Success can often be measured differently among various people. However, nearly everybody who has followed Conor McGregor would agree that he is the most successful fighter in MMA history.
Conor McGregor Fighter Bio
- Weight class: Featherweight (145lbs) / Lightweight (155lbs)
- Nationality / birthplace: Crumlin, Dublin, Ireland
- Fighting style: Striking (boxing)
- Age: Born 14 July 1988
- Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
- UFC debut: 6 April 2013 (UFC on Fuel TV: Mousasi vs. Latifi)
- Alias: “Notorious”
Conor McGregor MMA Debut
Born and raised in the Irish capital, Dublin, McGregor played soccer as a child before he started taking boxing classes at the age of 12. He then started training in MMA in his mid-teens after making friends with people who were already training in the sport.
McGregor made his MMA debut in an amateur bout when he was 18 years old, which he won via TKO. He made the decision to turn professional soon after this victory and made his official professional MMA debut one year later in the Irish Cage of Truth promotion.
Watch Conor McGregor’s Professional MMA Debut
Conor McGregor Early Career Losses
He won his first two professional fights by TKO, but then suffered the first loss of his MMA career in just 69 seconds against Artemij Sitenkov, who was able to take the Irishman down before quickly submitting him with a kneebar.
While the match showed McGregor had some major vulnerabilities on the ground, he was still only 19 when this match occurred, which gave ‘Notorious’ plenty of time to address those issues and grow as a fighter.
After another victory in Dublin, McGregor took a break from professional fighting and took a whole different path altogether until he returned to the sport nearly two years later. Although he made a triumphant return in the form of a first round stoppage victory, he would suffer his second loss in six professional fights just seven weeks later.
The loss came at the Cage Warriors 39 event in Ireland against future UFC Lightweight contender Joe Duffy. It was a humiliating loss for McGregor, which came just 38 seconds into the match, after Duffy was able to take him down and choke him out quickly.
Conor McGregor Cage Warriors Legacy
He came back with a vengeance, however, and won his first, and currently only, MMA fight via submission against Dave Hill for the Cage Warriors Featherweight title in 2012, and followed it up six months later with a KO victory over Ivan Buchinger to win the Cage Warriors Lightweight championship.
That win made McGregor the first ever person in Cage Warriors to hold two titles at once, and his accolades quickly caught the attention of the UFC brass. It wasn’t long before he was signed to the promotion and he made his debut in April 2013 against fellow featherweight Marcus Brimage.
Conor McGregor in the UFC
His UFC debut was a highly successful one, having dominated Brimage from the opening bell en route to a 67 second TKO victory. It was a performance that showed the MMA world the technique, movement and power that fans would come to love, as well as the charisma and brashness that would come to define McGregor.
McGregor was matched with current UFC champion Max Holloway in his second UFC fight, which the Irishman won by unanimous decision after dominating Holloway on the ground. After just two UFC fights, McGregor got his first Main Event slot, which came against Brazilian Diego Brandao on UFC Fight Night 46 in McGregor’s home town of Dublin.
It became yet another first round finish on McGregor’s growing resume, with the Irishman finishing Brandao with punches after just four minutes. Tickets for that event sold out just hours after they went on sale, a sign that an entire country was getting behind McGregor.
McGregor then had his first taste at the featherweight top 10 after he was put up against Dustin Poirier on UFC 178. While Poirier got some good shots in on McGregor at the start of the fight, Notorious kept his composure and finished the American in less than two minutes after he landed a perfectly placed hook that knocked Poirier out.
Second round victories against Dennis Siver and Chad Mendes soon followed, both of which asserted McGregor as the top contender in the Featherweight division. The Irishman faced long time UFC Featherweight champion Jose Aldo in the main event of UFC 194.
Becoming UFC Champion
Many pundits believed that McGregor would’ve faced his toughest test ever in the title fight. It was a fair call given that Aldo was widely considered to be the top pound-for-pound fighter at the time and had not lost a fight for nearly a decade.
For McGregor though, it was easy work as he laid Aldo out on the canvas in just 13 seconds with the only strike he threw in the fight. Always one for a challenge, he moved up in went to fight Rafael dos Anjos for the UFC Lightweight title, but Dos Anjos was forced to pull out of the fight less than two weeks before the event with an injury.
