The Notorious Conor McGregor is one of the biggest names in the world right now. Today, the SBG fighter turns 29, to celebrate we’re taking a look at all he’s achieved to date.
The amount achieved by McGregor in such a short period of time is truly staggering. Just four years ago this Irish fighter was collecting social welfare.
McGregor has come a long way since however, and is now amongst the most wealthy of sportspeople. With his value only set to rise due to an upcoming bout, Conor is set for life.
How has he gotten to this level? Let’s take a look.
Cage Warriors: Two-weight world champion
For those who knew of a special Irish talent long before his fame, this memory will still be cherished. A young up-and-coming fighter from Dublin had the potential to put Irish MMA on the map.
In highly untypical fashion, McGregor captured the first of his brace of titles via submission. Then featherweight champion Dave Hill was supposed to provide a threat in the form of his ground game. But it was McGregor who shone, capturing his first taste of gold through rear naked choke.
The second of these two straps came in more familiar fashion. Cage Warriors’ featherweight champion jumped up in weight class to take on lightweight champion Ivan Buchinger. In front of a home crowd McGregor took the title after a first round KO with just under four minutes gone.
Having captured both titles in Cage Warriors, noise began to surround the name Conor McGregor. The man was destined to receive a call from the UFC, and he did not long after.
UFC debut win, UFC Fight Night Dublin and five-fight UFC win-streak
The early stages of Conor McGregor’s UFC career are unrivalled by anybody. The momentum McGregor picked up was of an insane level, and all this was despite an ACL injury.
Having created a stir on the MMA Hour, McGregor’s debut was highly anticipated, and he didn’t disappoint. Marcus Brimmage was fighting on the back of a three-fight win-streak, but was made look amateurish by a determined Irishman. Another first round KO was the result.
A huge reception at Boston followed this as Conor McGregor squared off with now featherweight champion Max Holloway. Unfortunately (at least in Conor’s eyes) this would become one of McGregor’s two decision victories in the UFC after he tore his ACL midway through the second round.
At this stage of his career, one of Conor McGregor’s main ambitions was to bring the UFC back to Dublin. And upon his return to the UFC he achieved this. A night that will live long in the memory of Irish MMA fans, McGregor scored another first round KO in the main event.
What followed was two more victories over top ten contenders. With Dustin Poirier and Denis Siver proving to be no match for the SBG fighter, Conor had earned himself a title shot. Truly exciting times for fans of ‘The Notorious’.
This, in many McGregor supporters eyes, was the most special of occasions in this amazing journey. UFC 189 had it all, in every sense.
The co-main event of this card would prove to be one of the greatest fights of all time, but as always, it was McGregor who stole the show. This was set to be his biggest challenge yet, he was finally facing the wrestling style he was supposedly protected from. Not to mention it was his biggest stage yet.
But bright lights and big names do not faze Conor McGregor. Sung by Sinead O’Connor, McGregor thrived in the big occasion. Having almost definitely found himself behind in both rounds on the judges scorecards, McGregor rose to the challenge to KO Chad Mendes in the dying embers of the second round.
As emotional as we’ve ever seen him, tears streamed down the Dublin native’s face. This was his first taste of UFC gold, something he had dreamed of for the best part of a decade. But it was just an interim title, the unification was yet to come.
For ten years, Jose Aldo was the undisputed king of the featherweight division. But this meant little to a crazy Irish man with a dream.
The hype had now been building for the guts of a year. A world tour, followed by a late pull-out of UFC 189, meant UFC 194 was one of the most anticipated fights of all time. Once again, this was the time McGregor would be silenced, Aldo was too good, a different animal.
But he did it, the impossible. Not only had he just defeated Jose Aldo, but in the most humiliating way possible. Ireland had it’s first ever undisputed UFC champion. Conor McGregor was now a global superstar.
The Nate Diaz saga
With McGregor now the featherweight champion of the UFC, he was eager to replicate his Cage Warriors achievement by becoming two-weight world champion. The UFC granted his wish, but there were issues.
When lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos pulled out just ten days before UFC 196, McGregor needed a new opponent. This led to what would become one of McGregor’s greatest affairs. Nate Diaz at 170 lbs would step in to defeat an unprepared Conor McGregor via second round rear naked choke.
The fight led to Nate Diaz becoming a global sensation. But the bitter taste of defeat did not sit well with Conor McGregor and a rematch simply had to take place. Once again, the fight would take place at 170, but this was a different Conor McGregor.
Having been prepared to go the distance this time, Conor McGregor took the bout via majority decision. He had once again proven his doubters wrong in this victory. But we have a feeling this saga is not yet complete.
The double champion
With Nate Diaz put away for now, McGregor was free to return to his original dream, becoming a UFC two-weight world champion. To do this, he would have to face lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez.
Once again, analysts claimed that this would be McGregor’s greatest test to date. Eddie Alvarez was too big and Conor’s punching power would not carry to lightweight. Becoming a two-weight world champion was just one step too far.
And once again, they were all wrong. Conor completely outclassed Eddie Alvarez under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden. This appeared to be peak Conor McGregor, and the SBG fighter was barely touched throughout the duration of the fight.
Now that he fulfilled his dream of being a two-weight world champion, Conor McGregor had even more insane ambitions on his mind.
The latest venture of McGregor is most certainly his wildest ambition to date. Despite what analysts said about Mendes, Aldo and Alvarez, at least that was in the sport of MMA.
Now, Conor McGregor is in the middle of a world tour for a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather. Conor McGregor has never taken part in a professional boxing match. Floyd Mayweather has never lost in a professional boxing match.
So how is this happening? Well, Conor McGregor has got a crazy ability to make people believe in him. McGregor is different, McGregor is special.
Now, it may very well prove that McGregor is completely out of his depth here, in fact, it’s almost guaranteed. But maybe, just maybe, he can shock the world again.
Happy Birthday Conor McGregor, never change.
Kevin Daly, Pundit Arena
Read More About: Cage Warriors, chad mendes, conor mcgregor, conor mcgregor v floyd mayweather, Dustin Poirier, floyd mayweather, jose aldo, mixed martial artist, mma, nate diaz, UFC, ufc 194, ufc 196