In his storied and colorful career in mixed martial arts, Conor McGregor has seen and done it all.
The MMA world was shocked when the former lightweight and featherweight champion announced that he was retiring from the sport.
Hey guys quick announcement, I’ve decided to retire from the sport formally known as “Mixed Martial Art” today.
I wish all my old colleagues well going forward in competition.
I now join my former partners on this venture, already in retirement.
Proper Pina Coladas on me fellas!
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) March 26, 2019
Still in his fighting prime at 30 years old, McGregor has accomplished so much and is a constant conversation as one of the best to ever do it.
However, his persona and character is a double-edged sword as his brash and aggressive nature has also spawned some dark moments in his career.
And with that, we take a look at some of the highlights and lowlights of Conor McGregor’s MMA career.
HIGHLIGHT: UFC DEBUT
With a 12-2 record, McGregor entered UFC on FUEL TV as an undercard for Gerard Mousasi and Ilir Latifi in Stockholm, Sweden.
Against Marcus Brimage, McGregor only needed 1:07 in the first round to knock out his opponent and announce his arrival in the biggest brand in MMA. He also won Knockout of the Night for his efforts.
LOWLIGHT: NATE DIAZ LOSS
At this point of his career, McGregor was riding a seven-fight win streak in the Octagon and had beaten some of the biggest names in his weight class.
Already a superstar at this point, McGregor was the UFC Featherweight Champion but decided to climb up in weight to face Nate Diaz in the welterweight division.
It was an incredible lead-up to the fight which culminated in UFC 196 but it was McGregor who lost via rear-naked choke in the second round to end his winning streak.
HIGHLIGHT: JOSE ALDO WIN
Intense pre-fight hype and pure hatred against the other set-up a great championship fight against Jose Aldo in UFC 194.
At this point, Aldo was considered as the best featherweight in the world and had a 25-1 record.
However, McGregor made quick work of Aldo, knocking out the Brazilian in 13 seconds to win his first title in the competition.
LOWLIGHT: PUSHING A REFEREE IN AN MMA EVENT
Watching a match at a rival company, McGregor made his presence felt in Bellator 187 while supporting his teammate Charlie Ward.
When referee Mark Godard stopped in to separate the two fighters, McGregor incorrectly assumed that the fight was stopped. Godard would, naturally, look to send McGregor out of the cage and the Irishman retaliated by pushing the referee away – as well as the other officials that looked to pacify the situation.
HIGHLIGHT: NATE DIAZ WIN IN UFC 202
Following his loss to Diaz, a rematch was quickly taken and McGregor took advantage of this match to restore some of the shine that was taken away.
In a bout that resulted in being called the Fight of the Night, McGregor beat Diaz via unanimous decision to avenge what was his third loss in his professional career.
LOWLIGHT: UFC 202 PRESS CONFERENCE
Leading up to the said rematch, the two had a press conference and it ended up in complete chaos as the two sides threw water bottles at each other.
McGregor was on the stands speaking to the press as Diaz and his men made their way through the crowd. The two parties would exchange explicit barbs which resulted in McGregor throwing water bottles; completely disregarding Dana White’s pleads for him to stop.
As a result, McGregor was fined $150,000 and needed to do 50 hours of Community Service.
HIGHLIGHT: WIN IN UFC 205
Following his win over Diaz, McGregor would fight again a few months later. This time, he would face UFC Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez as the Irishman looked to win two UFC titles in two weight classes.
He would dominate Alvarez through two rounds before forcing the referee to stop the fight in 3:04 of the second to award McGregor the dominating win.
LOWLIGHT: THE DOLLY INCIDENT
McGregor’s fierce rivalry with Khabib Nurmagomedov started when the latter threatened one of McGregor’s teammates outside the Octagon.
Looking to retaliate against the Russian, McGregor looked to confront Nurmagomedov in a press conference for UFC 223.
However, the best he was able to do was get close to the Russian when the latter was inside a bus, and McGregor picked up a metal dolly and threw it at the window as he looked to attack Khabib.
It did damage to the vehicle and other fighters in the bus and two of them had to pull out from the fight. As for McGregor, he found himself in court as he was sentenced to even more Community Service and Anger Management classes.
HIGHLIGHT: MAYWEATHER VS MCGREGOR
McGregor boosted mixed martial arts to new heights with his impressive skill and even better entertainment value. He did so well that he was able to forge a deal with unbeaten boxing legend Floyd Mayweather for a boxing match.
The result of the boxing event was predictable, as the unbeaten Mayweather methodically beat out McGregor round after round, but the Irishman’s motive has been established – he is now a megastar and got paid like one.
LOWLIGHT: NURMAGOMEDOV LOSS
The heated rivalry with Nurmagomedov was about to come to head in UFC 229 when the two would meet for the UFC Lightweight Championship.
As expected, fanfare was at an all-time high with both fighters going through verbal attacks to hype the fight.
However, things did not go as McGregor planned as he was soundly beaten by Nurmagomedov through four rounds and eventually had to tap out due to a neck crank in the 3:03 mark.
This would, as it stands, be McGregor’s last UFC fight.
HIGHLIGHT: HIS INCREDIBLE MIC SKILLS
Like him or not, McGregor sure is an entertainer. He can stir up a pot with his words and flamboyant actions that you certainly have to listen.
He has a brash approach to his business and stands out in a crowd – just the way he likes it.
With him retiring for good there might not be anyone as polarising as McGregor to ever step foot in the Octagon.
LOWLIGHT: POST-UFC 229 BRAWL
Following his loss to Nurmagomedov, the latter embroiled himself in a fight with McGregor’s team as the Russian jumped outside the Octagon to attack.
McGregor did little to restrain himself, as well, as the video has shown him also hitting a few of Nurmagomedov’s teammates.
This has resulted in suspensions for both men as well as hefty fines.
McGregor lost the match but neither won the war after.