#OTD in 1988 – Birth of professional mixed martial artist, Conor McGregor, in Crumlin, Dublin.

Conor ‘The Notorious’ McGregor is a mixed martial artist who competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Throughout his career, he has competed as a featherweight, lightweight and welterweight. McGregor is the current UFC Featherweight Champion.

In 2008, McGregor started his mixed martial arts (MMA) career and, in 2012, he won both the Cage Warriors Featherweight and Lightweight Championships, holding both titles concurrently before vacating them to sign with the UFC. In 2015, McGregor became the first Irish-born UFC champion after he defeated José Aldo for the featherweight championship, at UFC 194, via knockout after thirteen seconds in the first round. This was the fastest victory in UFC title fight history. He is known for being one of the biggest pay-per-view draws in MMA as well as his extravagant lifestyle and trash talking.

In February 2013, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) announced that they had signed McGregor to a multi-fight contract. In joining, McGregor became only the second fighter from Ireland to compete for the company. On 6 April 2013, McGregor made his UFC debut against Marcus Brimage on the preliminary card of UFC on Fuel TV. He was successful in his first bout, winning via TKO in just over a minute into the first round. The win also earned McGregor his first “Knockout of the Night” award.

McGregor was expected to face Andy Ogle on 17 August 2013 at UFC Fight Night 26 but Ogle pulled out of the bout citing an injury and was replaced by Max Holloway. McGregor won the fight by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26). Following the bout with Holloway, an MRI scan revealed that McGregor had torn his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during the bout and would require surgery, keeping him out of action for up to ten months.

McGregor was expected to face Cole Miller on 19 July 2014 at UFC Fight Night 46. However, Miller pulled out of the bout citing a thumb injury and was replaced by Diego Brandão. McGregor won the fight via TKO in the first round. The win earned McGregor his first “Performance of the Night” award.

Prior to his next bout, McGregor met with Lorenzo Fertitta and signed a new mult-fight contract with the UFC. McGregor faced Dustin Poirier on 27 September 2014 at UFC 178 where he won the fight via first round TKO. This marked Poirier’s first UFC loss via KO/TKO and earned McGregor his second straight “Performance of the Night” award.

McGregor faced Dennis Siver on 18 January 2015 at UFC Fight Night 59. McGregor dominated his opponent, winning the one-sided fight via TKO in the second round. The win also earned McGregor his third straight “Performance of the Night” award. After the fight, McGregor jumped over the cage and confronted the UFC Featherweight Champion José Aldo.

McGregor was expected to face José Aldo on 11 July 2015 at UFC 189 for the undisputed UFC Featherweight Championship. However, in the days leading up to the fight, Aldo pulled out of the bout because of a rib injury he had sustained in training. McGregor remained on the card and faced Chad Mendes for the interim featherweight championship. At the event, McGregor’s entrance was sang by Sinéad O’Connor, who performed a rendition of “The Foggy Dew”. McGregor won the fight via second-round TKO, winning the UFC interim Featherweight Championship. This victory extended McGregor’s “Performance of the Night” award streak to four. Later, McGregor stated that during the fight camp for UFC 189, he tore his ACL.

On 12 December 2015, at UFC 194, McGregor defeated Aldo by first-round knockout to become the UFC Undisputed Featherweight Champion and the first Irish-born champion in UFC history. The bout lasted 13 seconds, the fastest finish in any UFC title fight. McGregor once again won the “Performance of the Night”, his fifth time in a row which set a UFC record for that award. The win over Aldo also extended his UFC win streak to 7 and overall win streak to 15.

McGregor was expected to face Rafael dos Anjos for the UFC Lightweight Championship on 5 March 2016 at UFC 196 in an attempt to become the first UFC dual-weight champion. However, it was announced on 23 February that dos Anjos withdrew from the fight after breaking his foot. McGregor instead made his welterweight debut against Nate Diaz where Diaz won via submission in the second round, marking McGregor’s first defeat in the UFC. A rematch with Diaz was scheduled for UFC 200 but the fight was canceled after McGregor was unwilling to fulfill media obligations related to the fight. In turn, the fight with Diaz was rescheduled to take place the following month at UFC 202.

On 11 July 2016, the UFC announced that it had sold itself for a whopping $4 billion to a new group of owners, including WME-IMG, ushering in an entirely new era for the biggest promotion in the sport of mixed martial arts. The announcement came fresh off a busy weekend for the promotion, where it held three events in three days, culminating with a record-breaking event at UFC 200. Conor McGregor commented that he felt honoured to have fought under the Fertitta regime.

On 27 September 2016, it was officially announced that McGregor’s next bout would be against Eddie Alvarez for the UFC Lightweight Championship on November 12 at UFC 205. McGregor defeated Alvarez by second-round technical knockout to win the UFC Lightweight Championship.

On 26 November 2016, due to his inactivity in the division, it was initially announced that McGregor vacated the Featherweight Championship, therefore promoting José Aldo to undisputed champion but further reports say that McGregor was actually stripped of the title as confirmed by his coach.

On 30 November 2016, McGregor obtained a professional boxing license from the California State Athletic Commission.

After winning the lightweight championship at UFC 205, McGregor announced he would take time off from the UFC to wait for the birth of his first child due in 2017. McGregor would spend the majority of his public appearances in early-2017 campaigning for a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather.

On 14 June 2017, it was officially announced that McGregor would compete in his first professional boxing match against the undefeated American boxer, Floyd Mayweather Jr., on 26 August 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

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