From Rags To Riches, The Irish Prodigy, Conor McGregor Has Transformed The UFC
By: Ben Lennon
How A High-School Dropout Became The UFC’s Most Important Commodity
The UFC has much to be grateful for thanks to the contributions of Irish prodigy and global superstar Conor McGregor. McGregor has become a modern-day trailblazer since joining the organization, helping to transform a once irrelevant product into must-watch TV. The UFC wouldn’t be the multi-billion dollar industry it is today without McGregor and his magnetism. Without the Irish prodigy Conor McGregor and his influence, it’s hard to think that the UFC would still be ranked as the fastest-growing sport in the world. Whether you love him, hate him, admire him or despise him, the true fans of mixed martial arts know and appreciate the profound impact he has made since joining the UFC. Raised from humble beginnings in Dublin, Ireland, McGregor’s unthinkable journey from rags to riches is truly remarkable.
Proving People Wrong Is Apart Of McGregor’s DNA
McGregor grew up in Crumlin, a working-class neighbourhood located in Dublin’s Southside. Parents Tony and Margret both worked tirelessly to ensure they could provide for Conor and his two siblings. His parents instilled in their son many values, including hard work. The Irish prodigy has remained very close to his family even throughout his rise to fame, praising his parents for their years of continual support.
It hasn’t always been smooth sailing between McGregor and his parents. The Irish prodigy created tension with his parents after suddenly deciding to quit his plumbing apprenticeship in pursuit of becoming an MMA wrestler. This infuriated his father, Tony, who became physical towards his son. Admirably, Conor remained true to himself, telling his father, “you’ll be sorry when I’m a millionaire” (Irish Post). It took four long years of vigorous training, which included tremendous sacrifice and discipline. Still, the future Irish prodigy, Conor McGregor, finally put pen to paper, signing his first UFC contract on April 6, 2013.
An Irish Prodigy With An Unapologetic Hunger For Money
Fast forward eight years, no one could foresee just how much the Irish prodigy Conor McGregor would impact the sport of UFC. McGregor has made a name for himself both inside and outside the ring. Inside the cage, it is his precise and accurate striking abilities that have caused headaches for opponents, no pun intended. However, it is the constant mind games he plays with opponents before his fights that have captured worldwide attention. McGregor has made a name for himself by purposely trash-talking his opponents as someone who is extremely quick-witted. This is something that has not only boosted his own popularity but has also helped to put the sport of UFC on the map.
McGregor’s influence has played an important role in the exponential rise of the UFC. McGregor and his team are well aware of the impact he has within the organization. The UFC has strategically met the requests of their very own cash cow. Don’t get me wrong, the former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion deserve the occasional luxury here and there. Nevertheless, McGregor has become the most important commodity within the UFC, and keeping him satisfied is paramount.
McGregor Isn’t One To Shy Away From Conflict
As an audience, time and time again, we have witnessed McGregor speak his mind and get away with it. However, his war of words directed at UFC president Dana White back in 2016 finally landed him in hot water. McGregor said, “you want me to stick around you, you want me to keep doing what I’m doing, but I want the ownership now; I want equal share” (Washington Post). These comments exemplified McGregor’s clear sense of entitlement. The UFC, who quickly responded to McGregor’s outlandish request, held firm, outlining that he was just an employee and wouldn’t be promoted. McGregor is a businessman with an unapologetic hunger for money. Even though he was denied part ownership, McGregor has still managed to play his cards remarkably well, maximizing his earnings and becoming a global entity in the process.
Irish Prodigy, Conor McGregor Is Must-Watch TV
As a youngster, McGregor grew up watching old interviews from Mohammad Ali, studying his mannerisms. He was amazed by Ali’s incredible vocabulary. Following Ali’s footsteps has allowed the Irishman to effectively promote his upcoming fights, creating enormous amounts of exposure.
For instance, prior to UFC 205, McGregor famously taunted opponent Eddie Alvarez in a press conference. The ordeal began well before McGregor had even arrived at the press conference. Alvarez was greeted to a room full of hostile McGregor fans. After discovering McGregor’s absence, Alvarez decided to quickly exit the room. In characteristically late fashion, McGregor appeared and realized Alvarez’s chair was empty.
He saw this as an opportunity to snatch Alvarez’s belt that was still lying on the table. It didn’t take long before Alvarez caught wind of McGregor’s antics, franticly returning to the room. What followed was a brash and frankly ridiculous display in which McGregor threatened to smash a chair over Alvarez’s head.
Like so many of McGregor’s opponents, Alvarez was noticeably agitated by McGregor’s sheer disrespect. The decision to publically humiliate Alvarez was calculated by McGregor. He knew with the security present; he could do and say just about anything he wanted. It has become McGregor’s trademark, using press conferences to get under the skin of his opponents effectively.
An Irish Prodigy Who Will Be Remembered Forever
Trash talk has always been a part of UFC, but it has never come close to the intellectual intelligence shown by McGregor. He has effectively used his press conferences to infuriate his opponents, managing to shift their mindsets away from what’s important. It is a tactic McGregor has used and achieved great success with. McGregor’s worldwide following is a testament to his mainstream appeal. The fact is, McGregor has forever left his mark on the sport. Often imitated but never duplicated, the Irish prodigy Conor McGregor has a legacy that is already set in stone.
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