20 Craziest Conor McGregor Moments
Few fighters polarise opinion quite like super-confident mixed martial arts showman Conor McGregor.
While Anthony Joshua might launch charm offensives wherever he goes, Conor McGregor prefers to take a slightly more offensive route to the top of his chosen fight discipline.
Often rubbing his opponents up the wrong way, McGregor routinely leaves any of his Irish charm at home.
But if you like your warriors a little in-your-face and rough around the edges, yet with undeniably crowdpleasing charisma, then the self-assured McGregor ticks all the boxes.
There’s rarely been a week in the past couple of years when McGregor’s face hasn’t been staring back antagonistically at us from the back pages of newspapers.
There’s been his Hollywood-written cross-discipline fisticuffs with equally cocky (yet recently retired) boxer, Floyd Mayweather Jnr.
More recently, there were hostilities with Russian UFC opponent Khabib Nurmagomedov (as if you could have missed it).
Here are 20 of the craziest things Conor McGregor has done in his career so far.
20. Said he would defeat Jesus in the ring
Clearly, Conor McGregor never heard about the controversy that almost sank The Beatles in the US back in 1966.
It was the year that John Lennon famously claimed the Fab Four were “more popular than Jesus”, sending middle America into meltdown.
In 2015, however, Conor McGregor went even further than Lennon, claiming he could take down the son of God in a fight.
Approached by TMZ, McGregor was bafflingly asked the question “You vs Jesus in the octagon, how would he fare?”
McGregor’s response: “There’s not a man alive who can beat me – but Jesus ain’t alive is he?”
McGregor wasn’t done, going on to say “I’d still whoop his ass”, something that presumably wouldn’t have gone down too well in McGregor’s devout native Ireland.
19. Told Floyd Mayweather to “dance, boy”
Conor McGregor is used to landing himself in hot water – after all, besides fighting, running his mouth is just what McGregor does best.
Occasionally, however, McGregor’s comments carry beyond the preliminary conferences and weigh-ins.
Just last year, in the build-up to his fight with Mayweather, McGregor became a media fixation for what many deemed to be racism.
At one New York press conference, an exchange of insults between Mayweather and McGregor culminated in McGregor telling Mayweather to “dance for me, boy”.
It was the kind of racially charged language that was historically used by white Americans as a pejorative for African-Americans.
Even as the criticism grew louder, McGregor – in characteristic fashion – flat-out refused to apologise.
18. Said he’s “half-black from the bellybutton down”
McGregor’s race-based controversy before the Mayweather fight didn’t end with him telling his black opponent to ‘dance’.
Acknowledging the media storm before another New York audience a few days later, McGregor only added fuel to the fire.
McGregor denied he was racist, before adding that he was “half-black from the bellybutton down”.
This was apparently in reference to a stereotype regarding the size of the manhoods of black men.
McGregor, sensing he’d again done wrong, sough to rectify the situation by appealing to any African-American women in the audience.
Gyrating at the crowd, McGregor offered up “a little present for my beautiful, black female fans”.
17. Had a water bottle fight with Nate Diaz
Conor McGregor isn’t your usual fighter. Where most confine their fury to the ring, McGregor is a tinderbox even out of it.
It was for this reason that McGregor was fined last year and handed a sentence of 25 hours of community service.
It was for an incident that took place in 2016, when a pre-fight fight broke out between McGregor and opponent Nate Diaz.
After a heated debate resulting in McGregor referring to Diaz’s team as “crackheads”, Diaz and co walked.
When a member of the Diaz entourage threw a bottle at McGregor on their way out, what could the Irishman do but respond in kind?
What followed from McGregor was a barrage of water bottles and energy drinks thrown in the direction of the Diaz crew.
16. Punched a fan in the phone
Without his legions of fans, Conor McGregor would never have reached the level of success he finds himself at today.
On certain occasions though – such as when said fans stick their smartphones directly in his face – McGregor can momentarily forget all that.
Last year, a video appeared on YouTube showing McGregor sitting stationary in his car in Dublin.
As the two Irish fans behind the camera attempt to talk to McGregor, the fighter appears unamused.
McGregor responds to this invasion of privacy the only way he knows how: by punching at it.
