Conor McGregor – story, nutrition and training of legendary MMA fighter

Conor McGregor is nowadays the most popular MMA fighter, world champion of two UFC divisions and without a doubt, the funniest fighter who has ever entered the octagon arena. You will get to know in the article how the legend of the actual martial art eats and prepares for his fights. Read the story of the Irish plumber who became the star of MMA.

Conor McGregor - story, nutrition and training of legendary MMA fighter

All his fights are guarantee of the great fun. He got the hearts of many fans throughout the world with his charm. Conor McGregor has energy like Arnold Schwarzenegger had when he entered the gym or like Michael Jordan had when he appeared on the basketball court.

He didn’t get the nickname “The Notorious” for no reason. He is generally popular for his naturalness and vulgar behavior, but also for the way of fighting and great fights. He became the idol of many beginning fighters.

Predestined to fight

Conor was born in Dublin and his childhood wasn’t one of the happiest. He was shorter and more slender than his peers, that’s why he became the victim of bullying. This experience brought him to the gym. “When I was walking out of school, a group of young boys stopped me and began to offend me and to attack me physically. I ran. Later, I was carrying dumbbell for protection with me in the bag instead of the books. When it repeated, I said to myself, screw them and I went to train, McGregor described his childhood. [3]

He was living on the suburb where he played football with his friends. There was a dress of his favourite club Manchester United hanging in his closet. He was dreaming of becoming the player of “red devils”. Even though Conor prefer doing sports rather than watching football, he can’t miss any match of this English club.

When he was 12, he was deciding which sport he wants to do. He liked individual sports more, that’s why he chose box and became a member of the boxer club Crumlin. Young Conor didn’t have an idea that this sport would prepare him for the career of MMA fighter and would make him one of the best earning sportsmen in the world.

Box was a hobby which young Conor loved. But he had to aim on the real goals, the choice of study and consequential profession. He studied as a plumber but he performed this profession only for 1 year. Around this time, he met the future UFC fighter, Tom Egan, and started to train together. Conor ended the profession as plumber and fully began to do box and MMA. [2]

The beginning of MMA career

In 2007, when Conor was 18 years old, he debuted in amateur MMA fight “Cage of Truth” against Ciaran Campbell. He won after the first round thanks to technical knockout (TKO). [6]

Conor McGregor - story, nutrition and training of legendary MMA fighter

During training in the gym, he was noticed by John Kavanagh, the known box trainer. He liked Conor’s style of fighting, his zeal and impetuosity with which he flung into the fight. He made an agreement with him. If he manages to defeat two the best fighters who go to his gym, he will start to train with him and will make a professional out of him. John was the only Irish in history who achieved black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and training with him was great motivation for Conor. That’s why he defeated both “the best” fighters and opened the gate to professional career of MMA fighter. [1]

Professional career in MMA

Conor had his first fight on 8th of March 2008 in the competition “Cage Warriors” in lightweight against Gary Morris. Conor won after the second round by the means of TKO. There were several wins that followed in the categories of lightweight and featherweight.

Consequently, during 2011 and 2012, he won Championship CWFC Featherweight a Lightweight. He became the first European professional fighter of the mixed martial art who had titles in two divisions at once. [1]

Conor McGregor - story, nutrition and training of legendary MMA fighter

Early end?

Despite the self-sacrifice and zeal which Conor was giving into his fights, he wasn’t able to earn a living as MMA fighter. In the lower league of MMA fights, the financial rewards for winners were very low. He was still living with his parents and his outlook for independence didn’t seem very promising.

Despite the fact that he was aholder of two European Championships and had won some impressive winnings, in 2012, he was considering the end of his career as an MMA fighter. “There are many cases when you are fighting with yourself and persuading that it will get better,” Conor commented on his situation.

His own mother called trainer John Kavanagh to speak to her son. She didn’t want him to give up his dream. “I was sitting at home and no one from UFC had called even when I was wearing two golden belts. I thought that if I am not supposed to be the professional now, then never,” Conor said.

