McGregor attends Total Extreme Fighting 1 to see his SBG’s Charlie “The Hospital” Ward win his second professional bout, scoring a TKO victory over Portugal’s Joao Carvalho.
Speaking at a media day for UFC 199, Cruz says that McGregor is using the higher weight fight against Diaz as a strategy against Edgar.
Conor’s going up to fight Diaz at 170[lbs] again, leaving the featherweight belt for Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar to fight for. Okay, what if Conor McGregor goes back down and fights Frankie Edgar at 145lbs? Which is an extremely terrible style match-up and a hard fight and then he loses? Now he’s lost all his push, whereas if he stays at 170, fights Diaz and he happens to lose again, he still has it because he’s like; ‘Well, but it was it 170′. So there’s still excuses to make for it, to say why he’s the best. If he loses to Frankie Edgar at 145, you pretty much kill the excuses. It doesn’t necessarily take away legitimacy but it buys time.
Sonnen defends McGregor after Nate Diaz’s accusation that McGregor was “full of juice”.
First off, Conor’s not on anything. I’m a guy that lived in that world. When a guy takes his t-shirt off, I can tell you exactly what he’s taking. I can look at his traps, I can look at his pecs; his definition. I know what he has taken and how he got to look that way. Conor’s clean. He’s got great genetics. He’s got good DNA going through his system. He’s just one of those guys that got lucky.
Dos Anjos, UFC lightweight champion, calls McGregor a “coward” for putting off his first featherweight title defense. The featherweight division will continue to be held up for at least another half year or so as McGregor pursues fights against bigger men.
feel bad for Aldo and Edgar,after ufc200 Conor ll find another fight in a different division,so he can keep his belt for lil longer #coward
— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) March 31, 2016
McGregor’s manager says McGregor initially asked for the UFC 200 fight with Diaz at 170 pounds — the same weight as UFC 196. Then, after listening to Coach Kavanagh and the rest of his team, McGregor said he’d be willing to do it at 155.
At the 11th hour, before we signed the bout agreement, [McGregor] said, ‘Look, I’m hearing everybody. If everybody wants to do 155, fine. Let’s do 155’. The contract was already written at 170. And so, in Conor’s defense, he really didn’t give two sh*ts. He really wanted it at 170, because he wanted to prove he could beat him there…Conor is his own CEO, but intelligently he listens to the people around him and then makes his own final decision.
The fight will be at 170. Attar also says the rematch is not about McGregor wanting to avenge his only loss in the UFC.
For him, that loss in itself, because of how he was performing until it went the other way is yet again fueled by his own self-belief system, confidence and desire to want to continue to push the envelope with his athletic ability and his skills, no matter who is in front of him. It happens to be the guy who beat him. He wants to put the same canvas up and paint a different picture for the audience to watch.
Attar says that immediately after the loss to Diaz, McGregor watched the fight on his phone with his coach around 20 times on a loop, even before the press conference started.
[He’s] obsessed. Obsessed with it.
Three years to the day he started UFC, McGregor’s coach posts an image of him starting training for UFC 200.
If McGregor had won UFC 196, there were rumours that he would have been in line for a welterweight title shot against champion Robbie Lawler. However, Diaz, who won the bout, says the UFC would have lined up Georges St-Pierre for McGregor’s next fight.
I put a big old halt on that shit. Like what are you guys thinking that I’m some game to be played with? I’ve been in this game for too long to f–k with. Yeah, they had GSP there, they wanted to have this whole GSP/McGregor show bullshit. I don’t even want to hear that shit…GSP’s going to come out of retirement to fight this little ass Conor McGregor? What the f–k? This is all just a freak show now. Now what did I do? I pissed off Conor McGregor, I pissed off GSP and most of all I pissed off the UFC…I wanted to be the first one to speak up — you’re a f–king bully. You know you’re going to hold that little ass Irishman down. You’re going to hop in and take this money fight like ‘I’m coming back for this’ like what the f–k. Get your ass up to your weight class and Conor McGregor’s out of line, too, trying to fight big ass people.
