Thursday 27 October 2016

Former plumber has battled adversity to achieve greatness in the octagon

Published 13/07/2015 | 02:30

At the MGM Grand Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada yesterday, Conor McGregor made history as the first Irish person to obtain a UFC championship belt.

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The Crumlin native defeated Chad Mendes in the championship featherweight bout to extend his undefeated streak in the UFC to six fights, obtaining a technical knockout over the American in the second round of a five-round bout.

Conor McGregor gets taken down by Chad Mendes. Photo: AP
Conor McGregor gets taken down by Chad Mendes. Photo: AP

But it was a long, hard road to get there as the 26-year-old battled adversity throughout his life before achieving greatness in the octagon.

McGregor came from humble beginnings, often getting in fights as a child on the streets of Dublin before becoming a plumber. He then left the trade to become a professional Mixed Martial Arts fighter in 2008 under the tutelage of his coach John Kavanagh of Straight Blast Gym in Dublin.

Adversity struck again when on RTÉ's documentary surrounding the captivating Dubliner, 'The Notorious', he spoke of his battle with his inner demons and how he nearly gave it all up when he used to drink frequently before deciding to turn professional.

But in a testament to his tenacity, he made his professional MMA debut in 2008 in Cage of Truth 2 with a win over Gary Morris.

He went on to win the Cage Warriors featherweight and lightweight titles, both in 2008, before signing for the UFC in 2013.

The now megastar brought the UFC to his hometown this time last year when he defeated Diego Brandao at a sell-out 3 Arena. He has vowed to bring MMA back to Dublin again.

But where to next for The Notorious?

Referencing a potential fight at Croke Park against Jose Aldo, he said it was not big enough. "We need to start building mega-stadiums here, 150,000 [capacity] I'm talking."

Irish Independent

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