highlight reel knockout later, and McGregor’s legacy was secured.
I AM BOXING
Now the UFC’s biggest star had a huge following worldwide, and the brash talking Irishman had risen to the top of his sport. But he was not done there. Another knockout of champion Eddie Alvarez and a second title meant McGregor became the first UFC champion to hold two titles simultaneously. Two wars against Nate Diaz followed and the collision course for Mayweather v McGregor began. Through the continued push from the public, the fight had to happen and will take place on August 26 in Las Vegas. Conor claims he is boxing and will face undefeated champion Floyd Mayweather Jr in the biggest sporting event in history, expected to make the Irishman around $100 million. This is one of the most anticipated matches of the year. Conor McGregor has many fans backing him up on the Mayweather Jr v McGregor Exchange betting market, but he’s not nearly as popular as Mayweather, where most of the money has gone.