Conor had no special sports skills as kid, says UFC star's dad
Published 19/07/2014 | 08:48
As UFC mania takes over Dublin today, the father of fighter Conor McGregor has said his son did not stand out in sport as a child.
"When he was a little fella there was no real outstanding characteristics," said Tony McGregor of his son, who's also known as Notorious.
Conor (26) will take on Brazilian Diego Brandao tonight in the first Ultimate Fighting Championship match in the O2.
Tony said his son was always to be found at the heart of the action.
"He was a quiet boy growing up but he always seemed to be the leader of the pack," he said.
"If there was anything going on, he was in the midst of it."
Tony said boxing was not always on the agenda for Conor.
"It was funny how he actually got into the boxing," he said. "We had got him into football and he followed Manchester United as a small kid.
"When he was around seven he used to be kitted out in all of their gear, but he doesn't follow it at all now.
"It must've been his early teens when he started to go up to Crumlin Boxing Club, and I remember him coming home one day and asking us why we hadn't got him into it years before. He found his own niche in the end."
Tony said he never worries about his son when he's in the ring, and went on to tell how the midwives knew baby Conor would go on to become a boxer.
"He was born a fighter, though everyone can see that now," he said. "Even his mother Margaret would tell you - he was born with his fists clenched.
"Actually, the midwife was the one who pointed it out to us - she said 'He's going to be a fighter' as soon as she saw him."
Ahead of his debut home fight, Conor believes he will win tonight.
Speaking about his opponent, he said: "He's aggressive, he comes forward, it's going to be a good fight.
"I believe I'll put him away in the first round, however."
Conor also said he feels he belongs in the O2 venue and is in relaxed form.