Conor McGregor’s come an awful long way in a relatively short time.
From an unknown MMA fighter who was unable to pay the bills, the Irishman is now on the verge of a fight against Floyd Mayweather which is set to earn him a minimum of $75 million.
While his circumstances have changed, one thing has remained constant. McGregor’s always exuded unbelievable coolness.
So, to celebrate The Notorious, here are 10 times that McGregor was the king of cool.
The UFC make a big deal of their press conferences. They like to raise levels of anticipation ahead of big fight nights and UFC 205 was no different.
McGregor and his opponent, Eddie Alvarez, were among the fighters on the stage but it was Jeremy Stephens who became the target of McGregor’s most famous put down when he claimed that he was “the real hardest hitting 145 pounder”.
Stephens was hoping to get a match up with McGregor but The Notorious sent the crowd and many of those on stage with him into hysterics with the now famous words, “who the f*ck is that guy?”
“Who the f*ck is that guy” may be McGregor’s catchphrase now but before ruining Jeremy Stephens’ credibility forever, he was best known for telling anyone who dared to get in his was that they’ll “do nuttin.”
Whether it was after snatching Jose Aldo’s belt away from him or in a locker room full wannabe UFC fighters, McGregor remained cool and gave them the same response.
The world of social media can be a strange one. Log on to Instagram and you’ll see heavily edited photos of people pretending that their life is much better than it actually is.
It’s a little different with Conor McGregor though.
His Instagram feed is full of his training regime, the cool toys he’s bought with the fruits of his labour and the odd cute picture of his baby boy.
McGregor is a worldwide phenomenon but nowhere is he as revered as in Ireland. Whatever the sport, Irish fans always support their own and it’s no surprise that Dublin is full of McGregor fans.
That includes the two guys in the video below who were impersonating McGregor after a few drinks on a night out only for the great man to pull up next to them.
Poor old Jose Aldo did not enjoy his time spent with McGregor.
The two men went on a round-the-world promotion tour for their fight scheduled for UFC 189 during which McGregor got under his opponent’s skin at every single opportunity including instructing a reluctant translator to “tell him I’m his daddy”.
Aldo pulled out of that fight but then signed up to another contest during at UFC 194. That bout lasted only 13 seconds as a devastating counter-punch from McGregor knocked Aldo out.
That was cool enough but McGregor’s response immediately after the fight, showing humility in victory after such bravado in selling the fight showed the respect that he has for fellow fighters and the fight game in general.
It’s easy to get caught up in the Rolex watches, the flash cars and the bravado of Conor McGregor but every now and then you realise that he is a great salesman and a decent man deep down.
Never was that clearer than when he granted the wish of 14-year-old Brendan McGlone who had terminal leukemia. One of the Irish fan’s last wishes was to talk with McGregor on the phone and he was delighted when The Notorious phoned him in his hospital bed.
McGregor was also planning to fly the boy and his family out to Vegas for his UFC 189 fight but tragically Brendan lost his battle with the disease before the fight. The fact that he would take the time out to grant that wish and the way that it obviously affected him was very cool for a very different reason.
Sparring today. pic.twitter.com/fV3jR6Pr0y— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) July 18, 2017
There are few things cooler than achievement. Everybody who sets a goal, puts the work in and achieves their dreams earns respect but it’s that little bit cooler if you tell the world what you’re going to do before doing it.
Muhammad Ali became one of the most revered people on the planet for the way he would tell reporters what he’d do in the future and McGregor has the same ability to predict the future.
McGregor’s earned the nickname ‘Mystic Mac’ for his accurate predictions and his big calls ahead of the Floyd Mayweather fans have his fans dreaming of a massive surprise.
The biggest achievement of McGregor’s career so far is becoming the first man in UFC history to hold world championship belts at two different weight classes simultaneously.
But fighting at different weights is nothing new for McGregor.
In March 2016, McGregor stepped up two weight classes on just a 11 days’ notice to fight Nate Diaz at 170 lbs after Rafael dos Anjos pulled out of their fight.
A rear naked choke in the second round won the fight for Diaz but McGregor proved his warrior status by stepping up the weights to take the fight rather than pulling out.
The Irishman also won the rematch at UFC 202 on a majority decision at Welterweight.
McGregor’s never going to go short of sponsorship opportunities but not all endorsements are created equal.
He’s the biggest fighter on the planet at the moment so it only made sense for McGregor to become part of the biggest video game franchise on the planet by joining Call of Duty for their Infinite Warfare release.
Vince McMahon’s a pretty cool guy. The chairman of the WWE is wealthy, popular and powerful but he still feels the need to make sure that we all know about it which is why he used to enter the ring with his trademark ‘Billionaire Walk’.
Conor McGregor clearly looked at the walk and thought ‘I’m having some of that.’
He’s mimicked the walk several times and arguably looks cooler doing it than Mr McMahon.