In an interview with Men’s Health, Bjornsson talks about his sparring session with McGregor, before his victory against Jose Aldo. He says he had to be careful not to injure McGregor.
I was in Ireland shooting for Game of Thrones and my friend [Icelandic UFC fighter] Gunnar Nelson was training in Dublin with Conor. I asked if I could check out a session. I knew he had a big fight coming up, so I was gentle with him.
We squared off as if we were gonna do it. Then all of a sudden, he’s bouncing and I’m bouncing. Next thing you know, we’re having a full, bareknuckle body shot fight.
McGregor’s nutritionist says only minor changes made in the short lead-up to UFC 196.
Once [Conor] found out he was at 170, there was not really a need for the cut any more. It was not like he was having to pack on a bunch of extra weight or anything like that. The eating was still the same. You want to eat clean and keep the same principles that we have with everybody. Types of food, times of food, hormonal response to the food and then the portion sizes…The shots that Nate took? I was blown away. I’m talking in general, when somebody has got extra weight – the more muscle you have, the more oxygen your body is using. It takes a lot of oxygen to give the muscles the fuel to keep doing what they are doing. The more muscle you have, the easier it is to gas out.
McGregor will cut some weight for UFC 200 but it will not be a lot. He is staying in McGregor’s houses, in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, preparing him specific meals every three hours.
McGregor’s manager responds to comments that McGregor, who has yet to defend the featherweight title, will leave the division.
No, that would have already happened. That was something that Conor was adamant about. He’s going to keep his belt, he’s going to defend. At the end of the day, if he was going to vacate, he would have done it already.
McGregor’s sister, Erin, says that her brother inspires her.
I wear my heart on my sleeve – what you see is what you get – pretty much like actually like my brother. He’s an ordinary fella who had a dream in his hand and went for it. All it takes is determination, passion and talent…He literally rolls with all adversities…he gives me inspiration to do things for me and to not listen to the negative thoughts coming into my head. He helps me to conquer my own fears.
Aldo claims McGregor was using banned substances prior to his fight at March 5.
The fight was not at featherweight. Why would I rematch him in a different weight class with no belt? Now, to make this fight at 155, where he was full of juice in his body, where he hides and nobody tests him, only when he gets to Las Vegas, a week before the fight, and then it’s way easier for you to clean the body and fight. They offered the fight knowing that I wasn’t trained at all. I can’t say anything. I can train, beat Frankie Edgar and then know that I’ve earned my fight for the title again.
On trying to get a rematch:
We called and texted him every day (asking for the rematch) and nothing. There was no talk for a month…They already had in mind who to put against Conor. That’s the path they try to follow, and it’s kind of dirty to me. There’s no negotiation. We ask, and not always we get a response. When they respond is like that, and then they say they love us. It’s a bit weird. But what can I do?”
He thinks Diaz will win.
He’s used to this weight. It’s really hard to move up in weight and continue winning. It’s going to be different now that Nate will be more prepared. He can do his thing, anything he wants, from start to end.
Appearing in the UK for the upcoming Polaris Pro 3 event, Palhares says he would consider a return to the UFC to take on McGregor.
I am happy to be here and even happier that all my British fans are supporting me whilst I’m here…I know I have an image as a bad boy in the ring but that is not the person that I am underneath. If people got to really know me they would see what I am really like. I have made some mistakes in the past and during fights but I am a good person…I would consider returning to the UFC just to fight McGregor. I would kill him. He is too small and weak in Jiu Jitsu to beat me. It would be a privilege to fight him but I would dominate with my ground game and submit him easily. When I play the fight In my head I see him giving in from a foot hold. He is too small to beat me. He shouldn’t be in my division but a fight is a fight.
Diaz says he is annoyed by the praise UFC and others are giving McGregor for the rematch.