Despite the doubts, Conor was not giving up. He was training onward and 9 weeks since the moment he had wanted to end his career, something that he hasn’t even hoped for happened. He was spoken by Dan White, UFC president, and signed a contract with him for several fights. The crisis about ending his career was over. [1]

Conor McGregor - story, nutrition and training of legendary MMA fighter

Conor McGregor and his career in UFC

In February 2013, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) announced that McGregor signed a contract for several fights with them. McGregor was the second Irish at the time, who became the UFC member. The first one was Conor’s friend Tom Egan.

McGregor debuted in ultimate fight against Marcus Brimage on 6th April 2013 and won after 1 minute and 7 seconds. Besides win, Conor brought also the award “The best knockout of the evening!” for the first time. This award was not the last one.

There was a line of five UFC wins which were finished by unique fight Aldo vs. McGregor in 2015. José Aldo was the champion of the UFC in featherweight since 2011 and no one has defeated him since then. Therefore, until the moment when he stood against McGregor in octagon.

President of UFC admitted that advising fight McGregor vs. Aldo became the most promoted action in the UFC history. Conor defeated Aldo by knockout in the first round after less than 14 seconds of the fight. He became the champion of the world in featherweight and at the same time, the only fighter who was able to defeat Brasilian fighter. [2]

Conor McGregor - story, nutrition and training of legendary MMA fighter

By winning over Aldo and obtaining title of the middle division, he achieved one of his goals. That’s why he set another goal. He decided to achieve title in light division and to become the first UFC fighter who would have the first place in two weight categories at once.

In 2016, Conor challenged Nate Diaz, the award holder in lightweight. However, he wasn’t able to defeat him. The winner was Diaz and McGregor lost after a long time. It was Conor’s first loss in UFC and the third in his career. He broke his record of 15 winnings since 2010.

McGregor wasn’t able to satisfy with loss and desired to win at all costs. That’s why he challenged Nate Diaz for reciprocation. In less than 4 months, these two MMA fighters met in ring again. McGregor won and finally defeated Diaz.

Conor McGregor - story, nutrition and training of legendary MMA fighter

For UFC, this fight was one of the most profitable. They earned an unbelievable 1 650000 PPV on it. Pay-per-view (PPV) is a type of service by its means the viewer can buy the rights for watching UFC fights.

The following fight was with Eddie Alvarez who was defeated in the second round by McGregor. He succeeded in achieving another goal and became the champion of the world in two divisions at once. [3]

The end of the career as UFC fighter

After McGregor inactivity in 2017, his two titles of champion were removed. He wasn’t able to defend either of them. He took time off and spent time with his newborn son.

In 2018, he stood in the ring for the last time against Russian Khabib Nurmagodemov. The fight was accompanied by some controversial incidents. Before the fight, McGregor and his team attacked bus in which was Khabib’s team. McGregor threw the chair through the window of the bus. The rivalry between fighters was increasing. Just after the fight which was won by Khabib, there was a fight in the ring between both teams and even between families of the fighters. It was discovered later that the first knock was initiated by McGregor. [3]

Conor McGregor - story, nutrition and training of legendary MMA fighter

On 26th of March 2019, McGregor announced on social media Twitter that he ends the career of MMA fighter. However, his trainer didn’t confirm it and president of UFC declared that McGregor will definitely partake several fights in the future.

The announcement about the end of his career was closely before he was arrested for attack and thievery. The situation happened when one of his fans tried to take a photo of Conor as he was going out of the club. Conor didn’t like it and took a phone and broke it. The aggressiveness wasn’t appearing only at the fights but also in the private life. On the social medias, McGregor presents himself as “men of the people”. He vulgarly speaks about world events and swear on the politicians. [1]

Conor McGregor’s style of MMA fight

McGregor is known mostly as aggressive fighter and prefers standing fight. During the fights, he is trying to be aggressor, and therefore he attacks as the first one. His boxing dexterity is considered his best attribute. Majority of his winnings were finished by form of knockout or technical knockout. Many specialists denote McGregor’s counterattack with left hand as the most dangerous one.

