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Conor McGregor Was A Plumber Living With Parents Before Becoming World's Highest Paid Athlete

Simon Catling


Conor McGregor Was A Plumber Living With Parents Before Becoming World's Highest Paid Athlete

Featured Image Credit: PA

On the day that Conor McGregor has announced that he's become a father for the third time, it's incredible to think about the journey that one of MMA's all-time greats has taken to get to the top.

Back in 2007, the Irish fighter was still living with his parents and working as a plumber.

Fast forward to last year and, despite only fighting once - and losing - in 2020, McGregor earned an estimated $180 million to beat out Lionel Messi as the world's highest paid sports star, according to Forbes.

It's far cry from 14 years ago, when he was cashing weekly benefit checks of $235 and in debt.

Credit: Twitter
Credit: Twitter

Growing up in the Dublin suburb of Crumlin, McGregor's first love was football - he was an avid supporter of Manchester United.

However, it was after an altercation with some school bullies that the 32 year-old's path changed course, and he began training aged just 12 in order to toughen up.

"Things like this happened a few times," he told MMA TV in 2015.

"So I thought, 'F*** this, I am going to go and train.'

"So if someone says something, then they're going to know about it - that's how I started."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Training at Dublin's Crumlin Boxing Club, he met fellow MMA fighter Tom Egan and the pair hit it off.

They'd watch recorded UFC fights when not in school, and mimic the action in their back gardens.

However, aged 17 McGregor went into the plumbing industry, although this was short-lived and he committed full-time to MMA.

If you thought it was when a smooth transition to the top you'd be mistaken. McGregor lost two of his first six MMA matches, both to submissions, although he won the other four by TKO. Nevertheless, it was an inauspicious start.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

What came next though was sensational, as McGregor reeled off eight MMA victories in a row in his native Ireland, piquing the interest of UFC's Dana White and ultimately getting a contract and a debut UFC fight in Stockholm, Sweden.

Cashing in a welfare cheque so that he could buy the flights across to Sweden, he knocked out one-time Ultimate Fighter competitor Marcus Brimmage in one round there and earned a further $60k for Knockout Of The Night.

From there, as they say, the rest is history.

A former UFC Lightweight and UFC Featherweight champion, he was the first man to hold two UFC weight World titles simultaneously.

He became the biggest draw in MMA history, headlining five of UFC's six biggest-drawing PPV events and, even though he's lost his aura of invincibility in recent years, flitting in and out of retirement, he's still MMA's most bankable star.

He's also a heck of a businessman - of the $180 million he earned last year, only around $20 million came from his exploits within the ring.

Pretty impressive, right?

Topics: Conor Mcgregor, UFC, MMA

Simon Catling
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