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John Kavanagh shares UFC rejection letter for Conor McGregor opportunity

Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor’s head coach John Kavanagh has jumped on board the ‘How it started… How it’s going’ trend.

In his own take on the social media trend, John Kavanagh has revealed the first response received from UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby in 2012, when he was offered the opportunity to sign Conor McGregor.

Replying to the initial contact from Mjolnir MMA founder and father of Gunnar Nelson, Haraldur, Shelby politely made it known that he wasn’t looking to bring in any 145lbers from Europe at that time.

“If I can use any of your fighters, especially Conor, I will contact you,” Shelby replied.

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How it started. How it's going.

A post shared by Coach Kavanagh (@coach_kavanagh) on

“At the moment, the featherweight division is terribly impacted from so many UFC lightweights moving down in weight.

“So, I’m not looking to sign anyone else for a while, but, hopefully, it will clear up soon and guys like Conor will get the opportunity.”

That email came in mid-December 2012 and it didn’t take long for McGregor to prove his pedigree because less than three weeks later, he became a double-champ in Cage Warriors when he knocked out Ivan Buchinger to add the lightweight title to his featherweight crown.

With Shelby then convinced by McGregor, four months later ‘The Notorious’ was making his UFC debut against TUF alum Marcus Brimage.

McGregor justified the hype with some stunning striking, requiring just a minute to knock Brimage out in Sweden.

And so began the most lucrative rise in mixed martial arts history, with McGregor developing into the biggest star in UFC history over the course of two short years.

Conor McGregor

The second half of Kavanagh’s post was an image from the weigh-ins ahead of McGregor vs. Mendes, when an estimated 10,000 fans packed into the MGM Grand to see the featherweights hit the scales.

“Incredible!” McGregor responded. “Sean had me scouted long before anyone else.”

The rest, as they say, is history.

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