McGregor almost everytime joins into “psychical fight” against his opponents. He attacks them with words, abases them and superorders over them. Because of this behavior, he is compared to Muhammad Ali who was a big inspiration for McGregor when he was young. [2]

Historical fight – McGregor vs. Mayweather

Let’s get a few years back. McGregor in UFC often and publicly offended champion of the world in box Floyd Mayweathera Jr. and challenged him for the box fight not only once. Mayweather was first entertained by this idea. In 2015, when he was retiring and McGregor wasn’t interesting rival for him because he never box professionally. The pressure from the media and McGregor’s fans was too intensive and Floyd agreed with the fight after all.

President of UFC didn’t support this fight and was strictly against it. Conor had signed the contract with UFC and he wasn’t boxer but MMA fighter. After this advised fight McGregor vs. Mayweather was popularly increasing, Dan White rethought his announcement. The vision of great earning, which this fight could bring for UFC, was big. On the 30th of November 2016, UFC obtained professional box licence for Conor from California State Athletic Commision.

Conor McGregor - story, nutrition and training of legendary MMA fighter

On 26th August in Nevada, the most anticipated fight of the decade also called “The Money Fight” or “The Biggest Fight in Combat Sports History” happened. The world champion of five divisions in box, Floyd Mayweather Jr., and holder of titles the world champion of two divisions in MMA, Conor McGregor stood against each other in ring.

The fight was planned for 12 rounds and its viewership achieved the second highest value in the PPV history (4,3 million). Despite the fact that Conor was not professional boxer, he resisted until 10th round which was not expected by anyone. Finally, the fight was over after TKO and the winner was unbeatable Mayweather.

Later at the press conference, Conor said that stopping signal of the fight was early. He was tired and concussed, but after a short break he would had been able to continue. Mayweather achieved his 50th winning in career and by this, he beat the record of Rocky Marciano. Both fighters obtained not small sum of money. Floyd obtained 275 million dollars and McGregor obtained 85 million dollars.

“This was my last fight. Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, I chose the right dancing partner with whom I danced for the last time. Conor McGregor, you are a true champion,” Mayweather announced after the fight. [3]

How does the world champion, Conor McGregor, prepare for his fights? There is hidden backbreaker under the successes in ring and Conor has to strictly follow his training and eating plan.

Eating plan of Conor McGregor

The nutrition is probably the most important aspect for maintaining form of the fighter, and mostly in the light weight categories. The fights, same as a fitness, is a way of life. It is not about following certain rules only few weeks before the fight but about following them every day. “The real results require sacrifices throughout the year,” McGregor says.

Conor doesn’t hide that he loves a good meal. His eating plan is composed mostly of vegetables, fruit and beef. “I like water and coconut water but I never drink energy drinks – never! I eat only good and quality meat and I keep my body hydrated.”

McGregor has 9 meals per day. Because of his high energy outgo, he receives 4000 calories on average. In very anaerobic days, he consumes more meals rich of carbohydrates.

Conor McGregor - story, nutrition and training of legendary MMA fighter

If you want to eat like Conor McGregor, try this eating plan. It is inspired by daily eating regime of McGregor.

Meal 1: roasted apple slices with peanut butter, avocado and eggs

Meal 2: ginger, chicken with honey and rice

Meal 3: curry rice and fish

Meal 4: potato slices, apples, chicken breasts and avocado

Meal 5: smoked onion, spinach, paprika and egg with avocado slices

Meal 6: beef steak, shrimp with lime, rice

Meal 7: avocado slices and potatoes, mashed eggs with cauliflower and spinach

Meal 8: tuna steak with chilli, salt, spices and smoked paprika

Meal 9: mash eggs with jalapeňos, spinach and chicken meat with sliced potatoes [2]

Training plan of Conor McGregor

Instead of weight lifting, Conor prefers training of flexibility and balance of the body. He concentrates on learning many fight styles, while he changes his trainings a lot in order to gain power. His training plan looks as follow.

