Irishman Conor McGregor ("The Notorious") became the biggest star in the sport of mixed martial arts while claiming the Ultimate Fighting Championship's featherweight and lightweight titles. Born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1988, Conor McGregor rose from a tough neighborhood to become the biggest star in the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA). After joining the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in 2013, "The Notorious" unified the featherweight division with his title win in 2015, and the following year he became a two-division champion by winning the lightweight title. McGregor also famously fought boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2017.
Conor McGregor made his professional debut on March 8, 2008, for the London-based promotion Cage Warriors, winning by TKO. He lost two of his first six fights before reeling off an impressive winning streak, claiming both the featherweight championship and the lightweight championship in 2012. Signed by UFC President Dana White in early 2013, McGregor impressed with a first-round knockout in his April debut for the organization. He continued his winning ways through July 2015, when he defeated Chad Mendes for the interim featherweight title. That December, he knocked out Jose Aldo in a record 13 seconds to unify the featherweight title.
When lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos pulled out of their planned March 2016 title bout due to injury, McGregor jumped one more weight class to fight Nate Diaz at 170 pounds. The Irishman was eventually worn down by the bigger Diaz before submitting to a chokehold, ending his 15-match winning streak. In their much anticipated rematch that August, McGregor again jumped out to a fast start before the tide turned. This time he rebounded to win the crucial fourth round, and held on through Diaz's desperate late flurry to win the instant classic by majority decision. Dropping back to the more comfortable lightweight class, McGregor delivered another impressive performance with a second-round TKO of Eddie Alvarez in November 2016, simultaneously making him the UFC's lightweight and featherweight champions.
Assault and Arrest
McGregor's relationship with the UFC became strained when his inactivity in the octagon prompted its president to strip the fighter of his titles. When White declared that the April 2018 bout between Max Holloway and Khabib Nurmagomedov would be for the lightweight championship, McGregor replied with a profane tweet in which he said, "You'll strip me of nothing." Two days before the UFC 223 event at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, McGregor showed up with an entourage at the end of a media event and proceeded to wreak havoc, throwing a hand truck at a bus. The smashed glass injured some of the UFC fighters inside, two of whom saw their upcoming fights canceled as a result. White, who called the incident the "most despicable thing in UFC history," said the Irish fighter attempted to justify his actions via text by explaining the bad blood between his and Nurmagomedov's camps. Turning himself in to the NYPD that night, McGregor was arrested and charged with three counts of assault and one count of criminal mischief.
Along with his fighting prowess and brash statements, McGregor is known for the numerous tattoos that adorn his body. He says he received his first tattoo of Arabic writing on his left heel at age 20 after a night of drinking. Otherwise, most of the ink has appeared since he moved to the UFC in 2013, including the large one on his chest of a gorilla wearing a crown and biting into a heart, and the tiger on his abdomen, between his last name and his nickname. McGregor also has a winged crucifix on the back of his neck, connected to a helix of thorns running down his spine, and a conglomeration of rose bushes, writing and human figures spread across his left forearm.