With the emergence of Conor McGregor, the UFC has further solidified its dominance in must-see combat sports. Looking at the UFC in comparison to other on-demand sports, it’s truly remarkable how the company continues to sell so many events. Looking at its main competitors, boxing has almost gone extinct while the WWE is now showcasing their events on a Network for only ten bucks a month. Although these companies have changed their formula, the UFC continues to stay complacent while making a ton of money.
So, the question: Why is the UFC so hot? The answer is simple: Conor McGregor. The fighter has taken the sport by storm and continues his rise as of one of the greatest fighters in UFC history. What makes him so unique aside from his octagon dominance is his ability to sell a fight. His pre-match antics are something to behold and the guy has become must-see television anytime he is booked for a match. At the moment, he is the hottest commodity in pro combat sports.
For the UFC, they’ll try to continue this momentum by showing us some pictures that remind all of the fans just how great he is. We’ll include those pictures on our list. On the other hand, we’ll also take a peek at some lesser known photos the UFC fails to mention and pics they probably don’t want you to see. Here are eight pictures the UFC doesn’t want you to see of Conor McGregor, and seven they do. Enjoy the list!
15 Don’t: Before He Became The “Notorious One”
The UFC would love for you to believe that Conor has been knocking people out his entire life, but that’s just not the case. In fact, Conor admitted to losing a fight to a girl early on in his life.
Growing up in Ireland, McGregor had two choices; either play football (soccer) or fight. He chose to fight. Conor began to kickbox at the age of 12 and it later manifested into a career in MMA. This however, wasn’t always the career trajectory for McGregor. His father strongly discouraged the lifestyle and recommended Conor stick to something more steady like his previous career as a plumber. McGregor and his father often clashed because of this and ultimately Conor chose to follow his dreams. He has no ill-will towards his father and claims he was only trying to protect him.
14 Do: His Relationship With Dee Devlin
Looking at McGregor’s life before his UFC fame, we wouldn’t be surprised if a movie was developed on his exact story one day. A tremendous part of his upbringing is his connection to long-time partner Dee Devlin, something the UFC loves to make mention of because it truly is remarkable and something that can add to Conor’s fanbase.
Before he became the megastar that he currently is, McGregor struggled to get by living in rough conditions. The one constant he had going for him throughout was his partner Dee Devlin, and the love the two had for each other. Devlin always believed Conor would become something special even when things didn’t seem so optimistic. The couple has been together since 2008 and are now expecting their very first child in May of 2017. It looks like 2017 is going to be another eventful year for the face of the UFC. Buckle up, folks!
13 Don’t: His First Loss
As of this writing, Conor seems untouchable and his only UFC defeat is long behind him after his recent dominant victory. However, the UFC continuously fails to acknowledge a loss he sustained early on in his career.
McGregor officially went pro in 2008, winning his light heavyweight debut as a result of a TKO in the second round. After another victory in his second match, Conor would lose in surprising fashion via submission in a featherweight bout against Artemij Sitenkov. Following his first official defeat, Conor almost left the sport to continue on a different career path but he was eventually forced to stay in the MMA world because of motivations from his coach and mother.
The decision was a pretty good one, as Conor is now the most dominate UFC fighter in the world holding 21 victories in 24 total bouts. With such a hot streak, don’t expect the UFC to bring up this defeat anytime soon.
12 Do: His Championship Win Over Jose Aldo
The stage was set for UFC 194 as dominate Champion Jose Aldo, was set to defend his belt against the young up-and-coming star, Conor McGregor. On paper, this clash was a dream for the UFC.
A star was born within seconds as Conor knocked out Aldo in 13 seconds with a devastating blow that knocked Aldo down. After the win, the UFC never looked back promoting McGregor as the biggest star the sport had to offer. The show was a huge hit earning more than $10 million, which was a record at the time (along with a 1.2 million buy rate, making it the second highest purchased event in history, only second to UFC 100). McGregor cashed-in quite nicely that night making half a million along with numerous bonuses which included Performance of the Night. From then on, a star was born and Dana hasn’t looked back ever since, pouncing on McGregor’s fame every chance he gets.
