UFC star Conor McGregor has given a big shout out to a young cancer sufferer ahead of his hometown debut in a sold out O2 arena this weekend.
Conor “The Notorious” McGregor will take on Diago Brandao this Saturday in what is sure to be a showstopper of a performance.
It’ll be the first hometown bout for the Crumlin native and his first return fight since injuring his knee against Max Holloway in August last year.
Speaking to Anton Savage and Anna Daly on TV3's Ireland AM, Conor said he felt more prepared than ever ahead of Saturday.
He said: "I’m fighting Brazilian Diago Brandao. He’s an Ultimate Fighter winner. He’s aggressive, he comes forward, it’s going to be a good fight.
"I believe I’ll put him away in the first round however. I feel too sharp right now. I’m calm in my mind and I’m prepared in my body so I’m in a good place."
Conor also discussed four-year-old Gavin Glynn who is in Texas having life-saving surgery on a rare form of soft tissue cancer.
"I swear to God, I met the kid and he was running around the gym. He was only after being in Our Lady’s Hospital and he was running around with so much energy, I was actually inspired by this kid.
"This is a wonder kid and they call him Super Gavin Glynn but he’s over in Texas having the fight of his life. He is a true fighter so I’d like to give a shout out to young Gavin Glynn, keep fighting."
Meanwhile, Cathal “The Punisher” Pendred, who was also in the TV3 studio, will take on Mike King in the preliminary fights on Saturday night.
Cathal is feeling equally confident about Saturday and even joked that had Garth Brooks not been playing Croke Park, they would have no doubt sold out there too.
“We sold out in three minutes. We could have had it in Croke Park.
“This is my debut fight. I feel more calm and relaxed than I ever have. I feel I belong here and I looking forward to making a statement.”
Although the UFC® Fight Night Dublin is a sold out show, MMA fans will not miss out on the action as 3e will broadcast live from the O2 from 8pm. It’s the first time ever a UFC event will be broadcast to a terrestrial audience in Ireland.
TV3 Group Head of Sport, Kieran Holden, said: “We are thrilled to be able to broadcast Conor McGregor’s homecoming bout for UFC’s Dublin event on 3e, this Saturday. Conor’s progress through the MMA ranks has been phenomenal and we are delighted that we are able to show this event to his growing fan base here live and for free on 3e and online via the 3player.”