Conor McGregor, otherwise known as "The Notorious," has quickly risen to fame from his rambunctious personality and talent inside of the ring. From his trash talking videos and Instagram posts all the way to his insane knockouts, McGregor is reinventing what it means to be a professional athlete. Let's face it: if it wasn't for McGregor, would you even know what MMA or the UFC is? As stated by Conor McGregor himself, "I am the UFC."
Behind the fighting phenom that is Conor, there is still a regular human being, believe it or not. Under that powerful stance and braggadocios demeanor, he has a few things that the average joe may not know about off the top of their heads. With the Mayweather x McGregor fight coming up, it'll be interesting to know as much about the fighters as possible, even if it isn't all fighting related. Now without further ado, here are 15 awesome facts that you most likely don't know about:
15 He Supports Gay Marriage
In May of 2015, when Ireland held the Gay Marriage Referendum (for whoever doesn't know it's when voters were asked if "marriage may be contracted in accordance with the law by two persons without distinction as to their sex"), McGregor openly supported the new bill which also ended up being passed (approved by 62.07% of voters, good job Ireland!). He also spoke publicly and deeply supported the "Yes" campaign. Whether you agree with the political decision or not, it's great to see that he's using his wealth and prestige to actively participate in society and to fight for what he believes in. It's safe to say the majority of famous people and athletes relatively stay quiet in regards to what they believe in, or if they do voice their opinions they'll just talk about it on social media - and that definitely wasn't the case for Conor.
14 Wanted To Fend Off Bullies
Believe it or not, The Notorious wasn't always on top of the food chain. Because of his small size, whenever he got into fights and scuffles with other boys on the playground, he would always lose. “I felt I needed to be able to defend myself,” McGregor admits, via the Daily Mail. “I never felt bullied but I was a small kid and you have fights growing up. Those scuffles took up more of my thoughts than most people. I didn’t get into it to be able to handle myself but people would know I did it." As you can see, ever since he was a young lad, fighting has consumed his thoughts, in both positive and negative ways. After getting beaten so much, the road to becoming a professional fighter began (although at the time he didn't know it yet). “I started with kickboxing then did some boxing and moved to jiu-jitsu. I was trying to learn every way and be comfortable in any situation.”
13 He Once Cut 30 Pounds In One Week For A Weigh-In
Before his fight with Chad Mendes at UFC 189 in 2015, McGregor reportedly cut 30 pounds in one week! McGregor has claimed in the past that the thing he hates most about MMA is having to make weight. "I look forward to the day when I’m old and able to eat what I want. I’ll be a little happy fat guy,” McGregor said. He has been known to have a huge sweet tooth and the hardest part of his diet is not being able to eat sweets. “I’m a sweet man. I like cake and a nice coffee. I’d much rather that than like grease,” McGregor told the Toronto Sun. “So for me, I love meat. But a cheat would definitely be a nice coffee and a cake.” Conor also ended up winning the fight three seconds into the second round by knockout for the interim Featherweight title. This was one of the first titles of many that he would go on to achieve. After that second round knockout things were looking pretty good for The Notorious.
12 He Wants To Change His Nickname
Conor McGregor is commonly known by his nickname, "The Notorious," as we all know (and if you didn't, now you do). His Instagram handle is also "thenotoriousmma," which seems to perfectly fit his character. However, he's looking for a little bit of a change, to possibly change his nickname to, "The Celtic Tiger." "I’ve been thinking of changing my fight name recently,” McGregor said, via the Irish Mirror. “I like ‘The Notorious’. But I see I’ve been giving people work." If he did make the name-change, it would definitely go well with his large tiger tattoo across his stomach, which he showcases during every fight. But since he's been known as "The Notorious" for so long, it may be hard to shake the name. Maybe he'll combine the new and old, or he'll transition cold turkey, we will find out.
