It's hard to believe that the man who's swamped the MMA headlines these past two weeks was lining up to collect welfare at the local unemployment office in Dublin just two years ago. Back then, McGregor would be lucky to see his name printed in the MMA tabloids. These days, it's tough to go a week without seeing the Dubliner's menacing antics plastered all over the media.
More on Aldo vs. McGregor
More on Aldo vs. McGregor
In a two year span, Conor McGregor has captivated and enthralled a global mixed martial arts audience. He's rallied an entire nation of fellow Irish comrades together en-route to his championship showdown in Las Vegas, secured his spot as Brazil's most loathed sporting villain and he's conquered the hearts of the Irish-American fight enthusiast.
Love him or hate him, you are entranced by him. Hypnotized by the notoriety embodied in the McGregor aura. To reshuffle the Irishman's own words: You don't have to love it. You may even hate it. But you will be forced to accept it in all its glory come July 11.
The captaining SBG fighter's skill-set speaks for itself. McGregor paraded his dynamic arsenal of striking techniques in his Octagon debut at UFC on Fuel's 2013 event against Marcus Brimage. McGregor exhibited unerring composure and poise for his initiation into MMA's premier promotion, bewildering Brimage with a catalog of blistering counter punches, flaunting his talents as if the Octagon were his second home.
The brash 26-year-old continued to showcase the reason for his audaciousness on the microphone as he steamrolled through a series of featherweight aspirants en voyage to his inevitable clash with Jose Aldo. But it's not just the expertly honed and crafted mixed martial arts techniques (allow Connor Ruebusch to educate you) or the boldness of McGregor's aura which have propelled him into stardom. There's some thing else at work here. Something deeper.
There's the McGregor surface self we see barking on the camera for UFC's promos and hype machine, and then there's the hidden self - buried underneath the mithril like coat of body armor the Irishman proudly wears in front of the flashing lights of the media.
It takes an exceptional person to transcend debt, scarcity and misfortune into abundance, prosperity and riches. It takes an unwavering faith in oneself, while bearing the wisdom to fully seize opportunities in the face of adversity. Most folk will downplay McGregor's ascension to stardom as nothing more than his utilization of quick wit and a sharp tongue, trash talking his way to a title-shot. Some will pass it off as luck. But the truth is, it's much more than that, and McGregor has been calculating his notorious rise to the top for a long time.
In one of the most insightful McGregor interviews to date, Ariel Helwani set foot on Irish soil in 2014 to tap into Conor's mindset ahead of his hometown clash with Diego Brandao:
Pay close attention to McGregor's words:
"By the time this fight is done I would have made more money than my whole life working as a plumber. I've done alright. That gives me peace of mind, and I feel that it does. This is the law of attraction. When things are going good and you visualize these good things, that's easy. What's not easy to do is when things are going bad, and you're visualizing the good stuff. And that was what I was able to do. Even though I was having these troubles at home, and even though I had no job, and nothing was happening, I was still able to feel like it was. I was like a kid using my imagination. Driving in my girlfriends little car, a little Peugeot 206 shaking down the road, I was visualizing my success. I'm sitting at the steering wheel visualizing a brand new car, visualizing good things in times of struggle. And when you can do that, that really makes the law of attraction work. It really attracts the fortune to you more, when you're in the struggle and still visualizing these things.
McGregor's reference to the law of attraction is a philosophical ideology encompassing the mantra - 'As a man thinks in his heart, so is he', or - 'I think, therefore I,am'. It is the mental practice and exercise of firmly believing, visualizing, and flooding your thoughts with that which your heart desires. It alludes to the fact that all physical manifestations in life first begin in the minds eye with the idea. The seeds of true materialization of ones' goals and dreams must first be planted in the human psyche before they can ever spawn into physical reality (think of McGregor gripping the steering wheel of his girlfriends car while visualizing a new one. His idea manifested into existence). There's more to it than that, however, as one must be wise enough to seize opportunities that present themselves, often in times of great distress and hardship.
In McGregor's case, he'd stopped going to the gym, stopped training, almost completely given up on his fighting lifestyle after his friend and fellow Irish combatant Tom Egan had his UFC hopes crushed. And then there was the phone call. An invitation to Stockholm, Sweden, for a chance to seize his opportunity of becoming a famed and successful athlete on the UFC's main stage. The idea was planted into McGregor's mind, followed by years of visualization and an unwavering belief even during times of adversary and strife, and then the Irishman's dreams were transformed into materiality with a single phone call. That is the law of attraction.
The journey doesn't end there. McGregor's dream is still unfolding right in front of our eyes, he still has a UFC belt to strap around his waist. And in no better way was Conor's law of attraction philosophy exhibited during the UFC's ambitious world tour - most notably at the concluding press conference in Dublin.
MMA fans and fighters alike have jousted among each other to either scorn or praise McGregor for his belt snatching shenanigans at last weeks press bombardment. 'Is he in Aldo's head, isn't he?' The most important question, rather, is - 'what's going through McGregor's head?'
McGregor swiping Aldo's replica belt from under his nose was more than just a wild, chaotic scramble from the Dublin menace. It was the unconscious, hidden self, seizing an opportunity in the heat of the moment to further fuel his minds desire of attaining UFC gold. That belt was a symbol of Jose Aldo's championship status and Conor McGregor just stole it from him. That's the law of attraction at work once again. When Conor grasped that belt and raised it in the air to a roaring, drunken Irish crowd, the featherweight challenger got a real, true taste of what it must feel like to accomplish his dream. McGregor was lost and crazed in the moment, completely engrossed by that temporary taste of championship glory.
The wheels are already in motion, the subconscious mind has been impregnated, and all that's left is for the conscious manifestation of Conor McGregor's life-long dream. 'You don't have to love it. You may even hate it. But you will be forced to accept it.'
And you can call me Mystic Mac, because I predict these things.