Saturday 16 December 2017

Four times Conor McGregor showed he's not such a bad guy after all

Sarah Nora McGrath and her boyfriend Stevo Timothy with Conor McGregor
Sarah Nora McGrath and her boyfriend Stevo Timothy with Conor McGregor Newsdesk Newsdesk

It’s not too difficult to understand why there are those who haven’t warmed to Conor McGregor during his meteoric rise to the top of the UFC, but there’s enough evidence to suggest that he’s a decent guy.

Amid all the bombast, flash suits and declarations of his own greatness, Ireland’s most famous fighting son has managed to conjure vast levels of adoration and derision. In the fight business, a polarizing leading man is worth his weight in dollars.

There will always be plenty of punters willing to shell out for tickets or pay-per-views to see him either continue dispatching of foes or finally get a healthy serving of humility.

McGregor knows this better than most and, as such, has cultivated a persona to compliment his undoubted skills that has facilitated the exponential growth of his profile and bank balance.

When away from the bright lights and heightened stakes of elite MMA, McGregor has shown himself to be a well-intended, aware individual.

1. Last summer, at the request of the Make A Wish foundation, McGregor called up and spoke to 14-year-old Brendan McGlone, who was suffering from terminal leukaemia. The sport mad youngster had expressed his hope of speaking to the SBG man, and McGregor was happy to oblige.

The pair had even discussed Brendan flying out to Las Vegas for the Notorious’ title bout with Chad Mendes. However, Brendan passed away the week beforehand and a clearly emotional McGregor paid tribute to the teenager on TSN's Off the Record.

2.While preparing for his featherweight title unification bout with Jose Aldo, the 27-year-old attended a fans’ Q and A at the Wright Venue in Swords, sponsored by

Although not everybody in attendance got an autograph, McGregor was able to give something more significant to those in need. The fighter donated €50k of his own money to Focus Ireland and for the maintenance of ambulance that caters to the homeless.

3. Just before departing for American ahead tomorrow’s clash with Nate Diaz at UFC 196, McGregor was in Galway attending a friend’s birthday party. While there, he was approached by Sinead Nora McGrath, whose wheelchair bound boyfriend, Stevo Timothy, was in a car nearby.

When Sinead informed McGregor that her boyfriend was one of his biggest fans, the UFC featherweight champion promptly linked her arm and headed off to meet Stevo. The trio laughed and joked for a time, before the MMA superstar departed with his security team in tow

Sinead later wrote on Facebook: “An absolute hero and a gentleman, thank you for representing us Conor! He was being rushed by his security team quite a bit but he made a massive effort to ignore them and chatted to us for over five minutes.

“We were so pleasantly surprised at the huge effort he made to meet us and how extremely friendly he was. We’re still in shock for all the attention that was gotten.”

4. He was at it again following his arrival in California days later. While cruising through the city in his Rolls Royce, McGregor noticed a cardboard cut out of himself and Irish flag in a nearby apartment. In his own words, the featherweight champ was ‘blown away’ so he decided to pay a visit  to this super fan, who was brought to the verge of tears by the experience.

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