The world’s most famous mixed martial artist, Ireland’s own Conor McGregor, was reportedly denied entry to an Italian gym.
Italian publication Città della Spezia reported that the former UFC lightweight and featherweight champion was denied when he sought a place to train for a week.
McGregor was enjoying a vacation in the Liguria region of Italy. He and his family decided to spend some time in La Spezia.
“He entered the door and asked me to use my gym for a week,” Luca Riccardi, the Round Zero Gym owner, told Città della Spezia. “I looked at the [registered students] and saw that I have no room for him. I had to send someone home, but those are the people that pay my bills, so I gently said I couldn’t take him in.”
Later in the afternoon, Riccardi recounted what happened with McGregor to his son Leonardo.
“He told me that I was crazy”, Riccardi recalls.
Luckily, Conor McGregor and his entourage came back the next day and this time the owner decided to let him in.
“I spoke to my customers and asked them if that was cool for them. Of course everybody agreed, telling me that they would have been proud of hosting him and they moved to a secondary, smaller room.”
Riccardi, a boxing coach, said that McGregor was very kind and humble.
“He warmed up and then asked me to train together,” he said of McGregor. “I wasn’t embarrassed, I’m a coach so I treated him the same way I would have treated any other student. I noticed that he almost never go for the body, he always looking for the headshot. I even gave him a couple of advice since he’s willing to fight Pacquiao.”
“I have acted professional the whole time, because that’s what I am,” the Italian gym owner concluded. “The only time I’ve been emotional was when Conor was sparring with my son and he turned to me and told me ‘he’ll be a champion.’