NewsBlocks is a finalist in the Great British Entrepreneur Challenge. The contest, run by Andy Yates and promoted by The Daily Mail, offers £50,000 investment and mentoring as a prize, and aims to find:
great start-ups and early-stage firms and to find passionate entrepreneurs who want to disrupt and change their market for the better, and change their lives at the same time.
Mark meets with Andy, who is a former journalist, in London to talk about NewsBlocks. Mark:
In the end we didn’t win, but it was great to meet with Andy, and hear his enthusiasm for helping innovative project. We look forward to keeping him updated as we build NewsBlocks in the future.
A wax statue of McGregor is revealed at Madame Tussauds’s in New York. His statue is the latest addition to the athletes’ wing, alongside the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Muhammad Ali, with the area transformed into a theme of mixed martial arts and boxing for its arrival. McGregor is only the second UFC fighter after Chuck Liddell to have his likeness on display at the museum.
McGregor inspires the top two places on the newcomers list of cat names in Dublin in 2018, according to a Just Cats survey of over 70,000 pet owners from the greater Dublin area. ‘McGregor’ and ‘Notorious’ are number one and two on the newcomers list. Overall, ‘Molly’ is the most popular cat name, followed by ‘Charlie’ and then ‘Max’. Other top names on the newcomers list include ‘Trump’, ‘Khaleesi’, ‘Jon Snow’, ‘Harry’ and ‘Meghan’. RVN Veterinary Nurse, Roisin Foran says:
Our annual survey is conducted across 13 veterinary clinics in Dublin and Meath over a 12 month period…The old reliable names such as Kitty, Tiger and Daisy continue to pop up year after year, but it’s the zany, pop-culture and news-driven names that really grab our attention when they enter our clinic.
The band reaches the semi-finals of the Manchester Music Cup, a knockout voting contest, hosted by XS Manchester. After beating Joy Division and The Charlatans, the band is knocked out by James, who are beaten by Oasis in the final.
Forbes magazine ranks McGregor as the 4th highest earning athlete in the world for 2018. McGregor earned $99 million, primarily from the $85 million he earned by boxing Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2017. Mayweather tops the list with $285 million, with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo second and third.
Made it to number 4 on the Forbes list this year. If I had fought on the agreed May 12th bout in Rio de Janeiro, I would have surpassed Ronaldo and [Lionel] Messi to take [second] place…Something came up however….Ah well, still under 30.
McGregor is honoured at the 7th annual Best Of Ireland Gala in New York City for his continuing charitable work with children’s hospitals in Ireland. McGregor attended the event with his partner Dee Devlin as well as his MMA coach John Kavanagh and his girlfriend Orlagh Hunter. The event is held every year into raise funds for the Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin in Dublin and Children’s Medical Research Foundation (CMRF).
I look forward to hearing and seeing reports of where the money is put to use in the hospital. What a great night!
The band win the Best Breakthrough Act award at the 2018 City Life Awards, hosted at the The Deaf Institute, Manchester. Over 14,000 votes were collected. The band play a short acoustic set at the venue.
McGregor, estimated to be worth €140 million, enters Ireland’s Rich List at 111 and is the second highest new entrant. He was beat by a young tech entrepreneur, Tommy Kelly, who operates eShopworld, which makes cross border shopping easier. Kelly is estimated to be worth around €150 million.
McGregor receives a lifetime achievement award at the Pendulum Summit in Dublin, from the annual business summit group that attracts rich corporate leaders from across Europe. When McGregor goes to the stage to be given the award by Branson, they both take off their shirts and face off. McGregor:
McGregor comes fifth overall and tops the list for the “Sports Figure” category in Fansided’s annual Fandom 250 ranking. In 2016, McGregor was ranked at number 147 on the list. The only sports celebrity higher in the ranking is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Fansided says one of the biggest factors for the ranking was how McGregor dominated headlines in the media worldwide with his fight against Floyd Mayweather.
The numbers support this. Mayweather vs. McGregor is a top-two most watched pay-per-views in combat sports history and was already the biggest draw in UFC history entering the year. McGregor’s newborn son gained tens of thousands of Instagram followers the day he was born. In a 12-month stretch leading into the fight against Mayweather, McGregor added 13 million followers on social media and his posts generated 419 million interactions.