As McGregor drives away, his fans remain in awe, giggling as they take away a priceless new memento from their hero.
15. Interrupted two fighting fans on the street
McGregor doesn’t always behave antagonistically towards his fans. Sometimes, he likes to make an appearance when they least expect it.
In 2016, a pair of men on a night out in Dublin thought it a good idea to practice their MMA moves while a friend filmed them.
Playfighting McGregor-style, albeit through the veil of alcohol, the two are seen pausing combat when a car pulls up alongside them.
While quoting McGregor’s “You’ll do nothing” catchphrase, one of the men goes to peer inside the vehicle.
Who does he see behind the wheel but none other than Conor McGregor himself on a drive around the city.
All the two men can do is fist bump McGregor and quote his own line back at him as he revels in their shock.
14. Tried to throw a chair at Eddie Alvarez
When it comes down to it, Conor McGregor’s expertise in the ring is the reason why the Irishman is a multimillionaire.
With that said, some of McGregor’s most exhilarating fighting moments have occurred outside the octagon.
McGregor press conferences are a particular hotbed of simmering tension and potential pre-match violence.
One of the most memorable examples of this came in 2016, when a late-showing McGregor rubbed rival Eddie Alvarez up the wrong way.
Showing up late into the conference, McGregor flew into a rage when Alvarez threw an object the Irishman’s way.
McGregor responded by picking up a chair and attempting to throw it at Alvarez – but not before security stepped in.
13. Smashed up Khabib’s bus
Often, all the theatrics that happen outside of the ring in MMA are just that: theatre.
What happened between McGregor and team Khabib on 5 April of this year, however, was more than just performance.
After Khabib Nurmagomedov picked a fight with McGregor’s pal Artem Lobov in a Brooklyn hotel, those in McGregor’s corner went looking for revenge.
They found it a couple of days later at Barclays Center arena, where Khabib and a number of other UFC 223 fighters had been making a promotional appearance.
As Khabib and co left Barclays via bus, McGregor and around 20 companions made an appearance, looking to confront Nurmagomedov.
McGregor instead decided to fight the bus itself, throwing objects at it until glass broke, leaving Nurmagomedov unharmed but injuring some of the other MMA fighters travelling with him.
12. Took on The Mountain…and won
It was one of the most shocking Game of Thrones moments, a David vs Goliath match that almost saw David win.
But the show’s showdown between gigantic henchman The Mountain and the regular-sized Oberyn Martell ultimately proved that size does matter.
This evidently didn’t concern Conor McGregor when he decided to take on Mountain actor Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson in real life.
Björnsson, officially the World’s Strongest Man, measures 6 foot 9 in and weighs in at 29 stone of muscle.
He towers over McGregor, who weighs 11 stone and measures 5′ 7″ – but that didn’t stop McGregor from bringing The Mountain down in a recent training session.
In the video above, we see the relatively tiny McGregor fell Björnsson like a giant Icelandic tree using nothing but precise MMA moves.
11. Called Nate Diaz “a little cholo”
Considering some of the ill-advised epithets McGregor has used to describe minority opponents, it’s little surprise there have been accusations of racism.
In 2016, as his fight with Nate Diaz neared, McGregor took to a press conference to drop a bombshell of a line.
Having already referred to Nate and his brother Nick as “cockroaches”, McGregor went further by calling Nate a “little cholo gangster” to his face.
‘Cholo’ is a racially-charged pejorative term meaning a Mexican of low-class or criminal background.
Not everyone took it as coolly as Diaz did. Following the press conference, a TMZ reporter – the same one that prompted McGregor to declare he would beat Jesus in a fight – called McGregor’s ‘cholo’ remark “racially motivated”.
McGregor’s response? He told the reporter to “shut the f*** up and get away from me…you’re an idiot”.
10. Threatened to turn Jose Aldo’s favela “into a Reebok sweatshop”
It’s not just Mayweather and the Diaz brothers that McGregor has rubbed up the wrong way outside of the octagon.
Jose Aldo, who McGregor fought (and ultimately defeated) in 2015, was another target of McGregor’s questionable language in the build-up to the fight.
