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UFC 246: Conor McGregor’s Coach Responds to Narrative Star’s Lost Support in Ireland

As Conor McGregor [1] prepares to make his return next Saturday at UFC 246, there’s been talk recently the former champ doesn’t have the same level of massive support in his native Ireland. But, McGregor’s longtime coach, John Kavanagh has questioned the accuracy of that narrative.

Conor McGregor
Image Credit: UFC / YouTube

Kavanagh says “mobs” of fans still welcome Conor

Within the MMA world, there certainly seems to be a fair amount of buzz for McGregor’s upcoming fight with Donald Cerrone. While one could argue it doesn’t seem close to the level of say, 2017, when he fought Floyd Mayweather Jr. There’s been no shortage of talk about McGregor in recent weeks.

But, recently there has been discussion and debate about whether McGregor remains an uber superstar in Ireland, like he was before. The theory being that due to McGregor’s various incidents [2], which includes sucker-punching an elderly man in a Dublin pub, a lot of fans have turned away from the controversial fighter. Further, McGregor hasn’t won a bout now since 2016.

Well, during a recent appearance on the Eurobash podcast, Kavanagh was asked if he thinks McGregor has lost support in Ireland. The SBG coach said this (quotes via MMA Fighting [3]):

“I’d love for people to spend a little bit of time, like I do, driving through town with Conor or having to call into a shop with Conor, and being mobbed for selfies and people shaking his hand and congratulating him,” said Kavanagh.

“I think people sometimes confuse Twitter life with real life and believe stuff on Twitter, but very, very few people are on Twitter. In real life, when you’re going through Dublin and the airport, there are crowds of people screaming and running up to us. I’m not sure I agree with that, maybe there will be a couple of people on Twitter that will write something nice after it if he wins, but I wouldn’t hold my breathe on that.”

“When I’m physically with him, no…all I see is mobs of fans.”

What’s the takeaway?

So, it’s not overly surprising to hear Kavanagh reporting that fans still swarm to McGregor when he’s out and about. After all, the former champ is one of the greatest fighters to come out of the European nation. But, due to McGregor’s aforementioned issues out of the cage, it’s not hard to imagine that his popularity has dropped off either.

Case in point, MMA Fighting’s Peter Carroll recently released the video below, in which several Irish people acknowledged McGregor’s star isn’t as bright as it once was. Now, is that a scientific survey? No. But, it does seem to back up the narrative McGregor’s support has dropped in his home country.