Conor McGregor once insisted that he is not a celebrity, but his recent activity tells a very different story.
The former two-weight UFC world champion is legendary for his wins in the octagon, but has struggled with injuries and inconsistency in the past few years. And after once declaring that he was far from a celebrity, he appears to be enjoying dipping his toe into the world of stardom over recent months.
The Irishman is constantly training, and looks in fantastic shape as he bulks up ahead of his cage comeback. But he has been unable to compete, or even spar, in MMA after breaking his leg last summer in a trilogy bout with long-time rival Dustin Poirier at UFC 264.
Back in 2017, McGregor was the cover star for GQ Magazine, and said during his interview that he did not consider himself in the same vein as stars such as the Kardashians. He mocked fans for caring about the goings on of famous people, saying: “I am not a celebrity, I break people’s faces for money and bounce.”
Asked what he thinks of the likes of the Kardashians, he joked that “I don’t give a f*** about them, I just like to see them in the flesh… just see what the big fat a**es on them look like.”
Four years later in an interview with ESPN ahead of UFC 264, he revisited the idea, telling Stephen A Smith the same line about breaking faces. He is known to enjoy the finer things in life, but again vowed that he was not a celebrity, but a fighter.
“There’s no celebrity, there’s no fame,” he said. “That thing is nada, nothing, not even on the radar of anything. Fame and celebrity are just pitfalls of it. But I am no celebrity. People mistake me for a celebrity, I break people’s faces for money and bounce. That’s what I do.”
After that trilogy with Poirier, however, McGregor appears to have leaned more into the celebrity lifestyle. He and his family spent the early parts of his rehab process at the exclusive Beverley Hills Hotel, with a star-studded list of names coming to visit him.
Rapper 2Chainz came to hang out with the Irishman, as well as singer Justin Bieber. There has been a long-running friendship between McGregor and Bieber, and he even flew across America to present the Canadian with an award at the MTV Video Music Awards.
After the ceremony, McGregor told Adam’s Apple that he defied doctor’s orders to attend the event, but that he was happy to spend time around a number of major stars, oh whom some he was ‘in awe’. “My surgeons, my doctors, my physical therapists didn’t want me to come here,” he admitted.
“They wanted me to stay still and just get the work in, but it was an honour to come here and give [Bieber] a shoutout for artist of the year. It’s always great to mix in with that [celebrity] crowd, that’s not really my world, but to see it, I was in awe of it.”
McGregor has also been spotted hobnobbing with the likes of Kylie Minogue at the recent premiere for the upcoming Elvis film at the Cannes Film Festival. He and fiancee Dee Devlin have also hung out with Tik Tok star Khaby Lame and a host of other big names over the past few months.
The fighter gushed over the “iconic” Minogue in a recent post, as well as his fiancee Devlin. For someone who doesn’t fancy himself a celebrity, the Irishman has been hitting the red carpet quite regularly of late.