Conor McGregor has had a crazy few years.
While he’s had some big moments of success — most notably his 40-second, January knockout of Donald Cerrone — he’s also made his way into the headlines for numerous brushes with the law.
Speaking on RTÉ 2fm’s Game On, long-time McGregor coach John Kavanagh discussed the negative headlines surrounding his fighter. He insisted that McGregor has learned from his mistakes and is in the midst of a “comeback story.”
“It comes with the territory,” Kavanagh said of the bad press McGregor has received (via RTE.ie). “Negative headlines get more clicks than positive headlines. That’s just the media game.
“He’s spoken himself about his slips and his mistakes,” Kavanagh added. “He’s had to pay for those outside of the sport. I feel we’re on a good comeback story — he had a great win in January — but yeah, like most things in life you take the good with the bad, you roll with it and try to improve, learn from mistakes and get better as a human being and an athlete as you go on.”
Kavanagh continued, touching on the challenges McGregor experienced on his rapid rise from unknown to superstar.
“It’s a very weird rise from being an unknown guy in Dublin, doing a sport no one has heard of, to being a global superstar. Everything you say and do is analyzed.
“He had to make his mistakes very publicly and visibly. I’m proud of how he’s come through those things. He’s owned up to his mistakes. He’s trying to make himself a better person and I’m behind that.”
With McGregor seemingly on the straight-and-narrow, Kavanagh says he’s very proud of his star pupil for putting MMA on the map in Ireland.
“I’m incredibly proud of Conor. I realise it was him individually who has made the sport so well known,” Kavanagh said.
“I get stopped by 60-year-old ladies asking me how his wrestling training is coming along. I know it was him who made it a huge sport in Ireland so I’m very, very proud of that.”
What do you think the future holds for Conor McGregor?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 2/19/2020.