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Sinead Kavanagh reveals how Conor McGregor is her ‘personal cheerleader’ both in and out of the cage

Conor McGregor earns a lot of headlines for his fights, the crazy things he says on social media, his behavior outside the cage and even when he gets hit by a car while riding a bicycle — but he does a lot more behind the scenes that rarely gets talked about.

That’s according to McGregor’s longtime teammate Sinead Kavanagh, who was carried out of the cage by the Irish superstar following her last fight in Bellator, after she shredded her knee yet still managed to earn a unanimous decision victory.

Looking back now one year later, Kavanagh admits that entire scene was surreal because she was elated to compete in front of her home crowd in Dublin but she also had to suffer through a major injury. Thankfully, Kavanagh says McGregor was right there to show her support when she needed it most.

“At the time, I didn’t even know what happened,” Kavanagh said when speaking to MMA Fighting. “It was killing me in the cage. I didn’t know what it was. I went back to the cage [in the corner] and I said to John [Kavanagh] my knee is gone and he said ‘you have two don’t you?’ It was a real Rocky thing.

“Getting the win and then getting carried out by Conor and John, and getting told then it’s your ACL and MCL, I tore two of them. It was a mix of emotions.”

McGregor, who suffered a torn ACL in his second UFC fight, offered Kavanagh advice and words of encouragement in the aftermath of her win, which she says was a huge boost for her morale.

In fact, Kavanagh praised McGregor for his constant support because he’s always been there for her when she’s needed it most.

“When I got carried off into the back, he tore his ACL in the Max Holloway fight so he knew straight away it was my ACL,” Kavanagh explained. “He said ‘that happened to me before, you’ll get through it. It’s going to be a challenge but you’ll get through it. You’re a warrior, Sinead.’

“During the fight just having him cheer me on. He was my personal cheerleader on the side.”

According to Kavanagh, McGregor also stepped up to help her financially as she prepares for her return at Bellator 291 by having his restaurant — the Black Forge Inn — sponsor her after not being able to compete for the past year due to the knee injury.

Unfortunately, McGregor won’t be there in person due to filming on The Ultimate Fighter season 31 but Kavanagh knows he’s always in her corner in spirit.

“He’s such a great guy,” Kavanagh said. “He has his pub sponsoring me now for the fight. He’s always right behind me, on my side. He’s a great guy.

“I’ll have him on my t-shirt anyways [even if he’s not there]. I’m walking out with the Black Forge on my t-shirt and just having him by my side. This win for him will mean a lot to me.”

Of course, Kavanagh will also be competing back at home in Ireland for the second straight fight and that’s an opportunity she never takes for granted.

There was plenty of emotion last time around as she got carried out of the cage and Kavanagh expects another raucous crowd showing support on Saturday with the best pound-for-pound fans in the sport.

“It’s a totally different crowd in Dublin,” Kavanagh said. “It does something else. It’s great to have them cheering you on. It’s gladiator stuff.

“We probably have the smallest arena and we make the biggest noise. We drink the bar dry and we put on a show. The crowd puts on a show as well as the fighters. We are the best in the world.”

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