What do you get when you take an Irish accent, charisma, and some knockout power? Well, you get a highly marketable fighter in Conor McGregor, one of Dana White's all time favorite PPV draws. He started training in a couple of martial arts throughout in his youth, and after realizing he's pretty awesome at hitting people, he stepped into the world of mixed martial arts.
He went pro in 2008, and after a 4-2 start in the sport, he went on a a fifteen fight win streak, that involved winning two belts (Lightweight and Featherweight) in Cage Warriors, and seven fights in UFC, including an embarrassing 13 second KO of Jose Aldo for the Featherweight Championship. After splitting two fights with fellow trash-talker Nate Diaz, McGregor made Eddie Alvarez look silly for just over a round before taking the Lightweight belt. Sorry for the history lesson, but he has had an impressive rise to dominance, and it's worth recounting.
While nobody can deny he's a gifted striker, he also holds the distinction of being one of the most polarizing figures in MMA. His smack-talk earns him as many fans as it does haters, and many of his fanboys like to call him the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time), while other seasoned fight fans are less enthusiastic. Yes, he has held two belts at once, and yes, he has an impressive record, but his three career losses have come on the ground, calling his wrestling game into question. On top of that, we've yet to see him defend a belt.
Wherever you stand on this debate, the striking, trash talking and overall confident bravado are all there, and make for a guy who is not only great to watch in the octagon, but also phenomenal meme fodder. Here are fifteen awesome, savage Conor McGregor memes.
15 He Sure Does Have a Lot of Fans...
We'll spend a bit of time throughout this article mocking Conor's fans. We should make a disclaimer: we aren't mocking MMA fans who have respect for him, we're mocking people who know nothing else about MMA and love Conor because of his trash talking and a few impressive knockouts. We aren't talking about long-time MMA enthusiasts (who are likely knowledgeable about combat sports and have trained in martial arts) who acknowledge his skill, but the guys whose only contribution to any discussion about the sport is "Conor is the GOAT, man, everyone else sucks". That's right, when we call out McGregor fanboys; it is the bandwagon jumpers who never watched a fight before.
This "Homer Simpson disappearing in the hedge" meme is basically a roundabout way of implying his bandwagoners have no loyalty, and likely started a love affair with Nate Diaz after UFC 196.
14 Dana's Precious
Anyone who knows the history of the UFC and Dana White's part in it knows that the President of the promotion is among the most outspoken people in sports, and is pure meme gold. He's one of the few people in his position in the world of sports who actually adds to his sport (when compared to guys like Gary Bettman and Roger "I'll fine your @$$" Goodell).
But we digress from our brief tirade: everyone knows that from time to time, Dana finds a highly marketable fighter who can sell tons of pay-per-view and he basically goes to town with that fighter. Brock Lesnar, Tito Ortiz, Ronda Rousey, and Conor McGregor are among Dana's beloved in terms of money-makers. This is a weird meme to look at, but it speaks the truth, Conor is like Dana's little cash-cow baby.
13 He's Not the Best Wrestler
As we mentioned earlier, Conor is a very solid striker, and packs a left that has put quite a few guys to sleep. He's also able to throw some mean kicks and knees. The same things cannot be said of his ground game. This is not to say he has poor jiu jitsu, as he holds a brown belt under John Kavanagh; Ireland's first BJJ black belt. Unfortunately, when he's going up against black belts, his skills aren't up to par, hence his preference to stay on his feet.
Looking at his three losses, all have come to gifted wrestlers who got him on the ground: Artemij Sitenkov handed him his first career loss, not bothering to stand and trade with Conor, and instead just letting the fight go to the ground and then patiently working his way around and eventually grabbing a leg and working it into a kneebar.
Two years later, against fellow Irishman Joseph Duffy (now 4-1 in the UFC), Conor came out swinging, but Duffy managed to grab a leg and take him down, quickly maneuvering into a choke from top position. Finally, in their first meeting, McGregor was rocked and in a moment of panic, took Nate Diaz to the ground, but Diaz moved around him like he was nothing and submitted him via rear-naked choke.