Conor McGregor - story, nutrition and training of legendary MMA fighter

1. Dynamic Stretching and Flexibility

The following motions are performed for 60 seconds

  • Muay Thai Knees (kick with bent leg)
  • Shoulder rotation
  • Leg Swings (leg swinging to the sides)
  • Hip Circles (moving the hip to the circles -sitting down or lying down)
  • Neck Bridge (bridge on the neck)

2. Static Stretching

Each exercise is performed for 30 seconds.

  • Back Roll (back somersault)
  • Sit-Through (sitting from side to side – yoga exercise)
  • Sit-Back Shoulder (stretching of back muscles in sitting – yoga exercise)
  • Lying Leg Stretch (stretching of legs in sitting – yoga exercise)
  • Seated Butterfly (yoga exercise)

3. Locomotion conditioning

Each exercise is performed for one minute.

  • Duck Walk – reduces knee pain
  • Horse Walk – develops strength in hip muscles and groins
  • Liward Walk – improves mobility and control over the core of the body
  • Ostrich Walk – increases flexibility

4. Bodyweight Circuit

Repeat 5 series of these exercises for 60 seconds:

  • Pull-Downs – exercise for abs, back, shoulders, biceps and triceps
  • Push-Ups – exercise for shoulders and triceps
  • Pull-Ups – exercise for back, trapezes and biceps
  • Air Squats – exercise for hamstrings and butt

Conor McGregor follows the fighting anaerobic system of the training (F.A.S.T), which is overseen by sport scientist Julian Dalby. It includes highly intensive training along with constant endurance exercises which are ideal for box and MMA. [6]

Day of Conor McGregor

To be the champion of the world in mixed martial arts requires full concentration. Conor is aware of that. He included some routine activities into his day in order his effort and training was more effective. Which activities are they?

After wake up

The first thing which Conor does immediately after waking up, is stretching. Then he drinks two glasses of water in order to rehydrate after sleep.

Before breakfast

Conor does short cardio exercising before breakfast. Then he drinks coffee and has tasty breakfast composed of food rich in protein and fats.


Before training, Conor never forgets of warm-up. During the day, he likes to have fruit which supply him with energy. He recommends mostly blackberries, apples, strawberries and grapefruit. [2]

Conor McGregor - story, nutrition and training of legendary MMA fighter

Interesting facts about Conor McGregor

McGregor got into the awareness of his fans by means of his unique style. His bright suits can be considered as iconic ones. In addition, as the right Irishmen, he began to produce Proper No. twelve Irish Whiskey. Since the release on the market, several thousand bottles have been sold in the USA and England. Besides he is proud father of the little son Conor McGregor Jr. whom he has with his long-time partner Dee Devlin. [3]

Conor McGregor - story, nutrition and training of legendary MMA fighter

McGregor’s magic number

At the end, we attach some interesting facts which include the life and career of Conor McGregor in the numbers.

  • 13 seconds to knockout Aldo and to achieve title of world champion in middle weight
  • 16 516 participants were watching fight McGregor vs. Aldo
  • 622 000 dollars McGregor obtained for each second in the fight against Aldo
  • he gave 17 knockouts in 19 fights
  • 188 pounds is the sum which he regularly received from the state in time when he was not professional fighter of UFC. He named his boat “188” to always remember what he had gone through to be where he is right now. [3]

Are you surprised by some information about Conor McGregor too? Do you belong to his fans? Don’t hesitate and share your opinions with us in the comments and in case you like the article, don’t forget to support it by sharing.


[1] Conor McGregor Biography – https://www.biography.com/athlete/conor-mcgregor

[2] Conor McGregor Height, Weight, Age, Biography, Affairs – https://starsunfolded.com/conor-mcgregor/

[3] Conor McGregor Biography – https://gossipgist.com/conor-mcgregor

[4] Brad Ward – Build a Fighting Physique Like Conor McGregor – https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/build-a-fighting-physique-like-conor-mcgregor.html?searchTerm=conor+mc

[5] James Gold – 13 Jun Conor McGregor Workout, Training Routine, Diet Plan, Body Stats – http://www.borntoworkout.com/conor-mcgregor-workout-training-routine-diet-plan-body-stats/

[6] Conor McGregor Biography – https://www.biography.com/athlete/conor-mcgregor