Dana White says that last weekend’s super-fight has generated a record-breaking 6.5 million pay-per-view buys, a figure which would dwarf the previous record of 4.6 million, set by Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, by almost 2 million. This is despite the three million people who illegally streamed the fight. The final figure could be higher, as it doesn’t include sales outside the United States. It will also mean that McGregor holds the pay-per-view record for both boxing and mixed martial arts. The 6.5 million figure also beats the cumulative total for the top five UFC pay-per-views in the company’s history, and is five times larger than any WWE PPV event ever. The fight will go down in history as one of the single most profitable sports events ever.
Almost 3 million people watched Saturday’s McGregor-Mayweather fight using illegal streams, according to web security company, Irdeto. Viewers used online links to get around paying the $99.95 charged in the US for the high-definition pay-per-view (£19.95 in the UK). 239 illegal streams of the fight were watched by 2,930,598 people. Had they all paid, even at a lower rate, the illegal audiences would have brought in at least $60 million more.
McGregor is nominated for “Best International Athlete” and “Best Fighter” at the 2017 ESPY awards. Opposing him in the votes for Best International Athlete (see online votes here) are Canelo Alvarez (boxing), Usain Bolt (track and field), Katinka Hosszu (swimming), and Cristiano Ronaldo (soccer). In the Best Fighter category McGregor is up against UFC champion Demetrious Johnson — ranked one slot above McGregor in the pound-for-pound list — as well as boxing’s Terence Crawford, Gennady Golovkin, and Andre Ward.
According to Forbes, McGregor is the 24th placed highest paid athlete in the world. He earned $34 million over the past year, which including his pair of fights against Nate Diaz as well as his lightweight championship win over Eddie Alvarez. McGregor earned $27 million from his fight purses with another $7 million earned in endorsements and sponsorships. Since Floyd Mayweather’s retired in 2015, McGregor is the highest paid combat sports athlete, and is the only mixed martial artist to make the top 100 list. The highest ranked boxer is Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, who earned a reported $28.5 million. McGregor is ahead of NBA superstars Carmelo Anthony ($32.6 million), Kyrie Irving ($29.9 million) and NFL wide receiver Antonio Brown ($31.9 million). The UFC lightweight champion was the first ever mixed martial arts to crack the top 100 last year when he came in at No. 85 with $18 million in reported earnings.
McGregor is listed as 25th in ESPN’s Most Famous Athletes list, 12 spots up from the same list last year. The list is tallied by combining endorsements, social media following and internet search popularity. Floyd Mayweather is not listed. The only other Irishman is golfer Rory McIlroy, at 14th place. ESPN:
Described as looking ‘exactly like the Notre Dame logo’, the Irish fighter is the reigning UFC lightweight champion and former undisputed featherweight champ (which he became with a 13-second stoppage of José Aldo during the fastest championship victory in UFC history). He’s the UFC’s biggest pay-per-view draw and a colourful talker and boaster, which has prompted comparisons to Muhammad Ali.
Time names McGregor as one of the world’s 100 ‘most influential people’. Schwarzenegger writes his praise for the fighter.
Conor McGregor is more than a fighter, more than an athlete, more than a champion—although, as the first person in the history of the Ultimate Fighting Championship to hold titles in two weight divisions at once, he is clearly all of those things. Conor is also the rare personality who has become bigger than his sport. That lean, compact body must struggle to keep his enormous character inside. From the first time I met Conor, I knew he wasn’t the type of star you could box into one category. Since I’ve gotten to know him, I can tell you that what you see on the screen—the now familiar face of mixed martial arts—just scratches the surface. The Dublin native is razor-sharp, disciplined and charismatic. His energy is absolutely contagious, to the point where you almost start shouting in an Irish accent after 30 seconds of hearing that world-famous mouth.
The Phillip Lee Sport Report, which surveyed 1,000 adults aged 16 to 75 online in October 2016, names McGregor as Ireland’s favourite sports’ personality. Former Ireland and Munster player Paul O’Connell ties McGregor as the country’s most popular male sports personality. The report found Katie Taylor to be Ireland’s most popular female sports personality, coming ahead of Sonia O’Sullivan, Cora Staunton, Annalise Murphy and Dearbhal O’Rourke.
McGregor is named the most marketable Irish person for 2017, beating 2016’s number one Paul O’Connell who now lies in second place after his rugby retirement. Robbie Henshaw is third, followed by Katie Taylor. On McGregor’s success, the company that ran the survey says:
I think it’s ultimately down to momentum, a lot of brands try to align themselves with where there is momentum. They want to be associated with success.