Completely irritated. I’ve lost decisions that I didn’t really lose and if I asked to get a rematch, it was out of the question like ‘Are you kidding me, don’t even ask.’ But this guy is getting praised for wanting a rematch. It’s like get the f–k out of here, this is the fight game. Whoever has lost a fight in the UFC and hasn’t wanted to fight that guy the next day shouldn’t be in the sport. All of a sudden he’s getting praised for losing and wanting a rematch? Get the f–k out of here, I’m sick of hearing it…Have you heard any praise out of Dana White or the UFC for me winning the fight at all? Nothing. At this point it’s not even about me and (McGregor). It’s me versus the whole f–king organization.
Also says that he brought the value of the purse up.
Do you think he would have made 1.5 million pay-per-views with Rafael dos Anjos? No, he would have made 700,000, maybe 900,000 but I got a following too.
Aldo says he expected McGregor to return to featherweight and fight him, and surprised when the UFC offered him an interim title fight at UFC 200 against Frankie Edgar instead.
You know as an athlete obviously it’s good because I get to fight, but as a fan it sucks. There’s not much I can say but it really doesn’t have any logic behind it. To me it makes no sense really. Because everyone thought he was going to come back and defend his title and now he’s fighting Nate again. It’s a fight that doesn’t get anyone, anywhere. It doesn’t get Conor anywhere. It doesn’t get Nate anywhere. So it really makes no sense, I don’t know what’s going on…I don’t think there’s any way for [the outcome] to be different. We saw what happened last time. Maybe the only difference is that Nate is going to be even better prepared and Conor’s shame is going to be even greater…He needs to come back to featherweight. There’s no way he can just hold onto that belt for a long time.
Edgar says that, due to his non-response to his social media posts and interviews, McGregor is not going to return to featherweight.
He didn’t respond to anything. He’s so quick with his tongue and he didn’t respond to anything I was putting out there talking about the fight so I did feel that he was going to stay up and try to get that rematch with Nate.
However, he says he is happy about his match-up with Jose Aldo for interim featherweight:
I heard speculation that’s what they might want, but nothing concrete and then Dana called me yesterday and asked me. My reaction, I said yes. What the (expletive) am I going to do?…Let’s just call it the No. 1 contender belt cause that’s what it really is. But I’ll play the game. They did it for Conor, they gave him a belt and if I’ve got to play the whole Conor game to make sure I get this fight, I’m OK with it…The title is definitely what I want. If he never comes back down, I end up becoming champion, I’m a two weight class champion — something he’s trying to do. Maybe I’ll just have to chase him up to 170 to make that fight, to make that payday. Especially if I have the belt he never defended, why not? We can defend it at 155 or 170 if it makes him feel better, but honestly the focus needs to be on Aldo so I’m not too worried about Conor right now.
UFC president White says he talked to McGregor after his defeat by Diaz.
After the fight, Lorenzo (Fertitta) and I went up to Conor’s house that he was renting here in Las Vegas and started talking about what are you thinking, what’s next and he was obsessed — obsessed with fighting Nate Diaz again. Obviously, Lorenzo and I tried to argue with him and say ‘let’s go back down to 145 an defend your title’ or if you really want the Diaz fight that bad, do it at 155. He wants the fight at 170. Even his coach, coach (John) Kavanagh tried to get him off this rematch and off the 170 pound fight, but it’s what he wanted…[Nate said] ‘He wants to do it again, let’s do it again’. Nate was obviously up for the fight.
The rematch between McGregor and Diaz is set for July 9, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The fight will take place at 170 pounds, 25 pounds above McGregor’s usual 145-pound fighting weight. Frankie Edgar will fight Jose Aldo for the interim featherweight title.
Silva says he wants to fight McGregor:
That’s a challenge I would like to do. I’ve never asked to fight anybody, but I would like to test my martial arts skills against Conor McGregor. I would like that and a rematch with Nick Diaz and Michael Bisping. I think McGregor is a great striker, but he didn’t do very well in his last fight because he played into Nate Diaz’s game and that’s really hard. The Diaz brothers have a lot of gas. You have to respect him, the loss to Diaz doesn’t diminish his career at all. These are the fighters I would like to fight. McGregor, Diaz and Bisping because that fight did not end nicely.
