Conor McGregor received his Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt from his longtime coach, John Kavanagh.
Over the last few decades, McGregor has dedicated his life to combat sports, leading to generational wealth and an unforgettable legacy. Although things haven’t gone his way recently in the Octagon, ‘The Notorious’ continues to grind in the gym to evolve as a martial artist.
On Monday, September 4, McGregor was awarded one of the most prestigious accomplishments for people in combat sports. While training at SBG Ireland, coach John Kavanagh surprised the former two-division UFC champion with his BJJ black belt.
McGregor thanked his coach on Instagram by saying:
“Thank you John, means the world! @sbgireland @coach_kavanagh 🙏🥋 🦍”
Conor McGregor reflects on his journey to becoming a BJJ black belt
Conor McGregor endured a long and excruciating journey to become a BJJ black belt. The former two-division UFC champion spent two decades working toward the achievement, which ended with a special moment on Monday.
McGregor shared several Instagram posts to celebrate his accomplishment, including one with the following extended message:
“Received my black belt tonight from my coach, friend, and mentor, @coach_kavanagh of @sbgireland! 20 years of hard work! Thank you John for everything over the years, and to all of my team mates throughout this incredible jiu jitsu journey! Thank you all so much from the bottom of my heart! A Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt, wow! Praise be to God and then Helio. I’ll be in the Gi in it tomorrow Helio, I promise, and I cannot wait!!”
Conor McGregor is in unfamiliar territory in his fighting career. The Dublin native had never lost two consecutive MMA fights before suffering back-to-back defeats against Dustin Poirier. In July 2021, McGregor’s latest loss was caused by a severe leg injury, leading to a two-year and counting layoff.
McGregor hoped to make his highly-anticipated Octagon return in December of this year. Unfortunately, the possibility of that happening continues to decrease as he’s yet to rejoin the USADA testing pool since his injury.
As a result, ‘The Notorious’ likely won’t fight again until early 2024 unless he can secure a rare exemption from USADA. Once approved by the drug-testing agency, McGregor is expected to fight Michael Chandler, who he coached against on The Ultimate Fighter Season 31.