Before the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic put a stop everyday life and the ability to travel the world without restriction, former UFC champion Conor McGregor took time out of his schedule to speak with young fighters in Ukraine.
McGregor, who has been doing his best to help Ireland overcome the widespread coronavirus, recently made a trip to Ukraine to visit the newly constructed Parimatch fight academy. “Notorious” not only had the opportunity check out the new facility first hand, but he also delivered an inspirational speech about his own combat upbringing to the collection of young fighters in attendance.
The visit can be seen in the above video player courtesy of The Mac Life.
On his way into the new Parimatch fight academy McGregor caught a glimpse at the revamped UFC belt introduced in 2019 and had to take a closer look. Remember, despite being a former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion, McGregor has never actually gotten his hands on one of these new gold straps. He’s hoping to change that with a successful 2020 campaign.
‘Oh yes, I’m getting one of these babies,” said McGregor as he slapped the belt draped over his shoulder. “Make no mistakes about that.”
After checking out the new UFC belt, McGregor made his way into the “next level” academy. That is where he delivered his speech to the young Ukrainian fighters and acknowledged that he may have ended up a three-weight world champion if he had a state-of-the-art facility like this growing up.
“Have we got future UFC champions here?” asked McGregor. “Ukraine has a phenomenal boxing background, a phenomenal boxing history. And I have no doubt now seeing this and seeing the facilities that Parimatch have built that Ukraine will have a strong presence in mixed martial arts in the future.”
Afterwards, McGregor was seen signing MMA gloves, taking photos, handing out some merchandise, and talking with the individuals who made the new Parimatch fight academy possible, letting them know that you have to “invest in the future.”
McGregor, who has been making up for lost time, was last seen knocking out Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in just 40 seconds at UFC 246 this past January. It was the first win for “Notorious” since taking the UFC lightweight title off Eddie Alvarez back at UFC 205 in 2016.