Justino credits McGregor for being able to fight in a UFC weight classes, which had a maximum weight of 135. Justino fights at 145, but will drop to 1450 for her upcoming fight against Leslie Smith.
I think [Conor] McGregor opened the door for this. He’s fighting at different weights. He [sold] a lot of pay-per-views and it opened the opportunity. I think the UFC sees the great opportunity and it’s a great time…I’m really happy for the opportunity and I’ll do my best in Curitiba and of course I’ll try for the KO and I’ll do my best…I think it will open the door for me for more fights at 140. Maybe I can fight Miesha [Tate] at 140 and Holly Holm and maybe Ronda [Rousey] when she gets off the pillow.
Abdelaziz, Edgar’s Manager, says that McGregor is avoiding Edgar.
When history speaks for itself, Frankie Edgar will go down as the guy who fought anyone at any weight, any time, and anywhere. But when history speaks for @thenotoriousmma he was a ufc champion who hand picked his opponents and chose a guys out of shape to fight him and he ducked frankie. Every media member I talked to, a majority of the fans wants to see Edgar vs Mcgregor but Conor’s coaches since he lost to Nate Diaz for every interview they talk about everyone else except for frankie. At this point im blaming the @ufcfor not making this fight happen because I think it’s really up to them and they can make Conor fight frankie. Im done with this. It’s been a miserable last 4 months talking and negotiating getting this fight to happen but now I realize the only person who needs to step up and say he wants to fight frankie is Conor. But I don’t believe he wants to because he and everyone else knows that frankie would whoop his ass. I have 0 respect for a champion who ducks contenders and that’s that
McGregor’s Dream Big Budweiser ad is banned by RTE after the station says it promotes underage drinking. Current advertising guidelines prohibit brands from using ‘heroes of the young’ to market alcohol. Budweiser:
Conor is an aspirational figure for people who wish to follow their dreams and ambitions. Based on independent statistics research, Conor McGregor has an overwhelming adult appeal.
RTE believes it took the correct and prudent course of action in not approving the commercials for broadcast on its television services.
McGregor appears in a companion ad for the Budweiser Dream Big campaign, a contest to win $50,000 to win an ‘American Dream”.
America is a great place. There are many great people. It’s so diverse, so whatever you are interested in you’d best believe you can find a lot of that over in America. To have people look up to me and take inspiration from what I’m doing, that’s something I take great, great pride in. You can go and do it too.
McGregor appears in an ad for Budweiser Ireland’s Dream Big campaign.
Never give up on your dream, Be your own inspiration. A beacon of self-belief. Keep proving others wrong. If your dream doesn’t scare you, it’s not big enough, So dream as big as you dare.
Diaz and McGregor talk at the post-fight press conference. McGregor:
It’s a bitter pill to swallow. I took a shot, I went at it. I feel I was inefficient with my energy. Usually I fight a man in the division I am champion in, and they crumble under those shots. But Nate took them well. The weight allowed him to take those shots well…It was simply a battle of energy and he got the better of that.
I knew I was the superior boxer, the superior martial artist, the superior Jiu-jitsu…so nothing surprised me, except that I got hit at all…The last few years I’ve been curious when it was going to pay off, and this is the time.
McGregor is interviewed backstage, after the fight, by Fox Sports.
It stings real bad..I’ve been on the end of many defeats in my life and I rose back. I will not shy away from it. I will not make excuses for it. I will assess it and come back…I misinterpreted his efficiency. I blew out and he did not. He went into autopilot, while I panicked a little bit.
On Jose Aldo:
I’ve seen the Jose thing. He can celebrate through another man’s victory, but at the day when we faced he was unconscious. That’s not the sign of a true champion…When I defeated him I showed him respect. Maybe I’ll go back down and shut him up one more time.