McGregor and Rousey drew the biggest pay-per-view buys in a record year for the UFC. Approximately 8,370,000 buys were sold on 13 shows in 2016, an all-time record average of 644,000 buys per show. This compares with 550,000 average per show in 2015 and 265,000 in 2014. Most shows were small but McGregor, Rousey, and UFC 200 did one million buys plus. With Rousey’s future undetermined, and McGregor taking a break, the outlook for 2017 is weak.
McGregor is named in Forbes’ 30 under 30 in Europe list. Forbes:
Known for his aggressive fighting style, this versatile mixed martial arts fighter has both lightweight and featherweight championships under his belt. And The Notorious, as he’s known, is making money with every punch: A single fight in August earned him a $3 million purse.
McGregor is awarded SI.com’s MMA Fighter Of The Year.
Entering 2016, McGregor was established as the brightest star in the sport, and by the end of the year he was the sport as he transcended into the mainstream and earned S.comI’s MMA fighter of the year award. His pursuit of two titles was a storyline that played out over nearly the whole calendar year and transfixed fans. He headlined the biggest event in the sport’s history with one of its most iconic moments. Even though he was temporarily sidetracked from his ultimate goal by Nate Diaz, he smashed pay-per-view records in every one of his fights…In pop culture, McGregor made appearances on late night television shows like Conan and garnered a role in the forthcoming season of Game of Thrones. He played a character in the latest Call of Duty game. He was tapped for a role in the new xXx movie before pulling out to focus on the Diaz rematch. His trademark strut has become iconic in sports with world-class athletes around the globe mimicking the champion. Cristiano Ronaldo went and trained with McGregor in Las Vegas and McGregor went to Jennifer Lopez’s birthday party.
GQ Magazine names McGregor as the fourth the best dressed men of 2016. The list was compiled by Giorgio Armani, Sarah Burton, Tom Ford, Elton John, Paul Smith and Vivienne Westwood. Drake beats lat year’s winner, Eddie Redmayne, to the top of the chart. McGregor:
There are two things I really like to do and that’s whoop ass and look good.
CBS Sports gives McGregor third place in its UFC Fighter of the Year award.
Now, before you start throwing stones, please remember that McGregor is the only fighter on this list to even suffer a loss in 2016. The Irishman continues to do some of the craziest things in the sport, bringing in more fans than any other fighter. McGregor fought twice at 25 pounds above his original weightclass. People questioned McGregor’s decision to take on Diaz at 170 pounds originally in March and those calls got louder after he lost via submission. But when he came back in August and earned a majority decision win, as has been the case throughout his UFC career, Conor got the last laugh.
No other fighter in 2016 scored such an impressive combination of victories in high-profile bouts against elite opponents — in multiple divisions, on the road — with one of them a contender for fight of the year.
It’s been a great year for myself. I’ve fought on the road twice against two good fighters. The biggest win for me was the Leo Santa Cruz fight. He was a three-weight world champion and most of the press and bookies picked him to win. You can see the difference in how I reacted at the end of both fights. I knew I was a better fighter than Quigg, but the Santa Cruz victory was the one I got more pleasure from. Being even considered as a fighter of the year is a huge honor for me and very humbling. But the thing is, I’m kicking off 2017 with a bang and it has the potential to be even better than ’16.
McGregor’s four punch combination knockout of Eddie Alvarez that secured his second UFC title last month in New York is nominated as one of four candidates for UFC Knockout of the Year. The other nominees are Stipe Miocic, Fabricio Werdum, Paige VanZant and Bec Rawlings.
Bising is awardedRolling Stone’s UFC Fighter of the Year. The magazine:
Bisping is one of the longest-tenured fighters on the UFC roster. He debuted in June 2006 after winning Season 3 of The Ultimate Fighter reality series and, since then, it’s been a roller coaster of triumphant highs and forgettable lows. After all the ups and downs, Bisping seemed destined to end his career as a high-quality fighter with a polarizing personality who could never quite reach the pinnacle of the sport. Then 2016 came along, and his 10th year in the UFC ended up as his best.
McGregor is awarded RTÉ Sport Sportsperson of the Year. As part of the show McGregor talks in a video about his success, and about fighting Floyd Mayweather.