11 Don’t: His Loss To Nate Diaz
This picture is one the UFC would like to erase from their memory, as Nate Diaz shocked the world by defeating the untouchable McGregor. Making his welterweight debut, Conor suffered the loss to Diaz losing via submission in the second round. It was McGregor’s first UFC defeat and one of the biggest upsets to take place in 2016. With a record of 20 wins and 11 loses, surely the UFC would have loved for another fighter to have beaten Conor and certainly one not as ruthless as Diaz.
Following the win, UFC scheduled a rematch which saw McGregor avenge his loss in a controversial judge’s decision. Despite Diaz wanting a third match, it seems like the UFC is doing its very best to sweep Diaz under a rug, allowing McGregor to move on to other things. Diaz even attempted to sit front row for a UFC event but was instead relegated to the press box away from the public eye during Conor’s fight. Was this purposely done? We’ll let you guys decide.
10 Do: His Win Over Nate Diaz
As we discussed in the previous point, Conor losing to Nate wasn’t the “sexiest” outcome for the Mixed Martial Arts company. With his first UFC loss, the company quickly tried to make things right again by booking a rematch between the two shortly after the defeat.
Much to the pleasure of the UFC, Conor won the rematch at UFC 202. The fight was tightly contested throughout and saw McGregor dominate early on only to see Diaz storm back and almost win the fight. The decision was extremely tight but ultimately Conor’s hand was raised in victory. The event was a huge success and broke the PPV buy rate previously held by the UFC 100 PPV. Despite fans wanting a third match, the company decided to move Conor further up the rankings with a match against Eddie Alvarez, which saw McGregor pick up yet another dominate victory.
9 Don’t: His Hot Sister
Growing up in Ireland, Conor had two sisters, Erin and Aoife. What the UFC has failed to tell its audience and fans is that Conor has a sister Erin, who is quite the looker.
Believe it or not, Erin McGregor is probably leaner than Conor and that’s because she’s an active fitness competitor pursuing a career in the field of bodybuilding. Like her brother, Erin knows how strenuous training can be for a certain event no matter what field you’re in, like her brother who puts countless hours a week in the gym to perfect his MMA craft. The two have gained mutual respect for one another for how dedicated they both are to their craft. As much as we all love to rave about Conor and his flashy ways, it’s all those long days of work in the gym that we don’t see that has separated him from the rest of them.
8 Do: His Style
At the age of 28, Conor is entering his prime in more ways than one. Aside from enjoying the finest form of his career, McGregor is also in great physical condition going into most fights without receiving any type of blemish.
With that said, his demeanor outside of the octagon is all about luxury. Conor himself admitted that he loves the expensive things in life and doesn’t hesitate to drop a big amount of money on anything from cars to clothes. Just recently after his bout in New York, Conor talked about how expensive the boutiques were and how he bought a boatload of stuff regardless. He’s truly living the life.
Outside of his MMA life, the likes of GQ has featured Conor and his expensive style in the past. This is a huge plus for the UFC any way you look at it, as the Champ continues to sell his brand on different platforms.
7 Don’t: Connection With Mike Tyson
A recent love affair has emerged between a boxing legend and a UFC star. We’re talking about the new found relationship between Conor McGregor and Mike Tyson. Although Conor rips most, he is fascinated by some legends in other domains like boxing. Conor developed a close relationship with Mike Tyson and the two were seen at various events together, including a UFC PPV. In addition, Tyson helped train Conor for his rematch bout against Nate Diaz. The two have nothing but love for one another when discussing each other in various interviews.
So why doesn’t the UFC want you to see this? Well, they haven’t necessarily been opposed, but at the same time, they're probably not too thrilled with Conor aligning with the face of their bitter rival, boxing. The UFC has done everything possible to separate themselves from the brand and moving forward hopes to continue on that path. It’ll be interesting to see how much more exposure Tyson will get from the MMA company.
6 Do: His Irish Roots
If you haven’t realized by now, we feel for you. Obviously Conor McGregor is born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, and has paid homage to his heritage every single fight. He went from playing soccer to kickboxing to working as a plumber in West Dublin all during his time in Ireland. He certainly has his heritage to thank for eventually stumbling upon such a career.
