Rightly or wrongly, Conor McGregor is the biggest name in UFC history. The Irish fighter has had a great career in the ring, and while he does have his flaws, he has built himself up as a big-time draw in the octagon largely due to his cocky attitude and his pre-match trash talking, whether it's at the weigh-in or during media appearances. Yet, for as much as he uses his mouth to make himself a star, he often backs it up with his fighting ability. The fact of the matter is, whether or not you love him or you hate him, chances are you're tuning in to a McGregor fight, even if you're a fair weather UFC fan at best.
And while it seems like everything "The Notorious" touches turns to gold, that obviously isn't the case. His rematch win over Nate Diaz did a lot to keep his career - and legend - afloat, but the previous loss and the way in which he ultimately held on in the rematch isn't forgotten by hardcore fans; there is a reason, after all, McGregor has his critics. He's also known to party it up a bit too excessively on occasion. Given those two facts, it's unlikely Dana White and the UFC would want you seeing these 15 pictures ahead of a potential super fight with Floyd "Money" Mayweather.
15 Watching The Clock
Before Conor McGregor's back-to-back fights with Nate Diaz, most of the Notorius' fights were settled in the first or second round, while he exerted little energy. He seemed chipper following every fight, but that was far from the case in his first fight with Diaz, in which, following an early onslaught, McGregor appeared to tire quickly. He couldn't put Diaz away and it cost him, as Nate beat him with a rear naked choke in the second round.
While McGregor was able to exact revenge in the rematch, he again looked beatable and was a far cry from the man who had previously won his first seven fights in the UFC. He scored the win over Diaz in a majority decision, but it didn't come without criticism. Many chided McGregor for being on the defensive in the latter half of the fight, simply waiting until the final bell. He backed away from Diaz on occasion and constantly kept his eye on the clock, as shown above. That sort of hanging-on behavior doesn't suggest he's as invincible as the UFC - and McGregor - would have you believe.
14 Fistful Of Booty
Conor McGregor seems like a genuinely good dude in regard to his relationship with longtime girlfriend Dee Devlin, who he has been dating since 2008. He's called her his lifesaver for her believing in him when he was making next to no money and nowhere near the star he is today, but a man's gonna be a man when in the presence of wild women, especially when that man is a powerful celebrity.
Devlin is currently pregnant with the couples first child, but it's hard to believe McGregor has been solely committed to her given the above picture and some of the ones to follow. Perhaps she doesn't mind her man grabbing some stripper butt at a club, and hell, the look on his face doesn't appear to be one that would be concerned with what the future mother of his child would think. It's harmless fun, but we're betting neither McGregor or the UFC would want you seeing this.
13 Hanging With Boxing Legend
The potential Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather fight would be a marketer's dream. It would do little to truly determine which sport is more popular or which sport's athletes are tougher, because if it's a boxing match McGregor would be done in a couple of rounds at best. And of course, if the fight got taken to the ground, Mayweather would likely be done in no time. Yet, the fight itself would certainly drive a wedge between the two sports, regardless of outcome.
That's why it's unlikely the UFC would wish to promote a relationship between "Iron" Mike Tyson and McGregor. Sure, it's fun to see mega stars hanging out with each other ringside, but if McGregor is going to ultimately represent the UFC in a head-to-head match against boxing's biggest star, Dana White isn't going to want to promote McGregor and Tyson.
12 Dreadful Haircut
Conor McGregor is the walking embodiment of how crucial a haircut is to a person's overall look. We're not at all embarrassed with stating that, on the whole, the Irishman is a fine looking gentleman, at least when he's rocking a reasonable haircut and some facial hair. As we see above, he's had some less than reasonable haircuts, however.
Urijah Faber was able to make the deadlocks work, but we can't say the same thing about McGregor, who looks more like a sideshow act than a legitimate champion. Furthermore, the mini ponytail routine is far from intimidating, which completely goes against the image Dana and the UFC would like to push in regard to McGregor. But you have to give him credit for his individuality.
11 Getting Saucy
First, who the hell eats ribs in a suit? Second, we're aware it's an ad so relax a minute. But really, the photo isn't a great look for McGregor, despite the fact he agreed to do the promotional shoot. Look, aside from committing murder, eating ribs is the last situation you want to find yourself in while being photographed. It doesn't scream intimidating, nor does it fall in line with how the McGregor has marketed himself in the past. Not to mention he's dressed like Pee Wee Herman.
And we're not so sure ribs falls into the Sirtfood diet, which McGregor previously recommended to his followers on Instagram. Sirtuin activators burn fat while you eat, so foods like apples, blueberries, chili, walnuts, citrus fruits, and yes, dark chocolate are included.
10 Post-Fight Direction
Generally speaking, Conor McGregor looks happy and upbeat in fan photos and other promotional photos. That wasn't exactly the case following his tiring UFC 202 win over Nate Diaz, in which he partied and took a photo with fellow Irishman and PGA star Rory McIlroy and former One Direction signer Niall Horan.
There's certainly a good reason he wouldn't be his normal bashful self following the fight. It would have been well past midnight and he had just went through a five-round grind with Diaz, suffering numerous bumps and bruises, not to mention likely a very serious headache. Drinking and celebrating probably isn't the perfect cure, but he wouldn't be Conor McGregor if he didn't indulge. Still, the look on his face isn't one we're accustomed to seeing from the 28-year-old star. He more or less looks defeated.
9 Conor McGregor: Architect
We've seen the hipster McGregor and here he is sitting in an office looking like he's about to open up his own architecture company. Quite obviously, McGregor has a strange fashion sense and he enjoys looking sharp by dressing in high-quality suits and different colors, but we're going to have to take a pass on this look.