11 He Was Training To Be A Plumber Before His Fighting Career
Conor may have always wanted to be a fighter, but he was training to be a plumber much to his father's approval, who wanted him to have a steady, decent paying job. In an interview with Men's Health, Conor revealed to the public that he was in fact on the road to becoming a plumber rather than title winning fighter. When he finally chose the path to become a fighter, his father gave him some serious heat about it. He received "a daily ass-whooping," in the words of McGregor. “He wasn’t in to it all, it was a real nightmare to try and get him to go. I remember the moment I knew he wasn’t going to be a plumber. It was a Monday morning, I went in to wake him up and I just remember him peering out from under his blanket and saying, ‘look, this isn’t for me'," said his father. Can you imagine a world with Conor being a plumber rather than being in the ring? I sure can't.
10 He Holds The Record For The World's Fastest Knockout
Four seconds. Four seconds was all it took for Conor to knockout Paddy Doherty. This happened more than five years ago while he was fighting at the Immortal Fighting Championship 4 in Letterkenny, Ireland, trying to make a name for himself with an underwhelming 6-2 record. I could only imagine how confused Doherty must've been when he came-to after being knocked out, wondering if the fight even started yet. That left hook by Conor after Dohery extended his arm was the shot heard around Ireland. While on the topic of knockouts, six of his first seven victories were knockouts in the first round. He's proving to be a real Mike Tyson type fighter in the ring in regards to being a hard hitter. And if I had to choose between going into the ring with Tyson during his prime or McGregor... well hopefully I'll never have that ultimatum (or you either).
9 He Wanted To Play Professional Football (Soccer) As A Kid
Besides getting beaten up in the schoolyard as a young boy, he also fancied playing soccer - and he was pretty darn good. Before a boxing class took Conor away, he was fairly focused on soccer. “He played for Lourdes Celtic and some of the other local clubs around us. It must’ve been his early teens when he started to go up to Crumlin Boxing Club and I remember him coming home one day and asking us why we hadn’t got him into it years before. He found his own niche in the end,” said McGregor's father. In recent years, Conor has shown that he still has it by juggling a soccer ball on his chest, knees and feet. It's no surprise considering most of the professional athletes are good at several sports - with their talents and athleticism being unparalleled.
8 His Sister Body Builds
We all know Conor McGregor as the shredded, muscular star-studded athlete that he is; however, his sister also takes after is healthy habits and powerful motivation. Erin, his older sister, has gained her own merits by being a professional body builder. Conor has also been her through every step of the way; helping her diet, motivating her and pushing her far past her limits. “You are really pushing your body to its limit, so there were definite low periods,” Erin said. “Whenever I was low Conor was on the other end of the phone. I remember him saying: ‘No-one realizes what it’s like until they’ve done it themselves.’ " They create the perfect sibling duo that we all wish to have one day. It looks like athleticism and elitism runs in the McGregor bloodline. Who knows? Maybe his son will even surpass Conor's records one day... or will he follow his aunt's route?
7 He Is The 24th Highest Paid Athlete In The World
According to Forbes' list of the world's highest paid athletes in 2017, Conor McGregor ranks at number 24, with a net worth of $34 million. He moved up a whopping 61 spots from last year's list and he doesn't show any signs of slowing - especially when he's estimated to make $100 million+ with the upcoming Mayweather bout. McGregor's payday from the UFC was increased after his pay per view fight with Diaz and Alvarez, which drew in $2.9 million combined. He also has recently signed a deal with Beats By Dre, which just adds to his total net worth. This man is incredibly rich and only getting richer.
6 His Shoes Need Their Own Passports When Traveling
"I’ve never owned a pair of $1k Crocodile shoes, so the news that they require their own passport to board an airplane was news to me," said Conor McGregor. Because some of his shoes are made out of different animals, like crocodile, they aren't allowed in certain countries where certain animal clothing is banned. Because of that, he needs to get them their own passport to travel overseas with him. If it sounds insane, it's because it kind of is... According to his longtime girlfriend Devlin, if McGregor forgets to pack the passports for his luxurious shoes, the airport security seizes them. It's safe to say not many of us have ran into that problem at the airport.
