Even though Conor McGregor is one of the richest combat sports athletes in the world today, the Irishman did not always have his way with his finances. Just days prior to his UFC debut in Sweden back in 2013, Conor McGregor had collected his last welfare check of around $235 from the Irish government [Source- Yahoo! Sports].
In an interview with ESPN, Conor McGregor's longtime coach John Kavanagh described the day Conor McGregor was supposed to board a flight to Sweden for his UFC debut. According to Kavanagh, McGregor had to stop off to pick up his social welfare payment.
"Dee [Devlin] drove me and him [Conor McGregor] to the airport. We had to stop off to collect social welfare on the way. He'd take pictures with people and chat with people, and I'm like, 'We're going to miss this flight for your UFC debut.' And I don't have money to pay for another flight. Conor doesn't have money to pay for another flight."
Just a few days after collecting his social welfare check, Conor McGregor made a dynamic debut in the UFC; a moment which will definitely go down as a transformative moment in the sport.
Conor McGregor faced Marcus Brimage on the preliminary card of UFC on Fuel TV: Mousasi vs Latifi. In a fight that lasted only 67 seconds, 'The Notorious' established his presence in the UFC by stopping a beast in Brimage. For his performance, Conor McGregor jumped from collecting welfare to winning the $60,000 'Knockout of the Night' bonus.
Where did Conor McGregor compete before fighting in the UFC?
Conor McGregor began his professional career in 2008. It was around this time McGregor came under the tutelage of Straight Blast Gym's John Kavanagh. At the time, Conor McGregor competed in promotions like Cage Warriors FC, Cage Rage Championships, Cage of Truth, Immortal Fighting Championship and Chaos F.C.
Conor McGregor has never stuck to just one weight division in his career. Right from the beginning, he would continue switching between 145 lbs and 155 lbs. The Irishman gathered an impressive 10-2 record before appearing in the first-ever title fight of his career.
In June 2012, Conor McGregor fought Dave Hill at Cage Warriors 47 for the Cage Warriors Featherweight championship. In an unpredictable move, the conventional striker in Conor McGregor surprised viewers as he submitted Dave Hill via rear-naked choke to win the fight in round two.
Immediately after winning the Featherweight title, Conor McGregor challenged Ivan Buchiger for the Cage Warriors Lightweight title. Conor would get his hand raised yet again by winning the fight via TKO in round one. It was after he became the champ-champ in Cage Warriors that Conor McGregor went on to sign on the dotted line with the UFC. The rest is history.