For quite some time now, reports have periodically surfaced that UFC superstar Conor McGregor is concerned with brain trauma.
Prior to being signed to the UFC in 2013, Conor McGregor was reportedly concerned over the possibility of long-term brain damage. Despite that, the Irish superstar was signed to the promotion and went on quite the tear as he rattled off 7 straight wins, including a 13 second KO of Jose Aldo at UFC 194 which saw him claim the UFC featherweight championship.
Following that, McGregor stepped into the Octagon to fight Nate Diaz, where he suffered the first defeat of his UFC career. While McGregor was then reportedly set to return to the Octagon at UFC 200 for his highly anticipated rematch with Diaz, he was ultimately pulled from the scrap for refusing to fulfill his media obligations.
Prior to that however, McGregor sat cageside as his teammate fought and defeated Joao Carvalho, a young fighter who passed away following the fight due to brain trauma sustained in his TKO loss. McGregor released a lengthy and heartfelt statement on social media regarding the death of Carvalho. Shortly after that incident, McGregor briefly retired on social media, with fans speculating as to whether or not Carvalho’s death played a part in McGregor’s sudden decision to retire given his reported past concerns with brain trauma. While McGregor announced he wasn’t retired just days later, he explained the weight of Carvalho’s death prior to his UFC 202 rematch with Nate Diaz, saying:
“It’s fucked up. I wasn’t just watching that fight. I helped train a guy to kill someone, and then someone wound up dying. This is a fucking dangerous game. People call it a sport, but it’s fighting. I’m just making sure it ain’t me. And that’s fucked up.”
Now, in an interview with Independent.ie, SBG Ireland head coach John Kavanagh spoke about the fact that McGregor “harbours concerns” over long-term brain damage. He elaborated on the situation, saying:
“It’s a concern of every fighter. At that level of fighting the risk is very real,” Kavanagh said.
“But I think you can add on two hands the number of clean head shots Conor has taken in 10 years of pro-fighting. His style of fighting answers that, because his style is not brawling. He doesn’t step in the pocket and exchange punches.
“His style is in and out – he’s very defensive. That style was born through not wanting to lose and not wanting to take head shots, and not wanting to damage the software.”