Diaz and McGregor are interviewed directly after the fight. Diaz:
I’m not surprised…I know it was gonna be a slow start for me…He had some good punches, and he landed them, so good on him…I’m an athlete, a warrior, we should all be ready to fight, even on our worst days.
I took the chance going at 170. I felt I took him in the first round…but I was inefficient with my energy. I’m humble in victory and in defeat…I took a chance, came up weight, it didn’t work out. I’ll face it like a man, like a champion, and come back and do it again.
McGregor is defeated by Diaz in the second round. After bloodying Diaz in the first round, McGregor tires the second round. Following a combination from McGregor, Diaz lands a jab and straight left that visibly rocks McGregor. McGregor makes his way toward the center of the cage and is caught with another jab and straight left from Diaz. McGregor tries to takedown Diaz, but is caught in a guillotine. As McGregor rolls to escape, Diaz mounts him, punches him till he turns, then submits him with a rear-naked choke.
EA Sports releases Finish The Fight, a trailer for UFC 2. The ad shows McGregor, Rousey and Tyson counting down the time of their fastest knockouts.
While driving around Las Vegas McGregor spots a cardboard cutout of himself on a fan’s balcony, and decides to pay a surprise visit.
I’m here on the West Coast. Like most fights I usually come out here two, three weeks before. But every time I come back it seems to be a little bit more crazy with the fans. They’ve been treating me like I’m one of their own. I’ve been driving to the gym and I drive past this guy’s apartment, and on the balcony he’s got Irish flags, and a cardboard cut out of me. Now we’re gonna drop in to him and see what he’s about…
In the fan’s place:
I’m blown away by this…I’m gonna put on a show for you.
Every Saturday before the fight I put up my cardboard cutout, I put up the flag, and I put up the banner. The only thing I can say is, that feeling he had with Jose Aldo when he knocked him out and became the champ. Hands down, that’s how it felt tonight. That’s how amazing it was.
Graham Merrigan, an Irish McGregor fan, recounts watching him fight.
The last fight with Aldo, I was in my friends house. I was in shock that it ended in 13 seconds. I nearly tried to stand up. My friend stood up and I used my friend’s shoulder and I was like, ‘Oh they don’t work’. He almost brought me to my feet. He nearly made a miracle!
Cerrone says he is tired of McGregor’s posturing.
Give me Conor McGregor. I’ll fight that p***y. Other than that, I don’t care. Tell that dude to slow his f-king roll. You can’t be just calling out 170-pounders. So, whatever. Enough of him.
McGregor defeats Aldo in 13 seconds, the fastest finish in any UFC title fight.
As the fight starts McGregor takes the center of the octagon. McGregor misses a straight left hand, followed with a leg kick that connects. As Aldo hits with a right-left punch combination, McGregor connects his first punch then hist Aldo’s chin with a left hook that leaves Aldo unconscious. As Aldo falls to the ground, McGregor connects with two hammer fists before the referee stops the fight. Within a minute, Aldo regains consciousness.
UFC’s McGregor criticizes Trump for his negative tweet about Rousey (he had called her “a bad person”).
It’s easy for someone that’s not in there to comment, but it’s different when you’re in there. The emotions are high. It is what it is. You either want to touch gloves or you don’t. That means nothing, so Donald can shut his big, fat mouth. I don’t give a fuck about Donald Trump.
McGregor criticizes TJ Dillashaw (who is not present) on the show The Ultimate Fighters, telling Faber that he is only in it for himself. Garbrandt gets up and starts to push him. The two fighters are held back by the rest of the group. McGregor:
Loyalty’s a strong thing for me, and I respect loyalty a lot. But I absolutely despise people who are disloyal. People who bite the hand that feeds them. I cannot relate to that in any sway, shape or form. I certainly feel TJ is a little snake in the grass. Hes in here for his own benefit. I simply told that to him and I mean the truth can hurt.
McGregor is interviewed by Olivi backstage after the fight.
