Conor McGregor Was A Plumber Before World’s Highest Paid Athlete
In 2007, the Irish hunter still lived with his parents and worked as a plumber.
Fast forward to last year and, despite only losing – and losing – once in 2020, McGregor made an estimated $ 180 million to beat Lionel Messi as the world’s highest paid sports star, according to Forbes.
It’s far from 14 years ago, when he was cashing in weekly $ 235 payout checks and debt.
Growing up in the Dublin suburb of Crumlin, McGregor 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 started training when he was just 12 years old to get harder.
“These things have happened a few times,” he said MMA TV in 2015.
“So I thought, ‘F *** this, I’m going to work out.’
“So if someone says something, they will know – that’s how I started.”
He trained at the Crumlin Boxing Club in Dublin and met fellow MMA fighter Tom Egan and the pair hit it off.
They watched recorded UFC fights when they weren’t in school and recreated the action in their backyard.
However, at the age of 17, McGregor entered the plumbing industry, although this was short-lived and he joined MMA full-time.
If you thought it was a smooth transition to the top, you would be mistaken. McGregor lost two of his first six MMA matches, both for submissions, although he won the other four by TKO. Nevertheless, it was an unfavorable start.
What came next was sensational, however, as McGregor took eight consecutive MMA wins in his native Ireland, sparked the interest of UFC’s Dana White, and eventually landed a contract and debut UFC bout in Stockholm, Sweden.
He cashed in a social check to buy the flights to Sweden, knocked out one-time Ultimate Fighter competitor Marcus Brimmage there in one round, and made another $ 60k for Knockout Of The Night.
From there, as they say, the rest is history.
As a former UFC Lightweight and UFC Featherweight Champion, he was the first man to win two UFC world titles by weight at the same time.
He went on to become the biggest draw in MMA history, headlining five of UFC’s six biggest PPV events, and while he’s lost his aura of invincibility in recent years, he’s still MMA’s most bankable star.
He’s also a great businessman – of the $ 180 million he made last year, only about $ 20 million came from his exploits within the ring.
Pretty impressive, right?