Whether it be posting photos of his Rolls Royce(s), indulgent shopping trips, or hard work in the gym, Conor McGregor maintains a vibrant social media presence.
A lot has happened in the life of "the Notorious" McGregor in 2016. Scheduled to fight Rafael dos Anjos for the lightweight championship following his decimation of the featherweight division, McGregor proceeded to go up to welterweight to fight Nate Diaz in what would become a two-fight war. With a brief retirement and comeback to the sport in between video game roles and Nevada Athletic Commission fines, we take a look at Conor McGregor’s year so far through his social media.
Dos Anjos v McGregor - UFC 197
Following his rise to the top of the Featherweight division, McGregor looked to replicate his work in Cage Warriors by becoming a two-division world champion within the UFC. Scheduled to fight Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 197, McGregor characteristically stole the show at the press conference, arriving late and alluding to his fashion choice being inspired by the infamous drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.
Throwing Shade at Jose Aldo
If there’s one thing Conor McGregor loves beside fighting inside the Octagon, it’s taking photos of his fancy whips. However, this past January, the Irishman tweeted out a photo that featured a massive billboard in the top left corner depicting his knockout victory over Jose Aldo. Of course, this could have been entirely coincidental. Or not.
Inducting Himself Into The UFC Hall of Fame
Many accuse the UFC of allowing McGregor to call the shots. In February, that’s exactly what Mac attempted to do by claiming he was inducting himself into the UFC Hall of Fame. Not one to lack confidence, the outlandish behavior of Conor McGregor is what has propelled him into the global limelight.
Sports Illustrated Cover Model
Earlier this year, Conor McGregor followed in the steps of fellow UFC star Ronda Rousey, as he modeled for the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine. Although claiming to be the first Irishman to grace the cover, the native Dubliner can't boast that title, which instead goes to gold medalist Ronnie Delany and Eamonn Coghlan, who won the 5000 meters at the 1983 World Championships and were featured on the SI cover three times.
Surprising His Fans
During an episode of UFC Embedded, McGregor spotted an apartment in Los Angeles that featured a cardboard cut-out of himself on the balcony. Blown away by the support, McGregor shouted over to the fan ensuring him he would visit the following day. The Irishman kept true to his word, and you can check out their meeting here.
Facing His First Defeat
UFC 196 would see Conor McGregor taste his first defeat within the promotion. Falling in the second round via submission to Nate Diaz, McGregor took to Instagram to send a message to his fans and vowed to see Diaz again.
Retirement & Comeback
Earlier this year, Conor McGregor shocked the entire world by randomly announcing his retirement from MMA. It appeared that tough negotiations involving the UFC, Diaz and McGregor was the cause of the bizarre incident. The tweet highlighted how much of a global brand the Irishman had become, being retweeted a colossal 160,000+ times with a further 197K+ favorites. Thankfully for the sport and fans, "Mystic Mac" returned to action.
MMA vs. Boxing
2016 also featured the well-publicized news that a potential superfight between boxing megastar Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor was in the works. Mayweather had earlier announced his retirement from boxing, but a fight of this magnitude (and financial gain) was tempting enough to get the unbeaten boxer back in the ring for one more fight. With MMA and boxing being worlds apart, the alleged fight was to be a boxing bout in Las Vegas. In the end, nothing materialized.
The Forbes Top 100 List
In June of this year, it was revealed that Conor McGregor made the Forbes top 100-highest paid athletes list. Ranking at a respectable 84th place, McGregor is the first mixed martial artist to ever make the list with a reported $22 million in fight purses and endorsements over the past year (this figure has likely gone up since the release of the list).
Feuding With The WWE Roster
After igniting a feud between himself and the entire WWE universe, Conor McGregor took to Twitter to issue an apology as only he could. The feud began following remarks Conor McGregor made in an interview questioning if any of the WWE athletes could survive in his world. Needless to say, the featherweight champion ruffled more than a few feathers within the WWE top brass.
Redemption - UFC 202
UFC 202 will go down as one of the most grueling fights the sport has ever seen, with both McGregor and Diaz giving everything they had in an all-out war. This time, the outcome would be different, and after an adrenaline-filled five rounds, McGregor finally avenged his defeat at UFC 196.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
In early September, Conor McGregor broke the news that he would be appearing in the new Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare video game. Starring alongside Game of Thrones actor Kit Harrington, McGregor will feature as a villain in the best-selling FPS franchise.
Preparing to Make History
Following his victory over Nate Diaz, the MMA world was awash with speculation as to what McGregor’s next move would be. Opting to not drop back down to the 145 lbs division once again, McGregor signed off on a contract to fight for the lightweight championship belt against Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205. On November 12, at Madison Square Garden Arena, Conor McGregor will hope to make history by becoming the first UFC fighter to hold two championship belts in different weight classes at the same time.
The Softer Side
Although known for his boisterous and outlandish antics at times, it’s easy to forget that Conor McGregor is incredibly thankful and devoted to his fans. This was epitomized last week when the UFC star posted a photo to his social media accounts alongside a young fan who had left her phone at home. It is acts like these that endear McGregor to his millions of fans.
With 2017 slowly creeping towards us, McGregor still has a few months left to make history in the UFC. If there's one thing we can be certain of, it's to always expect the unexpected when it comes to Conor McGregor.