For starters, McGregor made what many thought were distasteful comments about Aldo’s home nation of Brazil as a whole, saying he would ‘invade’ Aldo’s home town and “kill anyone who wasn’t fit to work”.
McGregor then got more personal. At an event to promote the fight, McGregor said he would turn Aldo’s “favela into a Reebok sweatshop”.
Aldo, who was born into poverty in Manaus, took the comment as he had taken all of McGregor’s behaviour during their promotional tour: with resignation.
That McGregor also said he “owned” Rio de Janeiro on his tour with Aldo only served to raise more eyebrows.
9. Stole Jose Aldo’s belt
Not one to do things by halves, McGregor didn’t stop at attempting to belittle Jose Alda using race-baiting alone.
The promotional campaign prior to the pair’s fight saw McGregor use every trick he knew to undermine his opponent.
This included McGregor at one point taking Aldo’s featherweight belt for himself in front of a live audience.
At one UFC 189 conference, McGregor in a bid to prove that Aldo was “nothing” stole the then-featherweight champion’s trophy.
This prompted Aldo to react with a mixture of rage and disbelief, but McGregor could only yell “you’re looking at the king!” in his face.
It was a taunt that proved McGregor didn’t care about whatever decency there was to the sport.
8. Said “f*** the Queen”
Conor McGregor didn’t get to where he is today without challenging the existing order – in sport and in the real world.
This was especially true when he in 2015 found himself caught up in a row about the poppy.
McGregor chooses to wear the poppy, commemorating all those who have died in war since WWI, which didn’t sit right with some of his Irish fans.
McGregor was asked by some of his countryfolk how he, as an Irishman, could wear the British symbol.
McGregor responded via Facebook in a way that was almost majestically insulting, offending both opponents of the poppy and its most ardent wearers.
“I know where my allegiance lies and what I do for my country…F*** you and the Queen” was McGregor’s riposte to his critics, simultaneously defying them and the British monarchy with one status post.
7. Called a German opponent a ‘Nazi’
Now, back to the racism: it’s time to look back on one of McGregor’s earliest race-based controversies.
It was 2014, and McGregor was fast developing a real reputation for unpredictable, unnecessarily antagonistic behaviour.
Coming up to a fight with German MMA-er Dennis Siver, McGregor decided to use Siver’s nationality against him.
Taking to social media, McGregor taunted Siver by writing “Kiss them feet, Nazi”, an obviously offensive reference to a past most Germans would rather forget.
As usual, critics called for an apology, and as has become customary, McGregor merely doubled down instead.
Ich bin ein sowwy. Now about them feet… pic.twitter.com/DtJ4JuurMm
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) November 18, 2014
“Ich bin ein sowwy. Now about them feet…” was McGregor’s ‘apology’ – a further mocking of Siver’s nationality.
6. Called Andre Fili a “fa**ot*
McGregor hasn’t limited himself to racist slang – he’s also dipped his toe into homophobia as well.
It was October, 2017, and McGregor, The Notorious, had just witnessed his friend being defeated in the ring.
The loser, Artem Lobov, had been floored in the octagon by the younger Andre Fili.
With the fight over, Lobov retired to backstage where a charged McGregor was waiting.
In a secret video recording, McGregor can be heard repeatedly telling Lobov that Fili was a “fa**ot”.
After the video leaked, McGregor did the unthinkable and apologised. On live television, he told The Late Late Show’s Ryan Tubridy “I meant no disrespect to the LGBT community. When we were trying to get same-sex marriage legalised, I was campaigning for that…I just have to say sorry for what I said.”
5. Called Showtime Sports’ president a “f***ing weasel” to his face – live
There’s one thing to be said about Conor McGregor: he might insult minorities, but he isn’t afraid to take on more powerful enemies as well.
Over the long, globe-hopping Mayweather vs McGregor tour, McGregor took a dislike to the president of Showtime Sports.
At one presser for the fight, McGregor’s mic was cut off, something that McGregor blamed on Showtime Sports president Stephen Espinoza.
McGregor didn’t take this lightly, bringing the incident up at another event at which Espinoza was present.
In front of a live audience, McGregor pointed out Espinoza and declared “fuck Showtime”, despite the fact that he was set to make $100 million from the network.
