From the streets of Dublin to the Octagon, Conor McGregor’s rise from a trainee plumber to Undisputed Champion and superstar of UFC has been one of the most incredible sports stories of modern times. But Conor has doesn’t do it all on his own. Every step along the way he has had his long-term girlfriend Dee Devlin by his side.
Whereas they both love an opportunity for a good Instagram snap, both Conor and Dee have been keen to maintain privacy, so for a long time little was known about the girl Conor met at a Dublin nightclub nearly a decade ago.
Both came from humble beginnings and had big dreams for the future. The world of UFC is notoriously difficult to break into. But Conor was determined, and when he had moments of doubt it was always Dee who would keep him going. This is a list of 15 things that you may not know about McGregor and his girlfriend, and is also a tribute to their remarkable story. Conor has always been outspoken in his interviews about how much Dee means to him over the years, and to provide for her and their future family is his prime motivation. Dee has repaid the favor by being his rock for nearly a decade. Whether he was fighting in front of 50 people in Dublin, or in front of the world in Madison Square Garden, Dee has been The Notorious’s no.1 fan.
15 They Both Had Unbelievable Confidence That Conor Would Become A Superstar
Conor and Dee’s humble beginnings to their lives now is a story Hollywood movies are made of. Conor and Dee went through some extremely tough years before Conor captured the attention of the world as the biggest star in MMA. Dee supported Conor while he fought to break into the “closed shop” of the UFC. But one thing that McGregor and Dee shared throughout these years is unwavering confidence they had that McGregor would make it one day.
"We believe in the ‘Law of Attraction’ and we’ve always believed that he would make it to the UFC one day,” Dee said.
One thing that kept Dee going was Conor’s commitment to their relationship. He was always doing this for the both of them, not just himself.
"He’s always said that it was for us and our future, and that he’ll have us in the best of houses and the best of cars; I've always believed that! I always knew that this is where he would be.” Who says UFC fighters can’t be romantic?
14 Conor Struggled For Years Making No Money, And Dee Stood By Him
Dee has been there with Conor long before he ever stepped foot in the Octagon. While Conor was trying to break into professional fighting he was living off social security checks, and earning about $100.00 a fight. His annual earnings during the five years before his big break was around $1600.00 a year.
McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh summed up these years saying, “Now I don’t care how passionate you are, but there are always going to be periods thinking F*** this! What am I doing here?” Still McGregor spent hours, day after day in the gym trying to find some way of breaking through. When he had moments where he doubted himself, of which there were many, it would be Dee who would be there to encourage him. It’s significant that after his outstanding win over Chad Mendes in 2015, Dee posted on her Instagram, “We did it babe!”
13 It Was Love At First Sight
Conor and Dee’s story began almost a decade ago when Conor spotted her at a nightclub in Dublin. Conor said that they started chatting and “she seemed like a nice, and I like good girls.” Dee has admitted there was an “instant attraction” to McGregor. Since that moment the two have never looked back.
When they first started seeing each other Conor was making so little money he could barely afford to take Dee out on a date. Last April he treated her to a diamond encrusted Oyster Perpetual Datejust Rolex watch worth $40k. Conor has always said that Dee has been the main driving force behind his ambition, saying, “For me to be able to take her out of work, give her everything she’s ever wanted and to travel the world with fills me with pride.”
12 Dee Quit Her Job To Work For Conor
Conor has said that the main reason he works so hard to succeed is to ensure that his long-term girlfriend can live a life of luxury and never work a “conventional job” and he has certainly succeeded. Dee quit her “conventional” job sometime in the last years years to work full-time for Conor and help manage his finances. Dee also helps with other duties while the champion is on the road.
Conor told MMA Fighting in a 2015 interview that his long-term girlfriend, “works for me now and collects the check.” According to Forbes list of the world’s highest-paid athletes released this year McGregor became the first MMA fighter to make the list, coming in at eighth with a worth of $22 million dollars. It sounds like collecting the checks certainly sounds like a full-time job!
