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 f-ck 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 talks about why he got into MMA.
I just got into it. I didn’t really care about sport. Like I didn’t care about sport fighting. I didn’t get in it to be the all Ireland champion or the world champion. I just got in it so people would say ‘right, this guy can do this’ or ‘this guy does a bit of training or does something, we’ll just watch him. We’ll just leave him alone’. That was how I started doing it and, it turns out I was good at it and, I just got lost in it then and it became more than just that.
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.
In the buildup to the UFC 189 fight against Mendes, McGregor tells the story of Brendan Malone, a young fan, who died of cancer.
I got a phone call from a person at the UFC, saying the Make a Wish Foundation has reached out to them, and this kid has cancer or leukemia. And this is going to be his last wish, and his last wish is going to be to talk on the phone to you, and I didn’t know what the…so I rang the kid and we talked for a long, long time. I talked with his friends in the hospital and his family. And today, or last night, he passed away. It f-cked my head up because this little kid is in Ireland, and I’m telling the kid ‘I’m gonna take this belt, and I’ll bring the belt to you’, and I was saying we’re going to raise the belt up together.
In an interview with Esquire, McGregor calls out Mayweather.
I look at him as a rookie in ten other areas. If you can box, what happens if I grab hold of your legs? If you put me face-to-face with Floyd Mayweather—pound-for-pound boxing’s best—if I fought Floyd, I would kill him in less than thirty seconds. It would take me less than thirty seconds to wrap around him like a boa constrictor and strangle him.
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.
Paschal Collins, comments on McGregor’s boxing skills, after he beats Max Holloway.
Honestly, I think he will be a phenomenon in Boston. He’s an aggressive fighter, he’s great with his hands and he’s quick with his tongue too – he’s everything that the Americans think an Irishman should be. I was just looking at him the last time he was down here and his eyes were dancing around in his head – he’s a bit of a madman and I suppose you have to be in the fight game. He’s just got that star quality, it’s clear for everyone to see and he deserves it. He works hard, he fights hard and I wish him all the best on Saturday…Conor already had a pedigree in boxing from his early days in Crumlin when he came up to us. It was really his first martial art. It’s been a while since he has been down with us. He was just about to head off to Sweden before I saw him last time, but I’ve always been very impressed by what he can bring to the table. The first time he came up to us was about two years ago, but his development in that period has been unbelievable. His approach is second to none, he’s confident and he has natural power and ability – and that’s priceless in this game. What we can never quite believe is the amount of work he puts in. A lot of times he’d be down to us in the afternoon and he would’ve already been grappling for the whole morning. He comes down here and he can hold his own with world champions like Spike and Stephen, he’s a very capable boxer.
After the Brimage fight, McGregor meets White for the first time on camera. They talk about the Brimage fight and invites him to fight in Dublin and Boston.
White: Welcome to the UFC. There’s been a lot of hype. I guess the hype is real. Marcus Brimage was a tough dude.
McGregor: Yeah man, he’s tough. I hit him in a few shots.
While: You hurt him a lot before you finished him.
White: People are going crazy on Twitter. And I’m sorry they were f-cking with your flag. What the f-ck are they doing fighting with the kid’s flag?
In his professional UFC debut, in Stockholm, Sweden, McGregor beats Brimage with a knockout from a series of uppercuts in 67 seconds. McGregor fought despite a tooth infection which had developed on fight week. He couldn’t open or close his mouth past a certain point, and had difficulty sleeping.
It was just another thing. Nothing could’ve stopped me in there. I wasn’t going to be broken. It was just another thing. Adversity causes some men to break and other men to break records. I chose to be the second one. That’s the way I looked at it. I looked at it as another challenge and f-ck the pain. It’s only a tooth at the end of the day. I got through it.
