When Conor McGregor invited football star Zlatan Ibrahimovic to train MMA with him
MMA fighter Conor McGregor and Swedish football player Zlatan Ibrahimovic are incredibly well-known names within their respective fields. Both athletes have managed to transcend the usual reach of their sports and enjoy immense popularity across the globe.
Interestingly, the two stars had a complimentary back-and-forth a few years ago. During an interview with SPORTbible in 2017, the footballer showered praise on the Irishman and made a prediction for McGregor's boxing match against Floyd Mayweather that was scheduled to happen soon at that time.
Ibrahimovic believed that McGregor had the same confidence as him, which is why he picked 'The Notorious' to emerge victorious in the highly anticipated mega-encounter:
"I think it's a hard fight. Conor has power, he can knock you out from any angle. And he has confidence, like me. He is the Ibrahimovic of martial arts and I'm McGregor of the football world. So, I see him with his confidence, he will win. Because he believes in himself so much and like I say, in everything you do, the mental part is 50 percent. If you have the mental, the head, you can do it and achieve. And then at the same time, he's skillful, he is the one he is. So, I believe in Conor."
Later, in an interview with FIFA.com, McGregor returned the favor and complimented Ibrahimovic in his own way and invited him, along with Paul Pogba, to train with the Irishman:
"I respect Zlatan and his positive-winning-mentality mindset, but let’s get this straight: there is only one Conor McGregor! Zlatan Ibrahimovic is trying to be the Conor McGregor of football – good luck to him. Zlatan and Paul Pogba are welcome to come and train with me whenever they like."
In the end, Ibrahimovic's prediction turned out to be wrong as McGregor lost to Mayweather via stoppage in the tenth round of the fight.
When Zlatan Ibrahimovic made a prediction for Conor McGregor vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov
At the time, Zlatan Ibrahimovic also weighed in on the fight and made a prediction once again. The Swedish footballer, who shares a friendly relationship with Nurmagomedov, picked 'The Eagle' to get his hand raised come fight night:
"I think Khabib will win because if he catches you, he doesn't let you loose. He will make you suffer in the ring and... you don't normally suffer; he makes you give up in a way that looks very bad."
This time around, Ibrahimovic's prediction came true as Nurmagomedov defeated McGregor by submission in the fourth round at UFC 229.