A Kerry teenager has been in the UAE helping Conor McGregor's preparations for his UFC return this weekend.
Dara O'Sullivan, a kickboxer from Tralee, has been in Dubai where he has been training with McGregor, who faces Dustin Poirier in the early hours of Sunday morning Irish time.
"I'm training in SBG and that's the gym where he trains," O'Sullivan "Basically for his next fight, he's going to be fighting a southpaw guy who's similar to my height and the same weight as me, and so Conor's coach, John Kavanagh, asked me if I'd like to spar with Conor just to see how we did, and he said we'd take it from there," said Dara.told The
"I sparred him once out at his house, and from there, then, I got offered the opportunity to take it further. First, I went to Portugal with them for three weeks, where we got the training camp started, and after this, when we got back from Portugal, I sparred with him another couple of times," he explained.
"It was then that I got offered this latest chance to come out to Dubai with him, where we've been for the last few weeks, and I think we're going to be out here for two more weeks at least," Dara continued.
Preparation has included early mornings as McGregor adjusts to the time difference in the UAE, where the fight will take place.
"The fight is going to be on at 4am back at home, so we're waking up at 4am every morning and we're training from 5am until maybe 6am or 7am every day," O'Sullivan explained before the pair undergo an evening session as well as part of their day's work.
The experience has been an "unreal" one, the 19-year-old added.
"Growing up, he was one of my idols as a fighter since I was a kid, so to be here sharing the Octagon with him, it's amazing. I'm learning so much from him, even just the way that he's handling all the pressure and how he's staying calm, it's great to see.
"With his training, how he's training and how he is able to stay so focused, I'm taking it all in," Dara said.