I’m overwhelmed. It was a lot of work to get here…it’s been a long road, a lot of hard work. A lot of dedication…He’s a phenomenal athlete. Takedown isn’t enough in this business. I knew he was tired. I was winning every exchange, so I knew he was breaking bit by bit. I figured it would happen like that, it would be up and down, but I wold be getting the better of the exchanges. And I put him down.
McGregor and Mendez give post-fight interviews in the octagon. McGregor:
I’m absolutely blown away by the support…I’ve been hearing all the while that I’ve been protected from this style of opponent, that I’ve been gifted a title shot. So when my title shot went running and they gave me the challenge I was supposed to be protected from, I decided that I’m just going to prove to people that I’m a true fighter. It doesn’t matter who it is, I’ll show up and I’ll put a finish on any fighter.
First of all I want to thank Conor for accepting on two weeks…The guy’s tough. He’s got the talk to back it u. These Irish guys are crazy.
McGregor defeats Mendes for the Interim Featherweight title, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. McGregor is the first UFC champion from the Republic of Ireland. During the fight he spends much of the first two rounds on his back, but he finishes the fight a big left hand that puts Mendes down in the 58th second of the second round. McGregor pounds away for the stoppage and then jumps onto the cage in celebration.
McGregor and Mendes weigh in. McGregor:
Chad is an overgrown midget. I’m gonna hit him, I’m gonna cut him in half and raise gold for Ireland.
Mendes can barely be heard above Irish fans booing.
McGregor and Faber tussle in the corridor at UFC189. McGregor:
I could have thrown him on his head right there and then, nothing happened.
McGregor gives a tour of the mansion he is renting in las Vegas.
I wrote out some rules. The Mac Mansion house rules. Rule No. 1 Don’t talk about Fight Club…Rule 5: This is the rule that’s to do with the fridge. No processed sugars, treats, desserts. I don’t want to come down here to the fridge and see a big cake staring at me at the face and tempting me, ‘cos then I’ll eat the whole damn thing.
McGregor reads out and responds to ‘mean tweets’ that have been sent to him ahead of UFC 189.
Tweet: Conor McGregor is like a little angry ginger cat
CMcG: A lion? A tiger. A leopard. A cheetah! But I’m not angry.
At the Face Off in London with Aldo, McGregor taunts the Brazilian for not bringing his belt.
You forgot your belt. You forgot your belt…It’s a mental sign. It’s ok, it’s a mental sign….
He hasn’t wanted a hold of that belt for the whole trip. He wants it away from him. You haven’t wanted to hold it. Translate that for him.
McGregor is interviewed by Setanta MMA, he talks about his motivations, his coaching, goals, and money.
Every boy gets into fights. I was never bullied. Fights would happen, you’re growing up on the street, playing football or whatever. For me, it stuck in my head. Maybe another boy would forget about it. But for me, Idwelled on it. What way should I have moved there? He did this, maybe if I done that it would have turned out better. It began to build in my mind that I wanted to become really good at this, to defend myself in any situation. So I went from gym to gym – kickboxing, boxing, grappling, wrestling, just trying to learn different ways the body can move, to attack and defend. It became an obsession and before you know it you’re headlining in football stadiums.
How much better can he get?
I’m only getting better. I’m only scratching the surface but I’m still better than any one of them. I’m taking over the game, in every way shape and form.
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At CG 2: Clash of the Giants, McGregor beats Sowinski by a KO in the second round.
McGregor beats Doherty at Immortal Fighting Championship 4, in Letterkenny, Ireland, with a knockout in four seconds.
McGregor plays football in Brickfield Park, Drimnagh, for Yellowstone, now known as Stanaway Celtic, for two years. Manager:
Most weeks we’d have had about five people, a dog and a man with an umbrella at our matches. The first year he was generally down with us all year. But in the second, you’d be lucky to get him in once a week, because he got more into the MMA and got more committed.
Mcgregor defeats Stephen Bailey with a TKO in 1:22 at K.O. – The Fight Before Christmas in in Whitehall Colmcille GAA club, Dublin.
I’m the fucking future.