“The Notorious” Conor McGregor is one of the most decorated and recognized fighters in MMA history having headlined five of the six highest-selling pay-per-view events in UFC history. The outspoken Irishman has always been a fighter at heart, dating back to his days growing up in Dublin, Ireland and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.
So how exactly did the Irishman become the UFC legend he is today?
“The Notorious” Conor McGregor Story
McGregor made his MMA debut at the age of 18 in an Irish Ring of Truth promotion in Dublin. He won via a TKO in the first round and turned professional following the fight - signing with the Irish Cage of Truth promotion.
After posting a 12-2 professional record with 11 KOs in Ireland, Notorious made the leap across the pond to the UFC in 2013 and immediately made a name for himself.
McGregor won his first five UFC matches in convincing fashion (four via KO), and in 2015 made his UFC title fight debut at UFC 189. The Irishman defeated Chad Mendes via TKO in the second round to win the interim UFC Featherweight championship.
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Six months later, McGregor made the most of his career-changing opportunity by making UFC history. McGregor knocked out then-undefeated José Aldo in 13 seconds for the fastest KO in UFC title fight history, and unified the UFC Featherweight Championship.
Eager for a challenge, Notorious stepped up to Welterweight in March 2016 and battled Nate Diaz in a non-title fight at UFC 196. McGregor lost and snapped a 17-fight winning streak via submission (rear-naked choke), but had the last laugh in an August rematch at UFC 202 when defeating Diaz via majority decision.
Later in December, at UFC 205, McGregor fought in his third fight of 2016 and took another page in the history books by defeating Eddie Alvarez for the UFC Lightweight Championship via a second-round TKO to become the first fighter in UFC History to simultaneously hold titles in two weight divisions.
At that point, McGregor felt he had accomplished and encountered all possible opportunities in the world of UFC, and saw his talents were capable of something even bigger than the octagon so decided to make the jump to boxing. However, the Notorious not only jumped but leaped into one of the biggest challenges of his professional career by taking on the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world, the undefeated Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather.
Many viewed the match as a money grab for the two money hungry fighters, and by most accounts it was. The fight was the richest boxing match in history, and drew 4.3 million PPV buys in North America, the second most in history.
McGregor was defeated by Mayweather via TKO in the 10th round, but neither fighter was upset with the result as Mayweather was guaranteed $70 million and McGregor $30 million.
After the publicity stunt with Mayweather, McGregor made his long-awaited return to the octagon against the interim UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. Unfortunately for the Irishman, there was still clearly rust he had to shake off.
McGregor took on the Russian for the lightweight championship after nearly two years absent from the octagon, and was dominated in nearly every facet of the fight before ultimately being submitted in the fourth round via neck crank.
Khabib hit McGregor with 19 more significant strikes, 58 total strikes to the head, and took him down three times before finally submitting Notorious.
Chaos ensued after the fight when a massive brawl broke out, one of a series of dust-ups McGregor was involved in both in and out of the octagon over the year. McGregor was arrested in March 2019 for strong-armed robbery and criminal mischief. He was then charged in August 2019 with assault at a Dublin pub.
Fast forward to the present day, and the Irishman is set to return from yet another octagon hiatus to take on Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone on January 19th at UFC 246 in Las Vegas, Nevada