Watch Conor McGregor's coach talk about street fight which led him to MMA

Conor McGregor's coach has spoken about the humiliating violent altercation that led him to the UFC and MMA.

Speaking to host Ryan Tubridy on The Late Late Show last night, John Kavanagh said: "I was in Rathmines, I guess I was 18 at the time, me and my girlfriend. We were with a crowd but we were left behind.

"We were walking down Rathmines and I saw a guy getting a bit of a pasting.

"We walked past him initially and then I stopped and said: ‘I can’t do this’ and I went back.

"Now, what would have been sensible would have been to just go into maybe the Garda Station which was only across the road but I wasn’t thinking that straight and I jumped in.

"Unfortunately, it didn’t end like the martial arts movies where you drop three or four guys and you walk off into the sunset. I was the one that got dropped.

"Thankfully the guy got up and he ran, which was the natural instinct, I wouldn’t have held that against him.

"After that day there was physical scars, I got fairly beat up but it was the mental side of it, getting beat up in front of your girlfriend like that for a young man was very, very tough to deal with.

"There's just a humiliation that goes with, the physical side wasn’t all that bad, but the humiliation of being beaten up in front of your girlfriend.

"I grew up watching Bruce Lee movies and Rocky movies, it was always like the strong, macho guy could protect his woman and I wasn’t able to do that. I didn’t want to go out, it was at least six or nine months before I left the house after that. I went into depression I guess.

"I decided what was I going to do about this, was I going to live inside forever or do what? I started looking into martial arts, I started researching styles to learn how to defend myself and that’s how I came across the UFC, mixed martial arts."

He also spoke about why he thinks Conor McGregor's unexpected defeat to Nate Diaz ended up being a good thing.

More on this topic

McGregor hints at reversing MMA retirementMcGregor hints at reversing MMA retirement

Conor McGregor eyeing MMA bout with Japanese fighter beaten by Floyd MayweatherConor McGregor eyeing MMA bout with Japanese fighter beaten by Floyd Mayweather

McGregor and Nurmagomedov have suspensions extended – reportsMcGregor and Nurmagomedov have suspensions extended – reports

Conor McGregor breaks down ‘fair and square’ defeat to Khabib NurmagomedovConor McGregor breaks down ‘fair and square’ defeat to Khabib Nurmagomedov

More in this Section

Patrick Hoban targets 100 goals as he signs deal to stay at Dundalk until 2021Patrick Hoban targets 100 goals as he signs deal to stay at Dundalk until 2021

TJ Doheny says he is ready for rematch with Danny RomanTJ Doheny says he is ready for rematch with Danny Roman

Jonny May recalls how missing night out led to England debut as he approaches 50th capJonny May recalls how missing night out led to England debut as he approaches 50th cap

Judge adjourns court case that could see Bury Football Club wound upJudge adjourns court case that could see Bury Football Club wound up


Lifestyle

Food news with Joe McNamee.The Menu: All the food news of the week

Though the Killarney tourism sector has been at it for the bones of 150 years or more, operating with an innate skill and efficiency that is compelling to observe, its food offering has tended to play it safe in the teeth of a largely conservative visiting clientele, top-heavy with ageing Americans.Restaurant Review: Mallarkey, Killarney

We know porridge is one of the best ways to start the day but being virtuous day in, day out can be boring.The Shape I'm In: Food blogger Indy Power

Timmy Creed is an actor and writer from Bishopstown in Cork.A Question of Taste: Timmy Creed

More From The Irish Examiner