20 Surprising Facts You Never Knew About Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor is considered one of the best mixed martial arts fighter of all time. He has won belts in all different weight classes and promotes himself constantly, which adds to his fame even more. Because McGregor is one of the most successful MMA fighters of all time, many people think they know all about Mystic Mac, but we found out 20 interesting facts about him that will surprise even the biggest McGregor Fans.

Check out our gallery to find out which facts surprise you most about one of the most famous fighters of all time.

Tired Of Dealing With People's Sh-t

Yahoo Sports

Before becoming one of the best MMA fighters of all time, McGregor was a plumber. When McGregor decided to leave the life of plumbing behind and pursue a fighting career full time, his father disapproved of the situation and wanted him to maintain a more stable job. “Like any parent, I was concerned about his future and even when he got the plumbing job we had terrible trouble getting him to show up,” Conor's father said. “He wasn’t into it all, it was a real nightmare to try and get him to go. I remember the moment I knew he wasn’t going to be a plumber. It was a Monday morning, I went in to wake him up and I just remember him peering out from under his blanket and saying, ‘look, this isn’t for me.’" Although his father may have been unsupportive in the beginning, Conor's father now supports his son as he continues to excel in his fighting career. McGregor's winnings have also allowed his father to retire early.

Dreaming About Fighting

USA Today

McGregor is said to be so obsessed with fighting that he would wake up thinking about fighting and kick his wall at 4 am. When speaking about his late-night antics, McGregor told reporters, “I’m up half the night just doing sh-t. You probably can’t see that wall there, but that’s from me side-kicking that wall,” McGregor said motioning to the wall and pointing out footprints from kicking on the wall. “That’s the just the way it is. It’s 24/7 in my head, I’m always thinking about it, I’m always doing, I don’t do anything else.”

The Bullied Became The Bully

reddit

Conor McGregor initially got into MMA to learn to fight and ward off bullies. Worried about people picking on him because of his small stature, McGregor delved into martial arts as a means to help defend himself.“I felt I needed to be able to defend myself,” McGregor told the Daily Mail. “I never felt bullied but I was a small kid and you have fights growing up. Those scuffles took up more of my thoughts than most people. I didn’t get into it to be able to handle myself but people would know I did it. I started with kickboxing then did some boxing and moved to ju jitsu. I was trying to learn every way and be comfortable in any situation.”

Soccer Before Fighting

Reddit

Before he got into mixed martial arts, McGregor played soccer and is still pretty skilled with a ball. “We had got him into football and he followed Manchester United as a small kid. When he was around seven he used to be kitted out in all of their gear, but he doesn’t follow it at all now,” McGregor’s father told reporters. “He played for Lourdes Celtic and some of the other local clubs around us. It must’ve been his early teens when he started to go up to Crumlin Boxing Club and I remember him coming home one day and asking us why we hadn’t got him into it years before. He found his own niche in the end.”


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[Un]likely Award

Crave Online

Although it may have little to do with fighting, it's worth noting that McGregor was named Most Stylish Man in Ireland. McGregor once said to an MMA audience, “There are two things I really like to do: whoop ass and look good." So when it came time to accept his award for Most Stylish Man in Ireland, McGregor said, “Thank you very much for this award, honestly I’m honored, I knew I was going to win, I’m not going to lie.” It makes sense that he likes to dress well because McGregor said the two are related. “Fashion and fighting [are] a lot alike,” McGregor said. “In fighting, attention to detail is critical and in fashion, I suppose it is the same.”

Muscles Run In The Family

The Irish Sun

Conor McGregor isn’t the only athlete in the family. His older sister Erin is a competitive body builder who has been successful in her own sport. “You are really pushing your body to its limit, so there were definite low periods,” Erin said. “Whenever I was low Conor was on the other end of the phone. I remember him saying: ‘No-one realizes what it’s like until they’ve done it themselves.’ We forged this mutual respect that I suppose we never had before.”

Lowpoint

Sky Sports

Before he became a multimillionaire thanks to MMA, McGregor was on welfare to help him pay the bills. Just one week before his UFC debut, McGregor was still collecting welfare checks.“Just last week I was collecting the social welfare,” McGregor said at the post-fight news conference of his UFC debut. “I was in there saying to them, ‘I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m signed to the UFC. I don’t know. Blah, blah, blah.’ Now I suppose I’m just going to have to tell them [expletive] off.” That night, McGregor won $60,000 quick win over Marcus Brimage when he knocked him out. “To be honest, I don’t know what’s going on here,” McGregor. “I’m just up here hearing $60,000. I’m just thinking of what I’m going to spend it on. Maybe a nice car and some suits or something, some custom-made suits. I don’t know. … I’m making money here, I didn’t have money before this, you know. Like I said, I was collecting 180 Euros a week off the social welfare and here I am and I’ve got 60 G’s bonus and my own pay.”

Sex As A Guiding Principle

Team Coco

When Conor McGregor appeared on the nightly show 'Conan' he told host Conan O'Brien that he tries to have as much sex as possible before a fight. “All right, let me ask you this,” O’Brien proposed. “This is an old maxim in fighting that you’ve heard about over the years — abstain from sex before a fight. Where are you in that category?” McGregor responded quickly saying, “That is most certainly a superstition that I do not abide by,” McGregor said. “I definitely have as much sex as possible.”

