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UFC star Conor McGregor saves local MMA gym from permanent COVID shut down

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Good guy Conor McGregor extends a helping hand to his SBG teammates at Portarlington in Ireland.

COVID-19 has been unforgiving to millions of people around the world. Apart from the grief it’s brought families who lost their loved ones, many also lost their jobs and business endeavors because of forced shutdowns.

“Non-essential” businesses like MMA gyms weren’t spared from this crisis. Over the weekend, a Straight Blast Gym branch in Portarlington in Ireland announced it was closing its doors for good.

Bellator veteran and co-owner Philip Mulpeter released a statement via Instagram.

“Tonight, we close our doors in the gym for the last time,” an excerpt from the statement reads. “Unfortunately, we are forced to shut our gym down. To say I’m heartbroken is an understatement. The covid pandemic has been tough on us all and we can no longer keep the gym going. Due to mounting rent bills during lockdowns we just can’t sustain.

“Hopefully, when the vaccine is rolled out and our lives go back to some form of normality, we can get a new premises (sic) and rebuild SBG Port once again. Until then thank you again to each and every one of you.”

Then came an unexpected surprise from none other than UFC superstar Conor McGregor. A product of SBG in Dublin, “The Notorious” apparently extended some form of financial help to keep SBG Port up and running.

The gym made a follow-up statement just a couple of days after announcing its permanent closure.

From the lowest low to the highest high.


Our team-mate and friend @thenotoriousmma has decided to help us out and keep the gym running. We will be eternally grateful

To everyone that messaged and got in touch with us to show your support, thank you all so much.

See you all on the mats.


This isn’t the first time McGregor showed an act of altruism towards his countrymen. In April, he donated more than $1.2 million worth of PPE supplies to help local hospitals battle the disease.