11 They Are Both Very Proud Of Their Irish Roots
Conor McGregor and Dee Devlin are both incredibly proud of their Irish upbringings. They were both born and raised in suburbs south of Dublin, Dee in Walkinstown, and Conor in Crumlin, where he joined the Cumlin Boxing Club at the age of 12, where his love affair with the competitive fighting began.
Whereever Conor fights he can always count on a huge support from his fellow countrymen in the arena. After Conor defeated Nate Diaz in Las Vegas earlier this year, Dee tweeted, “The Irish are truly the best supporters in the world!!!”
Conor McGregor’s intro music is the famous Irish folk song, “Foggy Dew.” At UFC it was performed live by Irish music legend Sinead O’Connor. The song chronicles the Easter Uprising of 1916 of Irish against the British. The choice of song demonstrates Conor’s passion for the history of his homeland, and what it means to represent the Orange, White and Green tricolor flag.
10 Conor Describes Dee As His "Lifesaver"
Conor has frequently stressed the importance of Dee in helping him achieve his success, calling her a “lifesaver for me.” Conor has stated that growing up he only had one goal, to be a World Champion MMA fighter. But he would never have been crowned undisputed champion without the support of Dee through the difficult times.
Conor has always been a huge believer in loyalty which explains why he has remained faithful to his long-time girlfriend despite being one of the richest, and most recognizable sports-stars in the world (and still in is 20s). Behind most success stories, whether it’s in sports or the business world, having a long-term partner is often integral to achieving success. Conor is proof that it’s true what they say, that behind every great man there is often an ever greater woman.
9 They Are Not Fans Of Celebrity Culture
“The Norotious” is one of the most charismatic figures in sports these days, and his showmanship and style has brought himself, and the UFC, millions upon millions of dollars. Thanks to McGregor, the UFC has become the hot ticket for celebrities, like great boxing matches of the past.
But Conor and Dee actually have a dislike for celebrity culture. McGregror’s crazy antics are solely to promote his brand. Arnold Schwarznegger acknowledged in an interview that McGregor reminded him of himself when he was young body builder, who did and said crazy things to get people to take notice of him.
Dee has stated she’s intent on keeping her personal life private, and despite her looks and bright personality she has no plans to forge a career in entertainment herself.
Earlier this year McGregor also refused to be drawn in on the ultimate reality TV show that was 2016 Presidential Election. When asked which candidate he supported McGregor said, “I really could not give a bollocks."
8 It Does Not Get Easier For Dee To Watch Conor Fight
The first time Dee saw Conor fight was at a local fight in Dublin in front of 50 people. Dee said she remembered thinking, “There’s no way you can be more nervous than this.” But with each of husband’s fights it only gets more nerve-wracking. Dee has confessed that she gets so nervous before fights she is unable to eat.
Watching anyone you love enter a fight must be so nerve-wracking, but as Dee works so closely with Conor and see first-hand the incredible sacrifices he makes to prepare for each fight, it must add to the stress of watching him fight.
Ironically Conor himself is the only one able to calm down Dee. “I'm a ball of nerves but as soon as I see him [in the stadium], I know he's going to be fine.”
7 They Are Probably The Two Most Stylish People To Come Out Of Ireland
The Irish people are known for a lot of things, their music, rich Celtic history, love of Guinness and whiskey. One thing they are not typically known for is their style. Flat caps and woolen sweaters is the typical choice of clothing for most men on the Emerald Isle. The UFC is also not known for making much impact in the world of fashion. ‘
McGregor has brought unabashed swag and style to the world of the Octagon and is undoubtedly one of the best dressed men in all of sports. Dee shares her partner’s enthusiasm for looking good. Both admit their favorite thing to do to relax is to go shopping. Earlier this year Dee won most stylish Newcomer at the VIP Style Awards in Dublin. Dee thanked her fans on Instagram who voted for her saying, “As Conor would..”We’re not here to take part…!!!””
6 They Aren’t Married
Conor and Dee met eight years ago and have been together ever since, but have never officially married. Both are private when it comes to discussing elements of their personal lives, so it is not known why they are not married or if they ever intend to get married. Conor does appear to be a believer in the institution of marriage. In 2015 Conor McGregor voiced his support for the legalization of same sex marriage in his native Ireland. At a media day for UFC 189 Conor said “We all deserve equal rights.”