12 Eddie Never Had a Chance
Eddie Alvarez has had an impressive career that is nowhere near over, and before meeting Conor McGregor, he had lost just four times, and to some of the toughest Lightweights in the business. To save you a trip to Sherdog, his first loss was to Nick Thompson, a total warrior and former Bodog Fight champ. His second was to Shinya Aoki, a former DREAM, Shooto, ONE, and WAMMA champ. His third was in 2011, when he gave up his Bellator Lightweight championship to Michael Chandler. His most recent loss was to Donald Cerrone, one of the toughest in the business. There is no shame losing to these guys, and while Alvarez is not one of the all-time greatest champions of the Lightweight division, he was no slouch. Conor certainly made him look like one though. Putting both of his hands behind his back and leaning in with his chin completely uncovered was a brilliant example of confidence and daring disrespect.
11 G.O.A.T.? Really?
This is another shout out to the casual MMA fans who love Conor. I'm not going to make a case against McGregor being a very good, maybe a "great" fighter. He has torn up the Featherweight division of the UFC and then dethroned the Lightweight champ, holding two belts simultaneously. It's damned impressive, and while we'll give Conor a hard time, denying his ability to market himself and back up all his talk is more than worthy of our respect.
But a major part of what makes a fighter "G.O.A.T." material is longevity in the sport, longevity competing against top-level opponents, and most of all, amount of time spent holding and defending a belt. McGregor has yet to defend either of the belts he has won, which is a major knock against his current status as anywhere near G.O.A.T. status. At this point, putting him in the top 20 is fair, top ten is highly debatable, and top five is the work of a hard drug user. If you think McGregor is among the five greatest fighters of all time, seek help and watch some events that took place before 2010.
10 Who Da Fook Is That Guy?
Looking back to a press conference back in 2016, a fan asked Conor McGregor who on the stage (so basically, who on the card for UFC 205) would give him the greatest challenge in a fight. This stacked card included Yoel Romero, Chris Weidman, Tyron Woodley, and Stephen Thompson, just to name a few. UFC veteran Jeremy Stephens opened his mouth, calling himself the hardest hitter in Featherweight, and implying he'd drop McGregor. Rather than even addressing Stephens' claim, he turned his head slightly and exclaimed "who the f*** is that guy?!"
This screenshot has been used ever since to mock little known fighters or poor trash talkers, and even with pictures of certain female fighters such as Cris Cyborg who...kind of looks like a man, according to some fans.
9 When is He Fighting Floyd?
This is kind of two memes in one, and pokes fun at both Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor. McGregor is looking for the biggest payday of his life, and has called out one of the greatest boxers of all time. Mayweather and McGregor may well never happen, no matter how hard we all wish for it.
Either way, this is a hilarious meme and not only present Conor as desperate (Floyd doesn't need Conor by a long shot) and also takes a shot at the misconception that Mayweather is illiterate and can't read. This misconception stems from him having some trouble reading aloud a couple of years ago. He's not illiterate, but like many people, he has some trouble reading out loud. Regardless of factual accuracy, this meme is quite funny.
8 The 13 Second KO
Okay, the fight wasn't "done in a second" but it was only 13 seconds. Imagine the pain of fans who had just cracked a beer at the start of the fight (anticipating a lengthy title fight which they dropped money on to enjoy). But this is beside the point, and the thirteen second title fight in which he quickly dropped a Jose Aldo who was advancing with his hands down was an impressive example of Conor being a knockout threat even while moving backward. And it is true, staying up to watch the main event can be tiring for some people, but we don't feel nearly as bad for sleepy fans as a freshly knocked out Aldo. At least it was entertaining.
7 Giving the Belt Back
Jose Also held that UFC Featherweight Championship for an impressive period of time, and actually held the belt back in 2009 when he was still in WEC, before the UFC took over. He held the belt for over five years total, with nine total defenses between the two promotions. But enough of the history lesson: as we said previously, Conor took 13 seconds to strip him of that belt and after a year without defending it, he gave it up, in favor of holding onto the Lightweight Championship and focusing on that division.
This meme is basically the funniest possible way of picturing Conor giving his belt back to Aldo.
