For a time, Conor McGregor was the biggest sporting star in Ireland, and arguably one of the most popular athletes in the world. After a couple of losses and a long list of troubles outside the cage, however, there is a widespread perception that the Irishman’s popularity has died down, even on the Emerald Isle.
Not so, says long-time McGregor head coach John Kavanagh.
Speaking on MMA Fighting’s Eurobash podcast, Kavanagh refuted the notion that McGregor Mania has waned. Instead, he says McGregor is still regularly swarmed by fans in his homeland.
“I’d love for people to spend a little bit of time, like I do, driving through town with Conor or having to call into a shop with Conor, and being mobbed for selfies and people shaking his hand and congratulating him,” Kavanagh said, assuring that McGregor is still extremely popular.
“I think people sometimes confuse Twitter life with real life and believe stuff on Twitter, but very, very few people are on Twitter. In real life, when you’re going through Dublin and the airport, there are crowds of people screaming and running up to us. I’m not sure I agree with that, maybe there will be a couple of people on Twitter that will write something nice after it if he wins, but I wouldn’t hold my breathe on that.
“When I’m physically with him, no…all I see is mobs of fans.”
Conor McGregor is set to return to the cage this weekend, when he’ll take on fan favorite finished Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in the main event of UFC 246. While both fighters have enjoyed their biggest successes as lightweights, the bout will occur in the 170-pound welterweight division.
Do you think McGregor is still as popular as ever, or has support for the Irish star died down?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 1/13/2020.