It’s possible that with Conor’s incredible dedication to his profession he simply has not had the time to think about marriage, and he and Dee have no reason to doubt each other’s commitment to each other. With big news coming from the couple (more to follow) and Conor announcing he is taking a break over the next year perhaps 2017 is the year the two finally tie the knot. If he does pop the question I imagine she’ll say yes.
5 They Are Expecting A Baby Next year
After his brutal win over Eddie Alvarez at Madison Square Garden at the record-breaking UFC 205, McGregor announced that he and Dee were expecting their first baby early next year.
Conor said he was, “c****ing* his jocks,” over the news but is excited to be a father. Conor announced immediately he would be taking time off, and rumors quickly circulated he may even retire from the UFC altogether. McGregor did give his employees advice on one way of keeping him in the sport, saying in the post-match press conference, “I’ve got a family now, so I want ownership. I want an equal share…I need to be set for life.”
The gender of the child has not been revealed, but whether boy or girl, Conor has said he would love to raise and train them to follow their father into the Octagon.
4 Conor Likes To Spoil Dee Particularly After A Win
Conor knows how to treat a woman. He said of Dee, “If it wasn’t for her, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today. So definitely, I love to spoil her.” A victory in the Octagon is often followed by a big shopping splurge, resulting in lavish gifts for Dee. Both have acquired a taste for the finer things in life, and Dee’s Instagram is filled with expensive gifts Conor has given her.
Conor and Dee also know how to celebrate in style. After McGregor’s epic win over Nate Diaz in August McGregor and Dee partied in Las Vegas for days, both flooding Instagram with nightclub and poolside pictures. Money is clearly no object for Connor and Dee. In a recent interview when it was brought up they owned two Rolls Royce cars, Dee replied that they needed one soft top and one hard top, “In case it rains.” They’ve come a long way from Conor’s days as an apprentice plumber.
3 Dee Helps Conor Train
Dee has been with Conor years before he ever stepped foot in the Octagon. During this time Conor had no money because he spent every day in the gym. Rather than complain and demand he get a “normal” job, Dee would literally drive Conor to the gym and make him train ever harder. She would listen to his dreams and continue to believe in him and be his no.1 supporter.
Dee has always been focused on making sure Conor ate right and stuck to rigidly to his training regime. When the future looked bleak for Conor it would be Dee at the end of a long training session who would tell him, “Conor, it’s ok, you can do it!” Dee continues to help her boyfriend train to this day. Conor’s journey to the top of MMA is a stunning story, but the dedication and sacrifice of his girlfriend, against seemingly impossible odds, is equally as inspiring.
2 Conor and Dee Are Currently Taking A Break From UFC
After dispatching Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205, Conor made his big announcement, that he will be a father in 2017. He also revealed that he will be taking a break from the sport, to spend time with Dee, prepare for fatherhood, and reevaluate his life and his position within the UFC organization. In a post-fight interview McGregor said “I just want to have this baby and take some time."
Conor’s agent, Audie Attar, also said after the fight that Conor would be going on a “less rigorous training regimen,” to have more time to focus on entrepreneurial ventures. There has also been talk of McGregor trying his hand at acting in a Hollywood movie. The birth of their first child will certainly take priority next year for the couple.
1 They Have A Number Of Celebrity Friends
Being the most recognizable fighter in all of MMA it’s not surprising that The Notorious frequently encounter the rich and famous. Conor has been outspoken in his distaste for celebrity culture, saying on the birth of their child, “I don’t want any celebrity type s***." But since hitting the big time he and Dee ave become good friends with various celebrities, and both of their Instagram accounts are full of photos hanging out with A-list celebs. Both were at Jenifer Lopez’ birthday earlier this year, and McGregor has been seen online flexing his muscles with Cristiano Ronaldo, Arnold Schwarzenneger, Justin Timberlake, and Rhianna.
They haven’t taken to every celebrity they’ve come across. On the Irish late night show, ‘The Late Late Show,; Conor described P Diddy as being “a little up his own arse,” and considered giving him “a left to the chin,” when he barely shuck his hand.
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