I can go now and conquer the boxing scene. That’s a very serious thought and a very serious conversation that is happening. I certainly don’t need him (Mayweather). I pick some local schmuck and still do big numbers. Of course the Floyd fight is the fight the public want to see. It’s the fight we all want to happen.
Conor McGregor talks to Clare McNamara after a year which he call the 'culmination of his life's work'. https://t.co/0AY8QPqGyu
McGregor is named ‘Most Admired Sports Star’ in Ignite Research’s ‘Sports Sentiment Index’ getting 16% of the vote. Katie Taylor takes second place, with 14%. From a sample of 1,000 adults aged 18 to 65, one in every three aged 18 to 34 say McGregor is the Irish sportsperson they admired most. McGregor beating Alvarez is the second most memorable moment, and McGregor winning two belts is voted the third greatest sporting achievement of the year.
McGregor is nominated as a contestant in GQ Magazine’s ‘Most Stylish Man of the Year’. The contest is in the form of a tournament bracket, with 64 contestants. McGregor’s first round match-up is against comedian Kevin Hart. If he wins, McGregor will face the winner of Drake and DJ Khaled in the second round. Voting is here.
Both men here are known for putting stitches in people (that is, the literal kind and the ROFL kind). When it comes to their personal style, both have displayed a level of fearlessness that should be commended. Hart prides himself on his humble attitude and dedication to fitness, while McGregor is a braggadocios cage fighter with a dedication to not giving a damn what anyone thinks. (The man wears fur coats like the rest of us wear peacoats.) Where Hart makes up ground is with his Nike deal, which allowed him to design and release his own sneaker in 2016.
McGregor places 147th in Fansided.com’s annual Fandom250 list, which charts the fanbases of some of the most famous names across the world of sports and entertainment. McGregor is the highest mixed martial artist to be included, ahead of Brock Lesnar (214) and Ronda Rousey (230). He is the eleventh ranked sports star on the planet, with only the likes of LeBron James, Lionel Messi and Muhammad Ali above him. Fansided:
Conor McGregor has the most loyal and faithful fans in combat sports. As Mark Wahlberg put it, the UFC’s reigning lightweight champion has become “the face of the UFC,” and that’s largely due to his signature trash-talking, over the top fashion sense and natural charisma.
Trump is Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. In the article, Trump talks about his position as president elect:
What amazes a lot of people is that I’m sitting in an apartment the likes of which nobody’s ever seen. And yet I represent the workers of the world. I’m representing them, and they love me and I love them. And here we sit, in very different circumstances.
He talks about seeing a news story on NBC about the Carrier plant featuring a union representative and a plant worker talking in a bar.
[The man looked at the camera and said] ‘We want you to do what you said you were going to do.’ I said, I never said they weren’t going to move, to myself…He energized me, that man. And I called up the head of United Technologies.
He also talks about young illegal immigrants:
We’re going to work something out that’s going to make people happy and proud. They got brought here at a very young age, they’ve worked here, they’ve gone to school here. Some were good students. Some have wonderful jobs. And they’re in never-never land because they don’t know what’s going to happen.
Frampton makes the shortlist for the RTÉ Sportsperson of the Year. Other sportspeople shortlisted include UFC fighter Conor McGregor, rugby player Jamie Heaslip, and Olympic rowing medalist Paul O’Donovan. The winner is determined by fans, who can vote for Frampton by texting ‘E’ to 53125 (Ire & NI only), or by voting online here. Voting closes Monday 12 December at 10am with the winner announced live on Saturday 17 December. The award ceremony will be screened the same day at 9pm.
McGregor makes the shortlist for the RTÉ Sportsperson of the Year. Other sportspeople shortlisted include rugby player Jamie Heaslip, boxer Carl Frampton and Olympic rowing medalist Paul O’Donovan. The winner is determined by fans, who can vote for McGregor by texting ‘I’ to 53125 (Ire & NI only), or by voting online here. Voting closes Monday 12 December at 10am with the winner announced live on Saturday 17 December. The award ceremony will be screened the same day at 9pm.
UFC 205 generated 14 Billion social media impressions, which consist of Facebook likes, Twitter interactions and Instagram shares. By comparison the most recent Superbowl achieved 4.3 billion impressions. While the Euro’s in France earlier this year earned 3 billion.
