Conor McGregor: Joao Carvalho’s death ‘truly heartbreaking’

Conor McGregor has said he, like all combat sports fans and fighters, is struggling to process the death of MMA fighter Joao Carvalho in Beaumont Hospital last night, writes Stephen Barry.

McGregor was ringside at the Total Extreme Fighting event at the National Stadium on Saturday, where he was supporting his Straight Blast Gym teammate Charlie Ward in the bout against Carvalho.

McGregor paid tribute to Carvalho, who became gravely ill soon after the fight ended via a technical knockout and died 48 hours later, as a “champion, who pursued his dream doing what he loved” and “one of us”.

Joao Carvalho (right) fighting Charlie Ward at the National Stadium, Dublin on Saturday. Picture: Dave Fogarty
Joao Carvalho (right) fighting Charlie Ward at the National Stadium, Dublin on Saturday. Picture: Dave Fogarty

McGregor added: “To see a young man doing what he loves, competing for a chance at a better life, and then to have it taken away is truly heartbreaking.

“We are just men and women doing something we love in the hope of a better life for ourselves and our families. Nobody involved in combat sports of any kind wants to see this. It is such a rare occurrence that I don't know how to take this.

“I was ringside supporting my teammate, and the fight was so back and forth, that I just can't understand it.

“My condolences go out to Joao's family and his team. Their man was a hell of a fighter and will be sorely missed by all.”

Conor McGregor pictured last month.
Conor McGregor pictured last month.

The acting Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring, speaking on Newstalk FM in the last few minutes, said that he was concerned that MMA was not a recognised sport with Sport Ireland, the Government body for sport.

“It’s not a recognised sport, it hasn’t been recognised by the Sports Council and isn’t funded by Government,” said Minister Ring.

“We need to see what we can do to get these people regulated in this country.”


McGregor, the UFC featherweight champion, defended the sport against the criticisms being made since Carvalho's death.

“Combat sport is a crazy game and with the recent incident in boxing (the injury to Nick Blackwell) and now this in MMA, it is a sad time to be a fighter and a fight fan,” said McGregor.

“It is easy for those on the outside to criticise our way of living, but for the millions of people around the world who have had their lives, their health, their fitness and their mental strength all changed for the better through combat, this is truly a bitter pill to swallow.”

More on this topic

James Haskell to make MMA debut on card headlined by Irish fighter Gallagher James Haskell to make MMA debut on card headlined by Irish fighter Gallagher

Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson to appear at Cork Fight-ConStephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson to appear at Cork Fight-Con

Tyson Fury: 'I want to train with Conor McGregor'Tyson Fury: 'I want to train with Conor McGregor'

Suspect arrested over kidnapping of UFC fighter’s stepdaughterSuspect arrested over kidnapping of UFC fighter’s stepdaughter

More in this Section

England facing backlash after announcing 8pm start for autumn Argentina clashEngland facing backlash after announcing 8pm start for autumn Argentina clash

Storm Jorge threatens Harty Cup final re-fixtureStorm Jorge threatens Harty Cup final re-fixture

Blackrock College triumph over Clongowes Wood to reach Leinster Schools Junior Cup semi-finalBlackrock College triumph over Clongowes Wood to reach Leinster Schools Junior Cup semi-final

Italy’s Gagli and Molinari reinstated in Oman Open field after coronavirus testItaly’s Gagli and Molinari reinstated in Oman Open field after coronavirus test


Lifestyle

The Cork-led band played a superb gig in Dublin, writes Ed Power.REVIEW: The Murder Capital, Vicar Street

Lack of physical activity also causing disturbance of children’s sleep patterns.Under-fives suffering lack of sleep from extended screen time, doctor says

Kya deLongchamps despairs over the simple ways we can wreak havoc on our property's valueHow we vandalise our own homes

With the housing crisis, renovating a run-down property is worth considering if you have the inclination, time, funds and a good team of contractors around you, writes Carol O’CallaghanBehind the scenes in The Great House Revival

More From The Irish Examiner