Conor McGregor’s Loyalty to Coach John Kavanagh Proves He’s Better Than Haters Think

While Conor McGregor is a great fighter, he’s also a controversial man. In 2019 alone, he got into quite a few fights and altercations. While McGregor may have been a hothead, he’s been loyal to those around him, like coach John Kavanagh, from the start.

Conor McGregor’s relationship with his gym

There are many great gyms around the world. It’s not uncommon for a fighter to try out gyms and coaches to find the best training possible. However, it’s not too common that someone will stay with their first MMA gym through thick and thin. This is exactly what McGregor’s done.

Straight Blast Gym, or SBG, is a small gym in Ireland, founded by John Kavanagh. Kavanagh has a lot of experience in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, so he started the gym to train people in MMA along with some other experts. McGregor was one of Kavanagh’s earlier students, and he quickly became the most successful of the bunch. 

McGregor’s not invincible; he’s lost four of his 26 fights. But, as SBG says, you either win or you learn. While McGregor has won 22 times, he’s also had four learning experiences with the same coaches, friends, and training partners.

Conor McGregor’s loyalty to his friends and family

Conor McGregor with head coach John Kavanagh (R), MMA fighter Artem Lovov (L), and coach Owen Roddy at the Conor McGregor: Notorious premiere
Conor McGregor with head coach John Kavanagh (R), MMA fighter Artem Lovov (L), and coach Owen Roddy | Brian Lawless/PA Images via Getty Images

While McGregor has made more friends since his rise to fame, he’s still close with the few people he trained with as he struggled to become a UFC fighter. Some of his more notable friends include Artem Lobov and Charlie Ward; both used to be UFC fighters themselves. 

One example of his loyalty to his friends: When Ward won a fight at Bellator, another MMA promotion, McGregor was so excited he ran into the cage and began celebrating. The referee tried to separate him from his friend, but McGregor took this the wrong way and shoved the official. This is a big no-no, and McGregor had to apologize afterward. 

Other than his friends, McGregor is loyal to his family and country. He’s proudly Irish and he still lives there even though he has a massive mansion in the U.S.

On top of this, McGregor has been with his long-time girlfriend, Dee Devlin, through his whole MMA journey. They met in 2011, reports Business Insider, before McGregor made a name for himself. Now, Devlin is the mother of his two children. 

What loyalty says about McGregor

Say what you will about McGregor’s antics and trash talk, but his long-term loyalty to his friends, family, and gym show that in his heart of hearts, he’s a good man.

After losing a big fight to someone like Nate Diaz or Khabib Nurmagomedov, it would be logical to quit your training facility and find a “better” gym. But McGregor stuck with the program and he kept working. Now, he’s a rejuvenated man, and he’s winning again in dominant fashion.

Of course, many great athletes will leave their significant others and try someone new when they get a taste of money and success. But for McGregor and Devlin’s relationship to persist for so long, it shows he truly cares about what matters, and nothing can change that.

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