If you’re a UFC fan, chances are you’ve heard about Conor McGregor. His array of juicy scandals, spectacular fights, and breathtaking good fortune have made his career a magnet for media attention and speculation.
McGregor is a true gambler, and it turns out he’s been taking major risks and reaping big rewards outside of the ring as well. His casino connections are vast, but we’re really not surprised. After all, he has the luck of the Irish on his side.
The Cards Connection
Professional fighters and casinos go hand in hand. These stars tend to be major risk-takers, so playing with a bit of luck outside of office hours is right on the money for them. Conor McGregor is no different.
His cards connection was first established with an appearance at the 2017 Irish Poker Open, where he donned designer furs to brag about his cleanups in Vegas poker rooms and talk smack about his then-upcoming opponent Floyd Mayweather.
Despite the fact that he lost, McGregor still won around $85 million at the Vegas-based fight—there can be no questions as to his good fortune (and slick contractual maneuvering, to boot). In fact, he’s been so lucky in his career that professional poker players are starting to look up to him. The winner of the 2013 WSOP Main Event, Ryan Reiss, actually flew out to see him fight in Dublin all the way from the United States.
The Notorious also has a fan in fellow Irishman and up-and-coming poker superstar Fintan Hand, who seems to have adopted some of the cocky fighter’s attitudes and mannerisms. He’s tweeted multiple times about McGregor, hoping to one day achieve in poker what his idol achieved in UFC and MMA.
McGregor’s particular brand of luck just inspires people. There’s no doubt that in addition to being a highly skilled fighter, Conor McGregor has been incredibly fortunate in his career and continues to be a major influence in the world of poker. If you’re itching to dive into cards yourself, consider trying out some recommended poker games to play online. You never know—you might have the luck of the Irish working for you as well.
Training with Kings
The cards connection doesn’t end with McGregor’s poker pro bros. It’s definitely worth mentioning that among the vast laundry list of training techniques which have helped him rise to the top, one of the most notorious—and controversial—was his use of playing cards to get ready for the infamous 2017 bout with Mayweather.
Israeli movement expert and trainer, Ido Portal, introduced the technique to McGregor in order to sharpen his reflexes before the big fight, and videos abound with puzzling footage of our man dodging cards as they whiz through the air.
Portal insists that the technique helps fighters to sharpen both their movements and reaction times, enabling them to change directives at the last second to block an unanticipated blow. His menagerie of training exercises includes dance, acrobatics, and gymnastics for maximum flexibility and reactivity in the ring.
Though McGregor did end up losing the match, the technique still may have helped him out. It’s impossible to deny that dodging playing cards (or any moving object, for that matter) helps sharpen hand-eye coordination. And despite a nice ribbing from previous opponent Nate Diaz on twitter, McGregor is not afraid of how he looks. This unapologetic Irishman is only concerned with the win.
Las Vegas Affiliations
With his string of fans in the world of professional poker and a training technique which utilizes the cards, McGregor seems to be drawn to big casino life in general. His residency in Vegas and connections on the scene enabled him to land a contract deal with Wynn Resort and casino just after his 2017 bout with Mayweather in a shocking career move which casts him as a promoter for Wynn’s XS and Encore Beach nightclubs.
Besides the lucrative Wynn contract, McGregor has been affiliated with several names in the online casino world and has acted as an ambassador to several major venues. He’s perfect for the job, after all—nothing screams luck like Conor McGregor, and he’s a household name all risk-takers identify with in a positive manner.
Unfortunately, there has been one bad reflection in the online world as well. McGregor’s name and identity were used in an online gaming app scam which claimed that the star was offering the chance of big bonuses and winnings through the app. The operators of the scam used outlandishly fake quotes from McGregor ad even put up a forged CNN article to reinforce the enterprise.
The attempt was quickly denounced by McGregor and his family, with his father warning fans off the potential dangers of the web. Though McGregor didn’t let a little bout of identity theft stop him from moving forward, it probably didn’t help any of the people who fell for the scam.
So, what about more recent career moves? Though McGregor announced his somewhat shocking retirement earlier this year, rumors abound that he’s already on his way back. If you can’t wait for McGregor’s return to the ring, check out the five predictions for possible comeback fights. We might not know exactly when or with who McGregor will make a reappearance, but we highly doubt that this that he is completely done with fighting forever.Conor McGregor embodies what every underdog aspires to be. His rags-to-riches story has pushed people to look up to him in every field, especially those which require a lot of fighting and a little bit of luck. Determination and fortune go a long way towards making a star, and McGregor has certainly earned his place in the hearts of fans across the world.