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Helwani interviews McGregor for the first time on The MMA hour. He talks about his mental attitude:
I am an Irish legend. I’m a living legend. I see myself as the champ already…I saw myself as the champ from day one. Before I even started training I always saw myself as the champ. That’s how I see myself. I see myself already there. I visualised this conversation. I visualised this conversation. I’ve visualised the walk out. I have shots picked out that I’m gonna throw in five weeks. You see it in your head, you’re gonna see it when you arrive.
Coach Kavanagh posts a video of McGregor getting the high score on an arcade punching bag machine.
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 f-cking future.
McGregor is interviewed in the bedroom of a house in Newbridge, Co. Kildare, Ireland.
Without a doubt you will see me in the UFC in the future…I started MMA a few years ago and I really, really love it. It’s like an addition for me. I train twice a day. I don’t want to do anything else…If you’re not dedicated your not going to go anywhere…My dream is to be world lightweight champion in the UFC, to have more money than I know what to do with, and have a great life for my kids and my grandkids and everyone who has come up with me…
McGregor defeats Taylor with a TKO at Cage Rage – Contenders: Ireland vs. Belgium, which is held in Ireland’s National Stadium.
McGregor makes his professional MMA debut at Cage of Truth 2, defeating Gary Morris with a second-round TKO.
McGregor joins Dublin’s Straight Blast Gym team, where he is coached by Sergey Pikulskiy.
Conor’s been wrestling since day one when I came to SBG. From the start he picked things up right away. He’s probably the only person who never missed a wrestling class.
Following the fight, McGregor turns professional and is signed by the Irish Cage of Truth promotion.
McGregor makes his MMA debut, at the amateur Ring of Truth contest in Ringside Boxing Club, Dublin. He beats Campbell with a TKO in the first round,
Having become a skilled boxer, McGregor’s interest in MMA is ignited when he begins sparring with Egan, his friend.
I met Tom who was just grappling at the time. Around the same time we discovered MMA, so I’d head up to his gym in Kildare and we’d teach each other what we knew, then scrap at the end of it.
Conor’s sister, Erin, introduces him to The Secret, a book written by Rhonda Byrne, that tells the reader that the power of positive thinking can change their life and bring about anything they desire. Initially, he thinks the book is ridiculous, but a year later, after a bad day he gets a DVD of the book and, with his girlfriend, Dee, tries to visualise success.
Even when I first watched it, I was like, this is bullshit. But then something clicked for me…We would be driving to the shop and visualizing the exact car park space. And then we’d be able to get it every time.
After leaving school at the age of 17, McGregor spends 18 months working as an apprentice plumber in Kilternan, starting at 5am.
It was a rough time. I did not like the life and plumbing did not interest me so one day I said ‘f*** it’ and I quit.
The family moves from Crumlin and settles in Lucan, a suburban town on the edge of Dublin.
I certainly did not handle it well. I eventually did. But at the time, I had a lot of resentment towards my family. I actually was really upset for a long time…In the long run, it ended up working out better for my career, because I ended up being isolated. I ended up alone with my thoughts a lot more. I feel being alone with your thoughts is a good thing. It allows you to figure things out for yourself. And that’s what happened for me in Lucan.
He starts boxing, kickboxing, and jiu jitsu and his love of football fades.
I realized I was enjoying combat sports a lot more than I was enjoying football. Instead of going to the football club, I would go next door to the boxing club.
McGregor shows his Irish dancing skills at his First Communion.
Conor McGregor is born in Crumlin, a suburb of Dublin, Ireland, to Tony McGregor and Margaret. Tony, the child of an Irish father and English mother, was born in Liverpool, England. But his family splits up when he was seven, and he is sent to live with relatives in Dublin. He meets Margaret when they are 15, while walking to school. A year later, they both land jobs in a local factory, and a romance sparked. They are married in 1980, when both were 21. Conor’s sister Erin is born in 1981. Conor attends Irish-language primary and secondary school in Tallaght, South Dublin. He plays football for Lourdes Celtic Football Club and supports Manchester United. Sometimes he pops into the boxing gym next to the football club before and after football practice, but that is the extent of his interest.
I was really focused on football.