Today i wanted to try something a little different. For many weeks I've been speaking on the many pros of owning and maintaining your very own facial forests. But i want to focus on some of the bearded sporting greats in the game today. And who better to start with than UFC Irish sensation and NEW featherweight champion of the world 'The Notorious' Conor McGregor...
Now unless you've been living on another planet these past few weeks you'll have heard a little something about this chap. And whilst the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has become one of the fastest growing sports globally, McGregor has certainly lent a helping hand with bringing MMA as a sport to the next level with his witty sense of humour and self confidence.
It all began back in 2008 long before 'The Notorious' was ever thought up when a younger beardless Conor McGregor sat before a camcorder and said the following statement 'My name is Conor McGregor and I live in Lucan. I am an up and coming fighter and without a doubt you will see me on the UFC in the near future. Without a doubt. My dream is to be a world champion in the UFC and have more money than i know what to do with.' little could anyone predict the truth he spoke that day, and how true those words have since become and will forever be written in the UFC history books.
Before following a path in mixed martial arts Dublin, Ireland's very own Conor McGregor was plodding along in an average day to day job training to be a plumber working as a plumbers apprentice for a short time. Clearly unhappy with the direction his life was taking he recalls sitting in a car whilst on a break from his job as the rain thumped down on the rooftop. Unsatisfied he made his mind up there and then he wanted more for himself and despite his father's displeasure he quit his job. That day proved to be a turning point in a young McGregor's path to MMA stardom. Dreaming of bigger and better things as a youngster McGregor originally wanted to follow a career in football (soccer) with ambitious dreams of playing for Premier League greats Manchester United. But as he grew into a young gent his enjoyment of football dwindled down as did his following of the sport.
McGregor has since flourished in the mixed martial arts scene and it was quickly made apparent that he was a cut above most. It wasn't long before Conor's sharp tongue and impeccable left hand caught the attention of UFC president Dana White who offered McGregor a UFC contract of which the Irishman was only to happy to take.
From McGregor's first fight in the UFC, winning by first round knock out; his career has never taken a step back. With an undefeated UFC record of 7 wins 0 losses he has smartly continued to impress both fighters and fight fans along the way with his confidence slash border line cocky predictions time after time. Making light work of defeating Chad Mendes for the interim UFC featherweight title, closing the fight inside of two rounds by a beautifully timed left hook KO finish which had Mendes crashing to the Octagon canvas with nothing left in the tank, Just as McGregor had predicted. 'Take me to the matt, you can't even pass guard! I'll butcher you from the bottom!' Just as McGregor predicted. Followed by an epic 13 second KO against former undefeated in a 10 year reign champion Jose Aldo Junior at UFC 194 last weekend, Just as McGregor predicted. McGregor has proven his worth time after time. Yes, he may spit out memorable quotes and suggestions that some would label as grossly arrogant and somewhat overly cocky. But in his own words he's the pound for pound number 1 king. 'People are always saying about how i talk and i talk and i talk and i talk, But guess f*ckin what! Have i been wrong yet? Have i been wrong yet? NO.' McGregor has and will never shy away from any given confrontation or two. He believes that boxing great Floyd 'Money' Mayweather wouldn't last 30 seconds inside the Octagon with himself. McGregor has gone from strength to strength being the first ever Irishman to earn a win inside the UFC Octagon then onwards to become the first Irish UFC champion of the world.
Growing up McGregor was quick to learn how to look after himself. Being a young lad from Dublin it was common that a playground scrap or two was going to happen, so he looked up to his fighting idols like martial arts legend Bruce Lee and boxing sensation Muhammad Ali as he learned to defend himself against the bullies.
As his skills improved with his boxing he soon learned his movement played a huge advantage in his fight game and switched from boxing to MMA, making Straight Blast Gym (SBG)
Ireland his new home.
Many may argue that MCGregor talked his way to a title shot and was granted it long before he had earned it. blurting out quotes like 'He's a midget, German, steroid head' when asked about opponent Dennis Siver, and 'When i throw, they hit. When i hit they fall.' It's impossible to not admire his self belief. I would argue that having a sensation like McGregor step into a somewhat rusty and predictable division and cause a stand storm with his sharp tongue and heaps of self believe was just as much needed for the UFC as a company as it was for McGregor as a fighter. Love him or loath him McGregor is here. And with a mindset such as McGregor's with UFC gold wrapped around his waist I very much doubt he'll be going anywhere anytime soon.