He was replaced by Nate Diaz and the match was fought at Welterweight, two weight classes above the Featherweight class McGregor had fought in for years. Still though, McGregor put up a valiant challenge in the first round but his cardio suffered and Diaz was able to submit him in the second.
McGregor was granted a rematch against Diaz at UFC 202, where he put up a greater challenge and, although his cardio suffered again, was able to take out a majority decision victory. He was then given a chance to make UFC history by being matched against Eddie Alvarez for the UFC Lightweight championship, giving him the opportunity to be the only fighter in UFC history to hold two belts simultaneously.
He did just that as he finished Alverez in the second round to take out the title in a phenomenal performance. It was the fourth straight event headlined by McGregor that had a pay-per-view buyrate of over 1,000,000, which cemented him as the most popular fighter in MMA history.
Crossing Over into Boxing
The Irishman was able to parlay that popularity into one of the most anticipated boxing matches ever as he fought boxing legend Floyd Mayweather in August 2017. While McGregor lost the match via TKO in the 10th round, he made a better than expected showing against the undefeated 49-match veteran and former Olympian.
It was also the biggest payday by far for the Olympian, who was believed to have earned as much as $100 million for the bout.
Watch the video replay of Conor McGregor vs/ Floyd Mayweather
Conor McGregor MMA & UFC Fight Record
|Nov 12, 2016||UFC 205: Alvarez vs. McGregor||Eddie Alvarez||Win||KO/TKO|
|Aug 20, 2016||UFC 202: Diaz vs. McGregor 2||Nate Diaz||Win||Decision – Majority|
|Mar 5, 2016||UFC 196: McGregor vs. Diaz||Nate Diaz||Loss||Submission (rear naked choke)|
|Dec 12, 2015||UFC 194: Aldo vs. McGregor||Jose Aldo||Win||KO/TKO|
|Jul 11, 2015||UFC 189: Mendes vs. McGregor||Chad Mendes||Win||KO/TKO|
|Jan 18, 2015||UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs. Siver||Dennis Siver||Win||KO/TKO|
|Sep 27, 2014||UFC 178: Johnson vs. Cariaso||Dustin Poirier||Win||KO/TKO|
|Jul 19, 2014||UFC Fight Night 46: McGregor vs. Brandao||Diego Brandao||Win||KO/TKO|
|Aug 17, 2013||UFC Fight Night 26: Shogun vs. Sonnen||Max Holloway||Win||Decision – Unanimous|
|Apr 6, 2013||UFC on FUEL TV 9: Mousasi vs. Latifi||Marcus Brimage||Win||KO/TKO|
|Dec 31, 2012||CWFC 51: Cage Warriors Fighting Championship 51||Ivan Buchinger||Win||KO|
|Jun 2, 2012||CWFC 47: Cage Warriors Fighting Championship 47||Dave Hill||Win||Submission (Rear Naked Choke)|
|Feb 18, 2012||CWFC 45: Cage Warriors Fighting Championship 45||Steve O’Keefe||Win||KO|
|Sep 8, 2011||CWFC: Fight Night 2||Aaron Jahnsen||Win||KO|
|Jun 11, 2011||CG 2: Clash of the Giants||Artur Sowinski||Win||KO|
|Apr 16, 2011||IFC: Immortal Fighting Championship 4||Paddy Doherty||Win||KO|
|Mar 12, 2011||CC 8: Fields vs. Redmond||Mike Wood||Win||KO|
|Feb 12, 2011||CFC: Chaos Fighting Championship 8||Hugh Brady||Win||KO|
|Nov 27, 2010||CWFC 39: The Uprising||Joseph Duffy||Loss||Submission (Arm Triangle)|
|Oct 9, 2010||CFC: Chaos Fighting Championship 7||Connor Dillon||Win||TKO|
|Dec 12, 2008||K.O.: The Fight Before Christmas||Stephen Bailey||Win||TKO|
|Jun 28, 2008||COT 3: Cage of Truth||Artemji Sitenkov||Loss||Submission (Kneebar)|
|May 3, 2008||Cage Rage: Contenders: Ireland vs. Belgium||Mo Taylor||Win||TKO|
|Mar 8, 2008||COT 2: Cage of Truth||Gary Morris||Win||TKO (Punches)|