7 Interesting facts about Conor McGregor the “Notorious” UFC legend

McGregor proudly posed wearing the Super Eagles jersey | Naija this far

7 Interesting facts about Conor McGregor the “Notorious” UFC legend

Ayoola Kelechi 01:25 - 24.05.2024

Conor McGregor is arguably the greatest fighter in the history of the UFC and mixed martial arts

Conor McGregor's life and career have been a blend of extraordinary achievements and near-unbelievable controversies, making him one of the most fascinating figures in UFC history.

Born in Dubin, Ireland on the 14th of July, 1988, McGregor rose rapidly in the UFC to become one of its most iconic fighters and has become a legend in mixed martial arts, while making his mark in boxing, acting, and entrepreneurship. Here are seven intriguing facts about the aptly named “Notorious: McGregor and his UFC legacy.

1. Conor McGregor’s UFC Career

Conor McGregor's rise to prominence in the UFC was nothing short of meteoric. He made his UFC debut in April 2013 and quickly became a sensation due to his incredible ability in the Octagon and his charismatic persona. Within two years of making his UFC debut, McGregor won the interim Featherweight title by defeating Chad Mendes.

McGregor attended a BKFC event and faced off with former UFC star Mike Perry. (Photo Credit: Daily Mail)
McGregor attended a BKFC event and faced off with former UFC star Mike Perry. (Photo Credit: Daily Mail)

In December 2015, he achieved one of the most iconic moments in UFC history by knocking out Jose Aldo in just 13 seconds to unify the Featherweight Championship. McGregor's success didn't stop there; he moved up to the Lightweight division and defeated Eddie Alvarez in November 2016, becoming the first fighter in UFC history to hold titles in two weight classes simultaneously.

He temporarily lost his titles to Nate Diaz in his first-ever UFC loss before beating the American to reclaim his glory and produce one of the most iconic moments in sporting history.

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McGregor finally relinquished his title to Khabib Nurmagomedov after being stripped of the title due to inactivity and was unable to win back top honours in the Octagon, losing to Nurmagomedov when he challenged the Russian fighter.

Throughout his career, McGregor has fought 28 times, winning 22 bouts, 19 of which were by knockout.

2. McGregor the trash-talking king

McGregor's ability to engage in psychological warfare through trash-talking has been a significant aspect of his act and the Dublin-born fighter is a master of the dark arts. His quick wit, sharp tongue, and fearless approach to verbal confrontations have made his pre-fight press conferences and interviews must-watch events.

McGregor's trash-talking isn't just for show; it's a calculated strategy to unnerve his opponents and gain a psychological edge ahead of fights. Notable examples include his feuds with Nate Diaz, where he famously gloated, "Surprise Surprise m**********, the King is back," after beating the American to regain his belts in 2016. His intense rivalry with Nurmagomedov was also noted for how intense the insults and trash-talking were between the two stars of UFC.

McGregor's ability to sell a fight with his words and unsettle opponents made him one of the most marketable fighters in combat sports history and his personal finances have enjoyed the benefits of his sharp tongue.

3. Connor McGregor’s net worth

In total, McGregor is said to be worth $200 million with roughly half of that coming from his ground-breaking boxing bout with Floyd Mayweather.

McGregor's star power is reflected in his record-breaking pay-per-view sales. His fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 set the record for the highest pay-per-view buys in UFC history, with over 2.4 million buy-ins for the iconic fight. Additionally, his 2017 boxing match against Mayweather, dubbed "The Money Fight," garnered over 4.3 million pay-per-view buys in North America, making it the second-highest-selling boxing match ever at the time.

McGregor is the world’s highest-paid MMA fighter | Getty
McGregor is the world’s highest-paid MMA fighter | Getty

Beyond his fighting career, McGregor has proven to be a savvy businessman as well. In 2018, he launched his own whiskey brand, named “Proper No. Twelve”, which quickly became a commercial success, selling hundreds of thousands of cases worldwide. McGregor's entrepreneurial spirit extends to other ventures, including his clothing line, August McGregor, which offers fashion-forward sportswear, and his fitness program, McGregor FAST, designed to optimize athletic performance.

4. McGregor’s venture into acting

McGregor has starred in several video games as a voice-over actor, including Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and the EA Sports UFC series, but his first major role in film came in the 2024 movie “Road House”where he starred alongside seasoned actor Jake Gyllenhaal.

Conor McGregor starred as the villain “Knox” in Road House | Credit: Instagram
Conor McGregor starred as the villain “Knox” in Road House | Credit: Instagram

In the original MGM/Amazon Prime Video release, McGregor portrays Knox, a ruthless enforcer working for an incarcerated land baron. His mission is to coerce Frankie (Jessica Williams), the owner of a roadhouse in the Florida Keys, into selling her valuable property. However, Knox must first deal with Elwood Dalton (Gyllenhaal), a former UFC champion hired by Frankie to fend off any violent threats to her establishment.

The fight scenes between the pair lived up to expectations as The Notorious brought his wealth of MMA-style fighting to the cult-classic movie with well-choreographed moves against Gyllenhaal.

5. Legal Issues and Controversies

McGregor's career has been marked by numerous legal issues and controversies that have often overshadowed his athletic achievements. In 2018, he was involved in an infamous incident at UFC 223, where he threw a dolly through a bus window, injuring several fighters. This act of violence led to multiple charges, including assault and criminal mischief.

McGregor was at Game 4 of the NBA finals between the Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets
McGregor was at Game 4 of the NBA finals between the Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets

McGregor has also faced allegations of assault and battery in other incidents, including an altercation with a fan in Miami and an alleged bar fight in Dublin. These legal troubles have painted McGregor as a polarising figure, with his actions both criticised and defended by fans and commentators alike.

6. McGregor almost became a plumber

Before his rise to fame, McGregor's life was filled with challenges and hardships. Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, he worked as a plumber's apprentice while training in mixed martial arts.

Financial struggles were a constant part of his early life, and McGregor often speaks about how these experiences fueled his determination to succeed.

McGregor also considered a career in football, playing for Lourdes Celtic Football Club before taking up boxing at the age of 12 with the Crumlin Boxing Club as a means of warding off bullies and gaining confidence.

7. McGregor has been dating the same person since 2008

Conor McGregor has been in a relationship with his fiancee, Dee Devlin, since 2008, and together they have four children. McGregor met Devlin in their native Ireland in 2008, and according to People, the couple got engaged in 2020. Their youngest child was born in November 2023.

Conor McGregor and his wife Dee Devlin || PEOPLE
Conor McGregor and his wife Dee Devlin || PEOPLE

In a 2020 interview with the Irish Mirror, McGregor praised Devlin, stating, "My girlfriend worked very hard throughout the years and stuck by me when I had essentially absolutely nothing. I only had a dream that I was telling her. For me to be able to take her out of work, give her everything she's ever wanted and to travel the world with her fills me with pride. It keeps me going."

According to People, Devlin is not only McGregor’s partner but also assists in managing his career, making them both romantic and business associates.