Conor McGregor: 10 things you never knew about the UFC and Notorious star

From being bullied at school and living on benefits to becoming one of the most recognisable sportsmen on the planet, Conor McGregor has an incredible story to tell.

He's the biggest star in Mixed Martial Arts and following his bout with Floyd Mayweather, one of the most famous fighters in the world.

The explosive Irish UFC star has had a meteoric rise over the last decade. From claiming benefits and living in his parents' spare room in Dublin to claiming multiple championship UFC belts and seven figure pay-packets in Las Vegas, it's been a fairytale adventure.

[In Pictures: Conor McGregor's Notorious film premiere]

The highly anticipated documentary film about McGregor’s last four years, Notorious, is available to buy and rent on BT TV Store from November 20.

Including unprecedented access, never before seen moments and explosive fight footage, this is the ultimate behind-the-scenes look at a sporting icon and his spectacular rise from the bottom to the very top.

If you've seen the hype, but don't know much about the man, here are 10 surprising facts about Conor McGregor.

Conor McGregor

1. He was bullied at school

It's hard to believe now, but McGregor was a popular target for school bullies when he grew up in Crumlin, Dublin.

"I had a face which bullies liked beating up,” he admits.

The sports star hasn’t forgotten about his past and regularly gives talks and speeches at youth groups and schools about coping with bullying.

2. He's a plumber

His parents made him learn a trade and he briefly worked as a plumber before he took up fighting full-time. So if he wasn't doing MMA, McGregor might have been fixing your leaky pipes.

3. He puts his money where his mouth is

Before his successful fight with Chad Mendes, McGregor tried to bet $3 million with UFC boss Dana White that he would win in two rounds.

Luckily for Dana, he didn't take up McGregor's challenge.

Conor McGregor

4. He was on the dole

Before his first major win and UFC contract, McGregor was still collecting benefits while fighting.

"I never ever forget the hard times. I pinch myself because I am surrounded by luxury,” he told The Guardian. “But make no mistake – it’s luxury built on sacrifice."

After collecting a $60,000 debut win, McGregor told a press conference: "To be honest, I don’t know what’s going on here, I’m just up here hearing $60,000. I’m just thinking of what I’m going to spend it on. I’m going to buy myself a nice car and maybe some suits or something, some custom-made suits. I don’t know. Just last week I was collecting the social welfare.

5. He was nearly a Bond villain

The MMA star claims that the film series' producers approached him to play a villain in Spectre. The fighter said that he turned the part down because he was too busy and was in a tough fitness regime, but revealed that for a seven figure sum he was tempted to "give it a shot".

Conor McGregor

6. His grandfather's hat keeps his feet on the ground

Don’t be fooled by all the bravado, there is a softer side to McGregor. The UFC star has always kept one little sentimental family reminder in his kitbag – a memory of his late grandfather.

Speaking to RTE, he said: "That is my grandad's hat, I've had it literally since I started combat sport.

"He died and left a few things and one of the things he used to always wear was these hats. I've had it 10 years I'd say and it's been in every gear bag, I just bought a new bag so will transfer it over."

7. There is method to his trash talk

All the bravado and bragging may sounds like arrogance, but there is a reason that McGregor likes to spar on the mic with his opponents.

"You beat him verbally. You beat him mentally, and then finally, you beat him physically. That’s the three ways to beat a man," he said.

Conor McGregor

8. He's got speed on his side

Arguably his most famous win in UFC was the 13-second knockout of Jose Aldo, which was the quickest UFC title fight victory in history. His one-punch KO stunned the Brazilian and shocked the MMA world.

Possibly, the only person who wasn’t surprised was Conor, who had predicted a first round knockout and has previously achieved a KO in 4 seconds in a non-UFC fight.

9. He has a way with words

There is a reason that Conor has moved beyond UFC and become a global star - it's his gift on the microphone. A journalists’ dream, the Irishman is brilliant at delivering soundbites and unforgettable quotes.

"Me and Jesus are cool. I’m cool with all the Gods. Gods recognise Gods."

10. His fanbase is wild

Over 70,000 McGregor supporters attempted to buy tickets just to see one of his press conferences in Dublin.

Conor McGregor: Notorious is available to buy and rent in the BT TV Store from November 20.

To buy films press the BT Player button on your remote control, scroll across to Film and browse now. Alternatively, press the blue button to search for the film set you want.

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