Conor McGregor earns a lot of headlines for his fights, the crazy things he says on social media, his behavior outside the cage and even when he gets hit by a car while riding a bicycle — but he does a lot more behind the scenes that rarely gets talked about.
That’s according to McGregor’s longtime teammate Sinead Kavanagh, who was carried out of the cage by the Irish superstar following her last fight in Bellator, after she shredded her knee yet still managed to earn a unanimous decision victory.
Looking back a year later, Kavanagh says that the entire scene was surreal. She was thrilled to be competing in front her hometown crowd in Dublin. However, she had to also suffer from a serious injury. Kavanagh claims McGregor supported her when she was most in need.
” “At that time, I didn’t even know what had happened,” Kavanagh told MMA Fighting. “It was killing me in the cage. It was a mystery to me. I went back to the cage [in the corner] and I said to John [Kavanagh] my knee is gone and he said ‘you have two don’t you?’ It was a real Rocky thing.
“Getting the win and then getting carried out by Conor and John, and getting told then it’s your ACL and MCL, I tore two of them. It was a mix of emotions.”
McGregor suffered an ACL tear in his UFC 2nd fight. He offered Kavanagh encouragement and advice after her victory. She says it was a tremendous boost to her spirits.
In fact, Kavanagh thanked McGregor for being there when she needed him most.
“When I got carried off into the back, he tore his ACL in the Max Holloway fight so he knew straight away it was my ACL,” Kavanagh explained. He said, “That happened before to me. You’ll get it through.” You’ll make it through. Sinead .’
You are a fighter.
“During the fight just having him cheer me on. His cheerleader was .”
According to Kavanagh, McGregor also stepped up to help her financially as she prepares for her return at Bellator 291 by having his restaurant — the Black Forge Inn — sponsor her after not being able to compete for the past year due to the knee injury.
Unfortunately, McGregor won’t be there in person due to filming on The Ultimate Fighter season 31 but Kavanagh knows he’s always in her corner in spirit.
“He’s such a great guy,” Kavanagh said. “He has his pub sponsoring me now for the fight. His pub sponsors me for the fight. He is a wonderful guy.
“I’ll have him on my t-shirt anyways [even if he’s not there]. “I’m going out wearing the Black Forge on my shirt and having him beside me.” This win for him will mean a lot to me.”
Of course, Kavanagh will also be competing back at home in Ireland for the second straight fight and that’s an opportunity she never takes for granted.
There was plenty of emotion last time around as she got carried out of the cage and Kavanagh expects another raucous crowd showing support on Saturday with the best pound-for-pound fans in the sport.
“It is a completely different crowd in Dublin,” Kavanagh stated. It does something different. They cheer you on. This is gladiator stuff.
“We probably have the smallest arena and we make the biggest noise. We drink the bar dry and we put on a show. We are the best in the world. Our team is the most successful in the world .”