McGregor then moved on to Espinoza, calling him a “little f***ing weasel. I can see it in your eyes, you’re a f***ing bitch. Cut my mic off? Cut the champ champ’s mic off? Hell no.”
4. Fought the ref…at a match that wasn’t even his
Conor McGregor lives to be in that ring; he enjoys it so much that he might jump in at any time, even when it’s not his fight.
Last year at Bellator 187, McGregor was ringside when SBG Ireland’s Charlie Ward defeated John Redmond.
McGregor, excited by Ward’s first round win, immediately jumped the cage to celebrate his teammate’s victory.
McGregor had been too eager, though: the fight hadn’t been declared officially over. Referee Mark Goddard stepped in.
After Goddard separated McGregor and Ward, McGregor reacted by pushing and attempting to start a fight with the ref.
The result was that a fight that was set to continue into round two was declared over by officials in round one.
3. Got into a post-fight fight
It may be difficult to comprehend, but not all of Conor McGregor’s controversial moments are instigated by him.
McGregor’s most recent fight, against Russian Khabib Nurmagomedov, saw the Irishman lose in the fourth round.
What happened after the fight was arguably even more of an event than the main event.
Khabib, reacting to McGregor’s cornerman Dillon Danis alleged taunt of “f***ing Muslim rat”, instigated a brawl between the two camps.
Nurmagomedov charged towards Danis, while McGregor entered into a scuffle with Nurmagomedov’s MMA fighter cousin Abubakar.
After landing a punch on Abubakar, McGregor was then set upon by two of Khabib’s cornermen, making for the mother of all post-fight fights.
2. Cut 27 pounds in eight days
Weight cutting is no joke: for some fighters, the practice of shedding extreme amounts of weight in no time at all can prove fatal.
In 2015, MMA’s Yang Jian Bing died when rehydration treatment failed to revive him after he cut too much weight too fast.
Conor McGregor may not like it – he’s campaigned to regulate the practice – but for the moment he partakes like everybody else.
McGregor’s most extreme weight cut to date happened in 2015, the same year than Yang Jian Bing died.
In just eight days, McGregor took himself from 172 pounds to 145 pounds in eight days in order to make the weigh-in.
That’s 27 pounds in just over a week. He did it by mostly shedding water weight, likely through a combination of round-the-clock exercise and sauna sessions.
1. Took on Floyd Mayweather
It couldn’t really be anything else for the top spot. Of all the crazy things McGregor has done in his career, this is still the craziest.
Boxing and MMA are, as even casual sporting fans know, entirely different disciplines.
It’s reckless and dangerous for a fighter from MMA to even attempt boxing, not to mention against one of the great boxers of the age.
And that’s exactly what people said about Conor McGregor, when he began training to step into the ring with Floyd Mayweather Jr in 2017.
An undefeated world title holder in multiple divisions, Mayweather would have been a formidable opponent for any top-of-the-range boxer, never mind an MMA fighter untrained in the art of boxing.
Still, McGregor proved himself worthy, taking Mayweather to ten rounds before losing by technical knockout.
As the dust settles on Conor McGregor’s latest box office-breaking UFC bout, we also decided to take a look at the man behind the mouth (sorry, myth). And so, here are seven little-known facts about McGregor.
7. He was bullied at school
He may be a formidable presence now, but Conor McGregor wasn’t always a feared master of the MMA ring.
It was being faced with constant threats from bigger kids at school that drove McGregor to teach himself how to defend himself in the playground.
The young McGregor’s small stature made him an easy target for bullies, something he was determined to make amends for.
Taking up a combination of classes in both martial arts and boxing set a young Conor on the road to future glories.
Even today, McGregor says the reason he’s still involved in the sport is because of all the times he felt threatened – he just happened to get ‘lost’ in doing something he turned out to be good at.
These days, McGregor gives back to communities by speaking in schools and youth centres in his native Ireland about his experiences with bullies.
6. He might be able to predict the future…
Judging by what we’ve seen so far, we might be able to add ‘prophet’ to Conor McGregor’s list of abilities.
Not one to exactly shy away from making bold and brash statements, usually about himself and his ability, video footage shows McGregor has also often accurately predicted his future.