Fighter Vs Golfer

Irish Mirror

Conor McGregor supposedly threw shade at Irish golf legend Rory McIlroy. In an article written by McGregor himself, he declared himself the hardest working sportsman in Ireland, without giving credit to country superstar Rory McIlroy. “I can say with absolute certainty that there is no harder working sportsman in Ireland,” McGregor wrote in Ireland’s Independent. “There is no sportsman with more on the line than me right now. They are queuing up to see me fall. To see me face down. All over the world, they want to see it. If you think I am going to pretend to be humble and be somebody I am not in this business you are crazy. “If your consciousness, your facial structure, your limbs are not on the line, nothing is on the line. I have it all on the line. On a global scale. Like no other Irish athlete before me. Excuse me for acting the way I act. Excuse me for occasionally rubbing it in. For being over the top. Cocky and arrogant. There is good reason.” While that clip doesn’t mention McIlroy by name specifically, according to Balls.ie, McGregor named McIlroy specifically. “Rory McIlroy is worth 50 million. Fifty million earned in a game with essentially nothing on the line,” McGregor allegedly wrote.

Two Belts, Two Weight Classes

The Sun

Not only did Conor McGregor win two titles in two different weight classes, but he won them in back-to-back fights. At first, McGregor defeated Dave Hill at CWFC 47 to win the belt just one fight after he debuted at that weight. Then, at very next fight which was six months later, he went up against Ivan Buchinger at CWFC 51 for the lightweight belt, which he also won.

Diet Drama

Healthy Celeb

Like most of us, McGregor can't stand to diet. He even said that his least favorite part of the entire fighting process is the strict diet. In MMA, their weight is more crucial to their athletic endeavors than any other sport and just one meal can keep them from competing. “I look forward to the day when I’m old and able to eat what I want. I’ll be a little happy fat guy,” McGregor said.“I’m a sweet man. I like cake and a nice coffee. I’d much rather that than like grease. So for me, I love meat. But a cheat would definitely be a nice coffee and a cake.” McGregor has said that his diet is primarily Paleo.

Happy To Help

LowKick MMA

Although McGregor can be bombarded by fans on a daily basis, he says has no problem signing autographs for people who just want to sell them. He told reporters about people standing outside of an event asking for autographs. “They are not collecting autographs, they’re collecting cash,” McGregor said. “If they go through the hassle of standing outside in the cold, getting the pictures printed, showing up, you know what I mean? At the end of the day, they’re supporting the event. They’re fans of the show because they understand the fighters, they understand the pictures, they understand everything. So they’re fans, let them make a few quid, that’s the way I see it anyway. They’re trying to make money so they can buy the pay-per-view, so they can buy the merchandise, so they can print the pictures. So sign the mother f-cking pictures.”


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Mystic Mac Predictions

JOE

McGregor, AKA Mystic Mac, called his shot in back-to-back fights. Heading into UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs. Brandao, which took place in McGregor’s home town of Dublin, McGregor predicted a first-round knockout of Diego Brandao.Then again, A few months later, McGregor was set to face Dustin Poirier at UFC 178, and once again predicted that he would get the win in the first round. Both these predictions, of course, turned out to be spot on.

Bet With The President

The Mac Life

McGregor is confident, to say the least, but he's so confident, at one point he tried to bet UFC President Dana White $3 million that he would knock out a future opponent. “You want to know how confident this kid is?” White said, via MMA Fighting. “I can’t even believe I’m going to say this, but, he told Lorenzo and I the other day ‘I’ll bet you $3 million I knock him out in the second round.”

McGregor The Reader

RTE

McGregor is a great student of the sport, so he thinks of things outside the box. He is said to read Jack Canfield’s 'Key to Living the Law of Attraction' regularly. The book is about how visualization of the life you desire can help it come to fruition. "I’ve already visualized what’s ahead of me, I’ve already visualized my hands getting wrapped," McGregor said. "Of course, I visualize the belt, that belt is on me 24/7. I’m not going in there to shake no one’s hand, I’m not going in there to be the token Irish guy… I’m going out there to go at people. I’m not afraid.”

Crazy Weight Fluctuation

SherDog

There's no doubt MMA fighters have to watch their weight in order to stay in their weight class, but Conor McGregor changed his weight so drastically in order to fight in different weight classes that he had to shed nearly 30 pounds in just 8 days. During an interview with ESPN about a week out from his UFC 189 fight against Chad Mendes, McGregor revealed that he was at about 172 pounds. Eight days later, he had to be 145 pounds, which he shed successfully.

Interesting Music Choice

Rolling Stone

Conor McGregor is clearly proud of his Irish heritage and has played Sinead O’Connor during his walk out music. When asked about his walk out music, McGregor said, "I stuck a little Sinead O’Connor on there as well, if you might have noticed that. She Moved Through The Fair, listen to that, that’s some real Irish sh-t right there, you know what I mean. That’s some go to war sh-t.”

Looking Up To Heroes

Business Insider

Conor McGregor is humble enough to think he shouldn't be compared to the legendary Muhammad Ali, but that didn't stop him from paying tribute to him when he did a magazine cover that was a tribute to Ali. The photoshoot was shown in an episode of the Embedded series that chronicled the world tour to promote the UFC 189 bout between McGregor and Jose Aldo.


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New Rival

Fight Hounds

Although McGregor remains undefeated in the UFC, he has a professional MMA record that includes 2 losses, that last of which happened in November of 2010 to fighter Joseph Duffy at Cage Warriors Fighting Championship. Duffy joined the UFC but has yet to fight McGregor at that level. Who knows, maybe we'll see a rematch sooner than later?

No Pain No Gain

USA Today

During his fight in the UFC against Max Holloway, McGregor tore his ACL and still won the fight. “I heard a big pop and I let out a scream mid-round, but I passed into side control with it,” McGregor said after the fight. “When we stood back up, I was unsteady on it. I came out for the third round and chanced it, tried a couple of kicks, tried some shots and was wobbling on it.” Because the fight ended in a decision and not a knockout, McGregor thought of it as a loss, even though he won while tearing his ACL mid-fight.