1 Crucial Lesson Conor McGregor Learned From LeBron James

After taking a year off from the sport, Conor McGregor returnins to the UFC octagon to fight Donald Cerrone on January 18, 2020. But that won’t be the same McGregor who was notorious for picking fights with old men. It will be a brand-new McGregor. Here’s how LeBron James changed McGregor forever.

GOATs recognize GOATs

Conor McGregor has long been one of the top fighters in the UFC, and NBA star LeBron James deserves some of the credit for it.
Conor McGregor. | Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Conor McGregor is infamously confident in himself, and given his career so far, he has every right to be. While he is not undefeated like his rival, Khabib Nurmagomedov is, there’s a strong argument for calling McGregor a “Greatest of All Time,” or GOAT, for short. McGregor has an undefeated run in his UFC featherweight career, and he did it all in spectacular fashion. 

Not only did McGregor knock out great featherweights like Chad Mendes and Dustin Poirier, but he also knocked out one of the best featherweights of all time, Jose Aldo, in just 13 seconds to win the featherweight belt. That is still the fastest championship win in UFC history. And while McGregor may not have been as successful in heavier weight classes, he was the UFC’s first dual-champion, and he’s still the richest UFC fighter ever.

McGregor’s confidence doesn’t mean that he doesn’t recognize other GOATs, though. And, as LeBron James has shown NBA fans, he is probably the Michael Jordan of his generation. But James, even at 35 years olf, is still in his prime. While many consider him legendary already, others believe that he can surpass Jordan and become the GOAT. And as James’ latest season with the Lakers showed, he still has room to grow.

Because of that, James is one of the people whom McGregor looks up to for advice. And that’s exactly what he did to help him prepare for his next fight.

LeBron James’ lesson to Conor McGregor

As McGregor told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, he found out that James spent $1.5 million a year solely on maintaining and improving his health. James did that by hiring professionals, such as dietitians and massage therapists, to help him look after his body. McGregor spent money on similar things when he was preparing for a fight, but when he didn’t have a bout scheduled, he’d spend absolutely nothing. 

LeBron James’ self-care bill shocked McGregor, but it makes perfect sense for him to invest so heavily into his body year-round. Great athletes can only accomplish what they do with the help of their bodies. If they don’t take care of their body, then they won’t perform. That inspired McGregor to reevaluate what he was doing with his money.

Like many rich young people, Conor McGregor has a garage full of cars and lots of luxury watches. But he realized that his body was more important than those things, so, taking James’ lesson to heart, McGregor chose to spend money on his health year-round. McGregor told ESPN’s Helwani that this new spending on his health has helped him a lot, and it’s also made him sharper as a result. 

How Lebron James stays healthy

OMost people can’t spend $1.5 million a year on health and fitness experts, but there are still some lessons that regular folks can learn from James, just like McGregor did. It may not be wise to follow the diets of athletes, as they’re likely far more active than most people are, but there are other lessons that the LeBron James approach can teach anyone. 

For example, the fact that James spends money on massages shows that even the best need to take time to relax. That is true for everyone else, too. Furthermore, discipline is another important factor in James’ health and fitness plan. Just like James or Conor McGregor, the ability to stay disciplined and keep training for one’s goals is invaluable.