6 Interesting Fashion Choices
Apart from his beard, trash-talking, fighting and general persona, Conor has been noted as a snappy dresser for years (yes, he can go over the top with his fashion but what else can you expect from this guy?). He's extravagant and his wardrobe follows suit (pun intended). While the suits are nice, and we don't want to focus too much on a fighter's apparel, we're not too sure why the old person glasses briefly became his choice of eye-wear. While is is far fetched to think he took them from an elderly person, if that was the case and they tried to get their glasses back, he'd probably point out that they'd do "nut'in" ("nothing" in an Irish accent, for those who read like Mayweather).
5 Get Well Soon, Dana
This meme is a mainstay among MMA fans and usually gets tossed around on message boards for a few weeks after one of Dana White's favorite fighters gets humiliated in the octagon, with the implication being, he's so shocked he needs to be hospitalized and put on life support. The meme has notably circulated after recent losses by Paige VanZant, Sage Northcutt, and of course, Conor McGregor, just to name three of the numerous fighters for whom Dana has an outspoken fondness. UFC 196 was of course his first fight against Nate Diaz in which he got viciously put away in the second round. And of course, the internet would begin to flood the boards with Dana once again in regards to McGregor taking the beat down in the cage.
4 He's a Father Now
Conor McGregor and his girlfriend Dee recently had their first child: Conor Jack McGregor. Obviously we wish the young lad and the family as a whole all the best, but a guy with a mouth and problem with authority like Conor Sr. raising a kid is meme gold. We can only imagine that while this kid will probably be brought up to have incredible work ethic like his old man, he'll also have no fear whatsoever and take crap from absolutely nobody. Of course, this also begs the question: what will happen first, Conor McGregor defending a championship belt, or his kid making his UFC debut. That's a joke obviously. Well...we hope it doesn't come to that.
3 Chances of Beating Floyd?
Let's get serious for a second here: if you laugh when someone says Conor McGregor is going to beat Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match, you're right to laugh at that. We don't want to say that there is no chance. We're talking about a sport and in sports, there is always a chance. Remember Michael Bisping taking a fight on short notice and knocking out Luke Rockhold in the first round? In this case however, the chances are so minuscule that calling it a long shot would be a stretch. Conor has the following facts in his corner for this one: he is confident, he is younger, and Floyd has been retired for over a year and a half: ring rust is a real thing.
At the same time however, Conor is used to MMA and Floyd is one of the greatest boxers of all time, and has focused his energy on that one discipline for much of his life. McGregor has used his time practicing Muay Thai, jiu jitsu, and of course, boxing, and mixed martial arts in general, hence, you know, the name of the sport. In short, Mayweather is on another level, and while Conor would likely wipe the floor with him in an MMA bout, he's walking into a whole new world, and one in which he will be introduced to an entirely new realm of striking.
2 He's Not Wrong...
"Roll Safe" is a meme that is basically mocking silly thought processes or alternative logic featuring a picture of actor Kayode Ewumi pointing to his head, indicating a thought. In this case, Conor's head has been photoshopped in and is offering a thought that isn't wrong, but is most definitely not the way to look at the situation. Despite holding two different championship belts, McGregor has yet to have a title defense, While he does have a point that you can't lose what you don't put on the line, eventually he'll fall out of favor with Dana White and then we'll hear something to the effect of "Conor McGregor was never my friend".
1 Still Waiting for that Lightweight Title Defense...
That is a look of fear, if such a look ever crossed the face of Conor McGregor. While we aren't sure of the actual context of this shot, it works for the caption. After giving up the Featherweight belt, which likely would be easier to defend overall, he'll have to stick with Lightweight when he eventually starts to defend his title. He's already been beaten once by a UFC Lightweight (although they met at Welterweight), Nate Diaz. There is a ton of competition for him in the Lightweight division, but the first threat to his belt will likely be the biggest: Khabib Nurmagomedov. He's the number one contender, number 14 in pound for pound, and is undefeated after 24 fights; eight of which have come in the UFC.
As we mentioned earlier, Conor's weakness is wrestlers, and there are few more impressive technical fighters in the sport than Khabib. The bear he used to fight in his youth likely agrees, the Eagle will likely make quick work of McGregor when the time comes.