For the UFC, Conor and his connection with Ireland is just another way to make a sh** ton of money. Countries outside of the US that follow pro sports develop a huge backing to their stars which equals to massive dollar signs for the company. Just look at his promotional events for example, the crowd is littered with Irish fans and in all likelihood most of them spent some coin on UFC merchandise or something of the sort. With such a large fanbase, Conor is not only thriving with followers in North America but he also has the added bonus of having crazy hometown fans in Ireland. The UFC is certainly not opposed!
5 Don’t: His First Meeting With Liddell
The UFC would love to make you believe that the initial meeting between the former face of the UFC in Chuck Liddell and the current one in Conor McGregor was all sunshines and rainbows. Instead, it really wasn’t all that glamorous as Conor met Liddell as a fan as opposed to a fellow fighter. This picture shows an excited Conor happy to meet one his personal favorites. Soon after, he decided to make MMA a full-time gig inspired by some of his heroes like Chuck.
How things have changed since this picture. Today, Liddell is an ambassador for the sport retiring from action while Conor is the current face most associated with the brand. In recent comments, Liddell has been critical of McGregor, praising him for his abilities but bashing him based on his disrespectful antics outside of the octagon.
4 Do: His Recent Win
In a perfect world, Dana White would see Conor hold two Championships while Ronda Rousey reclaimed her title to finish off the year. Well, as of now, one half of those dreams has become a reality with McGregor standing tall recently winning his second Championship, a scene the UFC will surely make us remember for a long, long time.
Conor won the historical bout at UFC 205, defeating Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez with absolute ease. Conor got the W via second round knockout and entered the history books becoming the first ever simultaneous two-division Champion in the company's history. With the win, he certainly cemented his legacy as one of the greatest of all-time and the UFC just saw even more dollar signs following his win and the surreal scene of McGregor celebrating with the two Championships on top of the cage. Look for this picture to be present in UFC history for a really long time, and rightfully so.
3 Don’t: His Relationship With Dana White
One of the most outspoken bosses in professional sports, Dana White certainly does not shy away from letting his true opinions be known. For that, fans love the guy and he is considered one of the best leaders in all of the pro sports. However, he has shown some biases towards certain individuals which has caused quite the backlash in the past. When Dana doesn’t like you any longer, your time is pretty much up. Just ask Randy Couture, who seems to be extinct from the company because of a previous falling out. Or even the beloved GSP who continues to reach out to no avail from the UFC nor Dana White.
On the contrary, the company along with Dana, is very warm towards the fighters that put the butts in the seats. Along with Ronda Rousey, McGregor is on top of the mountain as the best entertainer and seller in the company. Because of that, he’s also become very close with the boss Dana White, closer than most of the other fighters.
2 Do: Pre-Fight Antics
Just like any other pro sport, the name of the game is to get viewers in and to sell the sport to the best of your ability. For the UFC, putting on a great card nowadays comes with some intriguing back stories. This is what truly gets the fans to order the events and get invested into the shows.
This is the exact reason why the company loves Conor. There is not a single fighter that can sell a bout better than McGregor. His press conference appearances make headlines all over the sporting world and cause several extra viewers to tune in to see what will happen. He’s done it time and time again, even at one point, making pro wrestling fans watch his antics as he took as stab at the world of the WWE and some of the wrestlers involved in the company. He took things a step further in his recent match showing up late and rocking a peculiar long white feathered coat. No matter how you look at it, the guy can sell a fight and the UFC won’t hesitate to put him at the forefront of these antics any chance they get.
1 Don’t: Incident With Another Girl
Throughout his uprising as one of the top stars, numerous pictures have surfaced online with Conor and other women. For the most part, there wasn’t nothing to the pictures until this one above leaked online and had fans talking.
According to witnesses at the party, Conor was held in a private room and demanded no cell phones be taken out while he was around, which is the first red flag. According to the reports, McGregor was completely out of it and on several drugs yelling at the top of his lungs that he was untouchable. The story continued with Conor apparently hooking up with women while he was completely out of it. A video even shows McGregor sitting next to another girl and completely slurring his words in the process. Obviously, the UFC made no mention of the allegations and Conor himself has never spoken out about the situation. Odd? No, not really.