REMEMBERING CONOR MCGREGOR'S UFC DEBUT IN SWEDEN
By: Peter Carroll, FIGHTLAND
"On this day two years ago the Irish MMA community were getting ready for what was the most eagerly anticipated debut in the scene’s history.
"A close friend of Conor McGregor’s, Tom Egan, became the first man from the Republic of Ireland at UFC 93 in 2009. It would be another of John Kavanagh’s SBG clan who would appear brandishing a tricolor for the second time, as McGregor himself was penciled in to meet Marcus Brimage on April 6 2013 in Stockholm.
"It felt different this time, though. Irish MMA was being recognized as one of the most promising European nations on the continental scene. ‘The Notorious’ had won two world titles under the Cage Warriors’ banner and had looked fantastic in doing so. It’s fair to say there was quite a buzz around the featherweight.
"Hardcore Irish UFC fans became aware of McGregor on the back of his title run, but his appeal had yet to pour out into the nation’s mainstream. The sport had yet to find it’s footing in Irish sports coverage, but that was all to change.
"Interestingly, McGregor was thinking about packing the sport in before UFC came knocking. In one of his first interviews on the announcement of his signing with the promotion for Gazette Dublin Newspapers, the Dubliner didn’t point directly to what had him in two minds. Later it would emerge that a serious injury to a training partner forced him to weigh up his options."
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