The cage fighting bemouth that is UFC is watched by millions around the world and is even tipped to overtake boxing in popularity in the coming years which isn't bad for a sport that has existed for little over 23 years.
Like boxing, however, there is often one star that becomes the face of the game, and in the case of the UFC, that's certainly the braggadocious Irish superstar, Conor McGregor. The current Lightweight champion and former Featherweight champion, Conor McGregor's shameless self-marketing and unwavering self-confidence have gained him an almost ecclesial-like fan base, so with that in mind, and with his big money fight between undefeated boxing champion Floyd Mayweather just days away, OMG Lane has decided to profile ten things you might not know about the fearless champ.
1. He needs passports for his favourite shoes
Conor McGregor famously told his parents he would be a millionaire by 25, and not only was he right, but he also likes to purchase a plethora of extravagant things; perhaps to make a point to anyone who doubted him.
However, while Rolls Royce Phantoms and diamond-encrusted watches are one thing, many have disapproved of the Irishman's love for animal skinned materials. That said, the UFC fighter probably doesn't care what anyone thinks and has even gone out of the way to get passports for his favorite shoes due to some states in America restricting such materials. His favorite is a pair of black crocodile skinned trainers.
2. He began a plumbing apprenticeship once he left school
Sport loves a good old rags-to-riches story, and while not saddled in poverty, the Dublin native's beginnings weren't easy, and shortly after leaving school, Conor decided to undertake a plumbing apprenticeship.
It was during that same period that an 18-year-old McGregor discovered mixed martial arts, and after training with Ireland's first UFC fighter, Tom Egan, he decided to risk it all and forge a career in it not long after, leaving behind a steady income for the outside possibility of UFC superstardom.
3. He lived off social security checks for almost six years
Not many people would have had the guts to do what Conor did, but he was determined to take a risk and make a career in something he loved as opposed to being comfortable in something he didn't despite the sacrifices required.
Indeed, with his total earnings for his semi-professional fights amounting for a little over $1,600, the fighter's primary source of revenue came from social security checks and the support of his girlfriend, Dee, whom he met at a Dubin nightclub when he was 18.
Describing the tough period, and the hours of dedication it required from the champ, his trainer John Kavanagh said, "Now I don’t care how passionate you are, but there are always going to be periods thinking F*** this! What am I doing here?”
4. He was bullied as a child
It's hard to imagine anyone having the guts even to make the wrong sought of eye contact with this warrior, let alone bully him but that happened on more than one occasion on the rough Dublin estate Conor lived in.
Realizing he had to protect himself growing up in a place where you would, in his words, "get beaten up" if you didn't play soccer or fight, he became obsessed with MMA.
5. His childhood dream was to play for English soccer team Manchester United
As mentioned, Conor McGregor's journey and subsequent rise to greatness started at the age of 16, and it was certainly not his childhood dream to become a UFC star, and he was instead more intent on becoming a soccer player.
Like many in Ireland, Conor grew up supporting Manchester United, and for many years he dreamed that he would one day represent them and replicate the success of fellow Irish and Red Devils midfielder, Roy Keane.
6. He could have been a Bond villain
Conor McGregor the villain, who would have thought? Well, most of us actually, considering that his showmanship and trademark laugh is pretty much in keeping with a murderous psychopath so maybe that was the reasons why producers of the James Bond franchise offered McGregor a starring role in one of the movies.
According to the man himself, he was offered a seven-figure sum, but had to turn down the role due to preparation for a fight though has admitted that acting is a profession that certainly appeals to him.
7. His sister is also an athlete
It seems sporting prowess runs in the McGregor family, with Conor's sister, Erin, being another athlete representing their now famous name.
A professional bodybuilder in Ireland, Erin has admitted that their relationship has grown stronger over the years, particularly since both have an ardent interest in physical fitness.
8. Despite having many celebrity admirers, Conor is not interested in show business
Coming from a humble Irish background, Conor may appear to revel in his newfound fame and wealth, but it is merely an act to promote his brand as away from the UFC publicity circus, McGregor is a private person and intends for his life to remain out of the public eye.
That's not to say he doesn't enjoy meeting a litany of famous faces. After all, sport and Hollywood's hottest stars are keen to meet him, and Jennifer Lopez even invited him to her star-studded birthday bash, but it's unlikely you'll see the soon-to-be father and loving boyfriend stumbling outside a nightclub at 4 am.
9. He starred in a video game
While he may have had to spurn the advances of big shot movie producers, Conor did find time to fit in voice work for a character in the iconic gaming franchise Call of Duty.
Voicing the character Captain Bradley Fillion in the latest edition, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, the game was released in November 2016.
10. Before being stolen, he carried his late grandfather's hat wherever he went
Despite telling the world how awesome he is, the Irish megastar still prefers the simple pleasures in life, and before it was stolen, he carried his late grandfather's hat wherever he went as a reminder of his roots.
Feeling inspired? Yes, the former Dublin scalawag's meteoric rise to UFC darling is a remarkable story and shows that anybody can set a goal and achieve it, despite how improbable it may at first seem. Just don't forget where you come from if you do make it! Even someone as boastful as Conor realizes that.