Mixed martial arts, or MMA, is a brutal sport. Also known as ‘cage fighting' or ‘ultimate fighting’, it uses techniques from boxing, wrestling, karate, judo, jujitsu, muay thai and other disciplines. Unlike professional wrestling, the fights are real and often lead to injuries. It can be a verbally aggressive sport, too.Trash talk is one of the reasons why Irish fighter Conor McGregor is the star of the MMA scene.
McGregor is known to intimidate his opponents before a match with provocative statements. He famously said to Eddie Alvarez: “I’m going to really, truly rearrange his facial structure. His wife and kids will never recognise him again.” When Alvarez demanded an apology, he responded: “Suck these big Irish balls.”
McGregor was born and raised in Ireland. He grew up in the tough, working-class neighbourhood of Crumlin in Dublin. Football was his first passion, but boxing gave him an outlet for his aggression. Although he was trained as a plumber, he decided to become a professional fighter in 2008.
First, he joined the company Cage Warriors, where he won both the featherweight and lightweight championships.Then he was signed up by Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). He enjoyed a fifteen-match winning streak. The highlight was the UFC Featherweight Championship title fight against José Aldo in 2015. McGregor won by a knock-out in thirteen seconds, the fastest victory in UFC history. Despite his trash talk habit, McGregor was gracious about his opponent. He said: “He’s a phenomenal warrior and a phenomenal champion. He deserved to go a little bit longer.”
McGregor briefly retired in 2019, only to return in 2020. Today, he attracts large numbers of television viewers, generating a lot of money for the UFC. He has headlined five of the six highest-selling UFC pay-per-view events.His match against Floyd Mayweather had 4.3 million viewers.
He makes good money himself, too. McGregor was ranked as the world’s highest-paid athlete by Forbes in 2021, earning $180 million in 2020. Besides fighting, he gets an income from endorsements and his fashion brand. August McGregor is his joint venture with designer David August Heil, which sells stylish men’s suits to millennials. He said when he launched the brand: “There are two things I really like to do, and that’s whoop ass and look good."