2019 was a tumultuous year for Conor McGregor. From smashing a fan’s phone to assaulting a patron in a pub, to multiple sexual assault allegations reportedly made against him, McGregor spent most of 2019 fighting legal battles instead of physical ones. But near the end of the year, McGregor seemingly recognized the self-destructive path he’d been careening down, and vowed to course correct.
Since then, McGregor has been on his best behavior, and after demolishing Donald Cerrone in just 40 seconds at UFC 246, the MMA world is once again at McGregor’s feet. John Kavanagh, McGregor’s head coach, believes that his protege is beyond the troubles that plagued him the last few years, and they will now be embarking on what will become one of the great redemptive stories in the sport.
“I’m incredibly proud of Conor,” Kavanagh told RTÉ 2fm’s Game On. “I realize it was him individually who has made the sport so well known. I get stopped by 60-year-old ladies asking me how his wrestling training is coming along. I know it was him who made it a huge sport in Ireland so I’m very, very proud of that.
“It comes with the territory. Negative headlines get more clicks than positive headlines. That’s just the media game. He’s spoken himself about his slips and his mistakes. He’s had to pay for those outside of the sport. I feel we’re on a good comeback story - he had a great win in January - but yeah, like most things in life you take the good with the bad, you roll with it and try to improve, learn from mistakes and get better as a human being and an athlete as you go on.”
McGregor has certainly minded his Ps and Qs over the last few months. Even in the buildup to UFC 246, “Notorious” was anything but, promoting with a calm and genial demeanor that was a sharp divergence from his usual maniac braggadocio. McGregor even went so far as to compliment Cowboy Cerrone during their pre-fight press conference, something that is is usually reserved for his post-fight reflections.
It was a side of McGregor that had many fans questioning if that was perhaps a more true representation of the man himself instead of the character that launched him to global superstardom. And Kavanagh seems to agree, suggesting that McGregor’s sudden rise from unknown fighter to international sensation was jarring and maybe contributed to McGregor’s troubles.
“It’s a very weird rise from being an unknown guy in Dublin, doing a sport no one has heard of, to being a global superstar,” Kavanagh said. “Everything you say and do is analyzed. He had to make his mistakes very publicly and visibly. I’m proud of how he’s come through those things. He’s owned up to his mistakes. He’s trying to make himself a better person and I’m behind that.”
McGregor is currently awaiting the lightweight title fight between champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson that will take place at UFC 249. McGregor has stated he’d like to serve as a replacement should something happen to either competitor. Meanwhile, Dana White is adamant McGregor will get the next title shot at the winner of that bout.
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This is a journey.
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As we all come to think we are experts, as we all have eyes and think we can see, I will now show you what you are not AWARE enough to see. My coach should be getting coach of the year award for reinventing a fighter at the age of 38. What you are seeing is something special. Now I ask you all why you could not see it, or why you could not allow @joshuafabiaknowbody @schoolofselfawareness to be acknowledged in any way for what he has done. He has done this alone, No equipment No team No building. If you see this and respect me at all you all owe him a HUGE apology. And if you are not willing to apologize and want to deny what you see in this video you are too far corrupted and no one can help you. To all the fans that supported even though you couldn’t see, I love you even more. For all of you that have written me off and talked trash, keep watching because you can’t stop me now. School of Self Awareness is a worldwide movement and it is for those who are willing to help themselves. Share if you care, if you don’t we now know you don’t care. I am a legend, don’t let them destroy my legacy. If they can do it to me, they can do it to you. Stand up for yourself because no one else will. Oh @thenotoriousmma any time, any place I would cherish the opportunity to have a legendary fight with two legends. Plus it might be nice having a fair fight for a change. If you thought @portal.ido was anything you really need to meet @joshuafabiaknowbody Nice commentating @dc_mma , Really thank you from the bottom of my heart. You did me so wrong it taught me what is really going on. Thanks for not talking to my coach, manager and cornerman @joshuafabiaknowbody in our pre fight meeting. You already showed me your bias attitude then. @michelpereiraufc @seanshelby @danawhite @espnmma @mmajunkiedotcom @mmaworlddotcom @thenotoriousmma @hbosports @shosports @themmadigest @floydmayweather @stylebender @arielhelwani @mikebohnmma @canelo @dc_mma @joerogan @stephenasmith #ufcriorancho #ufc #mma #truth #fightgame #interesting #realtalk #thetruthhurts #antibullying #help #whyisnoonehelpingothers #facts #openyoureyes #awareness #selfawareness
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@joshuafabiaknowbody is at @mat05martialarts with @samyaljamal a Bjj Expert with his @bravemmaf fighter @jarrahmma the @bravemmaf welterweight Champion. This are 2 seasoned experienced competitors and they seem to be very impressed with what my coach is saying but even more so what he can do. Anyone who has moved with,trained with,been touched by, spoken with, healed, guided, helped, breathed with, has felt something different than anyone or anything else @joshuafabiaknowbody is very special person. All who know show respect and honor to so much power, ability and humility He is no Joke Just spend a moment with him. Speak with him. Hear him. Then maybe you will have a chance to understand him.. I am not normal My coach is not normal What we are doing isn’t normal If you have a problem you are normal Be nice Be kind Speak up for injustice #antibullying @danawhite @seanshelby @ufc @arielhelwani @mmajunkiedotcom @joerogan @themmadigest @mmaworlddotcom #facts #wisdom #truth #keepingitreal #realrecognizereal
Big respect to both men here.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) February 20, 2020
Both jaw breakers in scenarios like that past. Without doubt.
We are in for an amazing fight this weekend.
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“Collecting Coins & Sh!t” -CSO- # SooooooooFassssst # LevelUp # SnapIntuit Have A Great Day Mi Gente Old Clip pic.twitter.com/Tt71nrEyqW— Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) February 19, 2020
He really is the worst.
Watcha gonna do when wrath of The KinG oF CrINGE comes upon you! Your days are counted cabbage patch head! Lotion up those knees and get ready to bend the knee José Waldo! - Triple CrInGE @josealdojunior pic.twitter.com/bR1YXl4Iuu— Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo) February 19, 2020
Al jumping in.
NY vs Dagestan gangster. I’m in for Moscow for the great fans of Russia— Al Iaquinta (@ALIAQUINTA) February 19, 2020
Jan getting dramatic.
To beat me, he's going to have to kill me. He's gonna have to have the heart to stand in front of me and to do that, he's got to be willing to die himself #rocky #LegendaryPolishPower #Philadelphia pic.twitter.com/I1qp2azoIB— Jan Blachowicz (@JanBlachowicz) February 19, 2020
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.
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