This photo might be one that portrays McGregor as a normal dude who just happens to be good at kicking ass, but if it were up to the UFC they'd prefer to show him in the gym, working towards his next fight or, at the very least, maintaining a bad-ass image. As much as Dana White and the company wants to break further into the mainstream, its hardcore fans aren't exactly thrilled with images like this one. There is, after all, a reason McGregor gets harshly criticized by his haters.
8 Fashion Faux-Pas
As we've stated, Conor McGregor is, for the most part, known as a sharp-dressed dude. His suit game is strong and he's got fairly good eye for fashion. If he wasn't a fighter, we could see him living a similar life to that of Barney from How I Met Your Mother, constantly wearing suits to the pub and sipping on whiskey. The sole difference between the two, however, is that McGregor sometimes overextends himself when trying to appear fashionable.
It's happened on a few occasions, but perhaps no so more egregious than in the photo above, where he's rocking a shirt that appears to have been designed by a six-year-old in art class. And then thrown up on by another kid. As many of the other images dispel any notion of McGregor being invincible, this one hurts the idea that he has a great fashion sense. What's worse is that shirt was probably worth more than your house.
7 Hipster Selfie
Keeping with the theme or McGregor being a bad-ass machine inside the octagon, there's fewer pictures that might dispel that notion than the one above. First of all, aside from looking like a 1940s-era paper boy, since when was it OK for fighters to take mirror selfies? We can understand selfies with fans and even gym selfies, as lame as they might be, but mirror selfies belongs with giving birth as things that only women can pull off.
It's highly unlikely that, if you hadn't known who Conor McGregor was, you would think he's a double UFC World Champion by looking at the photo. Sure, it's 2017; he can dress however he likes and do whatever he likes, but it doesn't mean he's free from criticism. And this photo does little to help the image of McGregor as hyped through the UFC.
6 Respecting Diaz
It's no secret that, at the end of the day, most fighters have a mutual respect for each other. You can leave a guy battered and bruised and he'll shake your hand after the fight. It's different with Conor McGregor - at least that's what he likes to portray leading up to a fight. Really, it's just great marketing on McGregor's part, and Diaz, in their two fights, played along brilliantly, as the two trash talked each other into oblivion.
The casual fan would imagine that both fighters genuinely hated each other, and you would have to think Dana White and the UFC doesn't mind this strategy either. Real animosity sells. The problem is, McGregor really isn't different than most fighters; but seeing him and Diaz embrace following their epic battle, while heartwarming, hurts the effectiveness McGregor's future trash-talking efforts.
5 Entering The Upside Down
Nobody has ever claimed Conor McGregor is a smart man. He's a great fighter, great marketer, and, for the most part, has a decent fashion sense, though perhaps that can just be attributed to having money. Chances are, however, that he won't be authoring his own biography when his career in the ring comes to an end. And if you believe he was stupid enough to not notice the newspaper above was upside down, then he might not even be able to read it.
There's a very good chance that McGregor was being coy when he posted the above photo to his Instagram account, but given what we know about him there's at least a very slight possibility that he, in fact, had no idea the newspaper was upside down.
4 Ground Game
Bare with us while he continue to hammer home the negative effects the Nate Diaz fights had on Conor McGregor's career. Sure, he bounced back from the one loss with a five-round decision win and a knockout of Eddie Alvarez, but Diaz proved he isn't untouchable. Now, it's only a matter of time before McGregor truly gets tagged and fades. Quite simply, he isn't going to get better.
You could take one of several images from the Diaz fight and use it to show that McGregor truly isn't as invincible as the UFC would like to perpetuate, but the above one has it all. He's on the ground, taking a beating, and looking up at the clock, awaiting the end of the round. Five rounds ain't easy, but it's clear McGregor has his weaknesses like any other fighter.
3 Bruised Ego
A year later and this is still one of the strangest pictures that exists of McGregor. He often has a smile on his face or some sort of excited expression (see, grabbing booty), so to see him giving the same defeated look we all give when we realize it's Monday morning is a bit jarring. It's not the dominant Conor McGregor that we've seen in his previous seven UFC fights, and it's certainly not an image the UFC would like to continue promoting.
Make no mistake, it made a great redemption story in the rematch, but you're kidding yourself if you had any belief that the UFC wanted Nate Diaz to win that fight. It might have helped vault Diaz into star territory, but it took a strip off McGregor's cocky attitude, which, backed by an undefeated record in the UFC, made him a force.
2 Bombed Photo
These next two photos come from the same night of partying and might be the only two photos the UFC - and McGregor - would genuinely wish to wipe from the Internet. Fortunately, as we know, that's impossible. Hence, the two photos of a shirtless McGregor partying with women who aren't his girlfriend exist.
Rumors about the night are spread online, with some accounts stating that McGregor was indulging in some nose candy and other activities throughout the night. He hasn't failed any UFC drug tests throughout his career, so we're not going to validate any of those claims, but it's clear by his demeanour in the above photo that he doesn't want his picture taken, which is generally true for someone up to no good. The picture obviously got out, but we're curious what happened seconds after it was snapped.
1 Party Time
McGregor appears to be having a little more fun here, likely because he isn't privy to the fact his picture is being taken while an obviously drunk woman observes his watch, which is likely worth more than the entirety of her belongings. We're not saying she's trashy looking, but she might be part of the reason he didn't want any photos taken.
The incident in question apparently happened just after McGregor's loss to Diaz at UFC 196, so that could be a reason why he appears to be in a dark place both physically and mentally - it's sure a different scene than his club party following his win over Diaz. There's also a video in which one of the ladies present seems surprised to hear he has a girlfriend.