For one, McGregor back in 2008 prophesied that he would one day rise through the ranks to become the heir apparent to the MMA crown.
So assured was he that he’d gain universal recognition as the undisputed UFC champion in the foreseeable future, a still young Conor made a video promo to underline his seemingly swaggering claims.
A mere five bouts into his career at the time, it showed how motivated McGregor was from the outset.
The above video also shows McGregor predicting a number of other achievements: beating opponents in the first round, rising up to get the biggest PPV numbers and one day being announced by a particular host…
5. He was a plumber before he became a successful fighter
Now at the top of his game, Conor McGregor had to try his hand at a regular job before he started making the big bucks.
Even in those early days back in Ireland, McGregor was making a name for himself as a fighter.
Still, at the beginning of his sporting career, McGregor was only fighting at weekends while working as a plumber through the week.
Figuring he needed something to fall back on should his dream fail to become reality at some point, McGregor started working as a plumber’s apprentice at 18.
This trade wasn’t something that McGregor ever took to, however, and it wasn’t long before he quit.
In 2016, he described to Conan O’Brien the value of ‘following your passion’, while admitting he became the sportsman he is today by one day walking out of a plumbing job and taking up fighting full-time.
4. He’s had the same team since the beginning
Look beyond the theatre of McGregor’s public persona, and you’ll see a man very much still connected to his roots.
Never one to take his eyes off the ultimate prize, McGregor nevertheless had to be realistic with his expectations early doors.
And the fact of the matter is that just before knocking out (then-UFC title holder) Marcus Brimage in his professional MMA debut, Conor was taking social welfare cheques.
But then McGregor has always kept things real; not least by still surrounding himself with the very same entourage of trainers, coaches and close friends he had from day one.
Conor’s respect for his relatively humble beginnings were also noted in his grandfather’s old hat, which he wore to remind himself where he came from.
FYI, the hat does not, as many fans believe, hold any particular superstitious or good luck charm to McGregor.
3. He’s a world record breaker
Not that he needed any help to further inflate that healthy ego, Conor McGregor has another good reason to think himself a master of the sport.
As it now stands, McGregor currently holds the record for the fastest win in UFC history.
McGregor took the top spot when he floored icon of the sport Jose Aldo in just 13 seconds in 2015, bagging himself the UFC Featherweight Championship.
It was a feat which shaved one second off Ronda Rousey’s record as the most ruthless finisher in UFC.
Rousey dispatched rival Cat Zingano only 14 seconds into their championship fight in 2015, only months before McGregor had his record-breaking fight.
It’s enough to land McGregor in the history books – not that he hadn’t already secured a place for himself.
2. He could have played a Bond villain opposite Daniel Craig
There was no doubt, from the moment he burst onto the UFC scene, that Conor McGregor had a certain screen presence.
It was that aspect of McGregor’s persona that piqued the interest of casting directors for the most recent Bond movie.
Spectre, Daniel Craig’s fourth outing as 007, could have been McGregor’s big screen big break.
In 2014, McGregor revealed that he’d been approached to audition for a “seven figure” villain role, but that he wasn’t taking it as seriously as previous Bond baddie Javier Bardem.
“The last villain for James Bond won an Oscar…He was unbelievable. I’m not that person, do you know what I mean? I’m just doing it having a laugh.”
Though we can’t be certain, it’s likely the role McGregor tried out for was that of hulking mute henchman Mr Hinx – a role ultimately taken by WWE star and onetime MMA fighter Dave Bautista.
1. Sylvester Stallone calls him ‘the real-life Rocky’
Conor McGregor has made such a splash since arriving on the scene that he now even counts Hollywood stars among his fans.
It was the days of the lead-up to the Hollywood-esque fight between McGregor and recently retired boxing heavyweight champ Floyd Mayweather.
On account of him being the obvious underdog, McGregor was being labelled the ‘real-life Rocky’ by some.
One of those who voiced their approval of both the tag and moreover, McGregor himself, was none other than Rocky Balboa himself.
Sylvester Stallone, who has played Rocky in seven films since 1976, backed McGregor over Mayweather.
Prior to the fight, Stallone repeated the “real-life Rocky” line, , adding “I always have the underdog”.