The latest social media “challenge” taking Instagram and Twitter by storm is being called, “how it started, how it’s going.” The whole purpose is to post an old picture of yourself — be it starting school, a job, a relationship and so on — side-by-side with a current one showing the progress.
Conor McGregor’s trainer, John Kavanagh, decided to play along, posting an old e-mail from 2012 sent from UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby to Haraldur Nelson — Gunnar Nelson’s father — explaining why the promotion wasn’t interested in signing “Notorious” at that time.
“Thanks for the email, If I can use any of your fighters, especially Conor, I will contact you,” Shelby wrote. “At the moment, the Featherweight division is terribly impacted from so many UFC lightweights moving down in weight.
“So, I’m not looking to sign anyone else for a while, but hopefully, it will clear up soon and guys like Conor will get the opportunity,” he continued.
At the time, the 145-pound division was ruled by Jose Aldo with fighters such as Kenny Florian, Mark Hominick and Chad Mendes gunning for his strap. Four months after that email was sent, McGregor made his Octagon debut at UFC on FUEL TV 9 in Stockholm, Sweden, knocking out Marcus Brimage in round one (relive it here).
And the rest, as they say, is history as the follow up picture shows a sell-out crowd in attendance for the UFC 189 weigh-ins in July 2015. The following night, “Notorious” knocked out Mendes in the second round to win the interim Featherweight title in just his sixth UFC fight (see it here).
Since then, McGregor has gone on to become the promotion’s (and the sport’s) biggest star ever by breaking every pay-per-view (PPV) record imaginable, becoming UFC’s first ever champ-champ, and has enjoyed major cross-over success.
“Notorious” is currently in talks to make his much-anticipated return to the Octagon against Dustin Poirier in a rematch six years in the making.