McGregor will earn around $20 million from his fight with Alvarez. $5m comes from his fight fee plus sponsorship money, mainly from Reebok, then a share of the PPV revenue, which looks set to top the number of buys for his rematch with Nate Diaz at UFC 202
White says UFC 205 has already broken the all-time gate record at Madison Square Garden. The gate record was set in 1999 with a boxing match between Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis which drew takings of $13.5 million at the door. The UFC’s own gate record of just over $12 million was set at UFC 129 when more than 55,000 people paid in to see Georges St-Pierre defeat Jake Shields in Canada.
We’ve been in all the biggest and best arenas all over the world – Madison Square Garden is a big deal. All the legendary fights that have been held there, all the legendary events and we actually broke the gate record for Madison Square Garden. So far, so good. I’m excited…Obviously it’s our first time getting into MSG and it’s been such a big deal getting there [that] I wanted to make sure when we went to New York.
UFC numbers confirm McGregor is the biggest draw in the sport. McGregor has headlined three of five pay-per-view events that gained more than a million buys in the past ten months. Including his strong performance as the headliner of UFC 189, McGregor has sold a total of 5,275,000 pay-per-views in four outings at the top of the card. For comparison, Georges St-Pierre’s last six efforts after UFC 100 sold 4,635,000. The four cards Brock Lesnar headlined between 2009 and 2011 had 4,095,000 total buys. Also, each of the four events McGregor has headlined in Las Vegas produced more gate revenue than any prior show held in the city.
McGregor is ranked second in the LA Times ranking of the top ten power rankings. Daniel Cormier takes the top spot.
McGregor’s laser-focused ability to win a fight 25 pounds above his normal weight class moves him closer to the top of The Times’ MMA power rankings…After defeating Nate Diaz, McGregor left the arena wanting his next fight to be his own choice. He’s hoping to become the UFC’s first-ever simultaneous two-belt champion, so lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez seems his favored opponent.
Bundchen is the highest-paid female model in the world with annual income of $30.5 million, according to Forbes magazine. Bundchen has made more money than any other model since 2002 and continues to collect endorsement deals with Chanel, Carolina Herrera and Pantene. Adriana Lima si third on the list, with Kylie Jenner in joint third place with Karlie Kloss.
Drake presents Rihanna with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award at the MTV Music Video Awards. She performs 13 of the biggest hits in her 13-year career, including Rude Girl, Diamonds, and Only Girl in the World. Drake:
She’s someone I’ve been in love with since I was 22 years old. She’s one of my best friends in the world. All my adult life, I’ve looked up to her even though she’s younger than me.
An Iranian refugee held at an Australia’s Manus camp in Papua New Guinea wins a political cartooning award from CRNI for his work depicting life inside the camp.
Ali, whose pen name is Eaten Fish, has chronicled his three-year detention on Manus Island as he struggles with obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and debilitating panic attacks. CRNI:
Eaten Fish has been able to keep up a stream of cartoons documenting the unspeakable abuses and excesses of the guards and administrators of the camp. For this he has been the subject of beatings, deprivation of food, and even worse degrading treatment by the guards.
The Australian government denies that the refugee has been mistreated.
Johnson topsForbes magazine list of the world’s highest paid actors, with an estimated 2016 payday of $64.5 million. He knocks Robert Downey Jr. off the top spot and more than doubles his earnings, largely thanks to his action comedy Central Intelligence. Johnson also collected advance fees from the eighth installment of the Fast and Furious racing movie franchise.
A poor Philippine fisherman reveals what is thought to be the world’s largest pearl. The man found the 34 kg pearl inside a giant clam that was snagged by his anchor as he waited out a storm at sea, but hid it under his bed for a decade without knowing its worth. A fire at his home forced him to move house. The previous record, at 6kg, is valued at $35 million.
The world’s highest and longest glass-bottomed bridge opens Saturday in China’s Zhangjiajie mountains. Made up of 99 6m-wide panels, the structure is 430 metres long and suspended 300 metres above the earth, the bridge spans the canyon between two mountain cliffs in Zhangjiajie park in China’s central Hunan province. The bridge was designed by Dotan. Only 8,000 people each day will be allowed to cross the bridge. Tourists will have to book their tickets a day in advance, at a cost of 138 yuan ($20). Cameras and selfie sticks are banned, and people wearing stilettos will not be allowed to walk on the bridge. Tourist:
It’s crowded today and a bit of a mess. But to be suspended 300 metres in the air, it’s a unique experience.