5 He Used To Be On Welfare
McGregor wasn't always this rich. From humble beginnings, he has a true rags-to-riches story. Before gaining his fame and prestige in the UFC, he was collecting welfare checks from the Irish government while he was training to be a plumber. During one of his first fights, he made $60,000 and although that may not seem like a lot compared to now, it was huge. After his first round victory, McGregor said this in his post-fight interview: “To be honest, I don’t know what’s going on here, I’m just up here hearing $60,000. I’m just thinking of what I’m going to spend it on. Maybe a nice car and some suits or something, some custom-made suits. I’m making money here, I didn’t have money before this, you know. Like I said, I was collecting 180 Euros a week off the social welfare and here I am and I’ve got 60 G’s bonus and my own pay.” And now that kind of money is pocket change to him.
4 He Gave His Training Team A Mega-Mansion
Before UFC 189, Conor relocated his training team / entourage from Ireland to a mega-mansion in Las Vegas. As a token of their appreciation, the mansion he moved them into has seven bedrooms and is 12,000 square feet! Each bedroom comes compete with en-suite bathroom and walk-in wardrobe and a state-of-the-art kitchen, used in filming American TV show Top Chef, to ensure McGregor has all his culinary requirements met. And it's right off the Las Vegas strip. Not only does it only have some bedrooms and bathrooms, there's also an olympic sized swimming pool, a custom hot tub, a gym, and floor to ceiling windows. It must be nice to have a friend who is handing out mansions like Halloween candy.
3 He Has Been With His Girlfriend Since 2007
Although McGregor has given much thanks and appreciation to his training team, friends and parents; there's one person who was always there since the beginning. His girlfriend Devlin has been dating The Notorious before he was so notorious, back in 2007. As stated by Conor in an interview with VIP Magazine, “My girlfriend has been there since the start. She has helped me throughout my entire career. If it wasn’t for her, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today.” Devlin is also a member of his training team, and travels with him wherever he goes... when she's not cheering on her boyfriend, she's busy managing his finances! He's making a ton of money, so she has a bunch of work to do!
2 He Tore His ACL During A Fight And Still Won
That's right, not even a torn ACL can stop this man from getting a victory. “I heard a big pop and I let out a scream mid-round, but I passed into side control with it,” McGregor said after the fight. “When I stood back up, I was unsteady on it." However, the lack of a finish made Conor feel like it was still a loss, although he won by decision. “I came out for the third round and chanced it, tried a couple of kicks, tried some shots and was wobbling on it.” I could only help but feel bad for his opponent, Max Holloway, McGregor tore his ACL and STILL came out with the win... I wonder where Holloway is now...
1 His Tattoos Have Almost No Meaning
It's hard to picture Conor McGregor without all of his notable tattoos, although back in 2013 he was almost completely tattoo free. Over the years, he slowly got one tattoo after the other and I'm guessing you're wondering what they mean and why? You may disappointed, but most of them mean almost nothing! First, he has a mysterious tattoo on his heel that not many people know about. In an interview he says, “This was when I was drunk, that was my first. It could mean anything. Arabic writing was a thing for a while, it was the cool thing to do. Maybe one day I’ll get it covered up.” He also has a winged sword which transitions into a helix running from his neck to his back, a gorilla on his chest, a gentleman and roses on his wrist/forearm, and then finally the tiger across his stomach along with the words "Notorious" on top and "McGregor" on the bottom. As for his reasoning for the tiger, he remarks, “I just was floating through Venice and I said ‘[expletive it], I’m gonna get a tiger.’ A tiger has been jumping out at me sometimes…. I think the tiger is a courageous animal." Cool meaning or not, there is no denying that these tattoos are awesome.