ByAmy Kaplan, writer at
Senior Staff Writer // Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @PhotoAmy33
Amy Kaplan

While everyone else is out drinking green beer and eating their corned beef hash, these fighters are hard at work perfecting their crafts. They all have put in many hours training their respective combat sports to become world class athletes. So instead of looking for someone not wearing green to pinch, we decided to hunt down seven of our favorite Irish fighters (in no particular order).

Conor McGregor - MMA

We had to get out of the way first as he's probably the first person we all thought of when we read 'Irish fighter.' He's the biggest star in the UFC right now and easily becoming a household name.

Stats: Conor was the first ever champion to hold a belt in two different weight classes simultaneously. His current professional record is 21-3.

Katie Taylor - Boxing

Katie Taylor can be compared to in that due to her popularity women's boxing was more widely recognized and respected and not just in Ireland. Not only did she compete (and excel) in the sport, but she also competed in association football. She's one tough chick.

Stats: She won the gold medal in the lightweight division at the 2012 Olympic games She has also won five gold medals at the Women's World Championships, six gold medals at the European Championships, and five gold medals at the European Union Championships.

Steve Collins - Boxing

Steve Collins is considered to be the most successful Irish boxer in professional history, having held the WBO middleweight and super-middleweight titles.

Stats: Collins went 36-3 (including 21 KO's) before retiring in 1997.

Chris Bowe - Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Chris Bowe might not be the household name that Conor McGregor is, but he's making the Irish proud in other ways. He's a BJJ black belt Braulio Estima from the Gracie Barra system.

Stats: Bowe is a seven-time world and European medalist and a five-time Abu Dhabi World Pro Black Belt Trial winner.

James Gallagher - MMA

You can't be an Irish MMA fighter without being constantly compared to Conor McGregor and James Gallagher is no different. He's currently fighting under the Bellator banner.

Stats: Gallagher is only 20-years old but has already amassed a 6-0 professional record, including three with Bellator.

Wayne McCullough - Boxing

Wayne McCullough is from Northern Ireland and held the WBC bantamweight title in the mid-90's he also challenged six times for world titles at super-bantamweight and featherweight. As an amateur, he represented Ireland at the 1992 Summer Olympics and won a silver medal.

Stats: McCullough went 27-7 professionally before retiring in 2008.

Cathal Pendred - MMA

Cathal Pendred was considered to be the best mixed martial artist to come from Ireland before McGregor made his appearance. He won four of his six UFC bouts before retiring in 2015.

Stats: He retired with a 17-4 professional record.


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