CONOR MCGREGOR is an undisputed MMA icon.
However, as incredible as it may sound, there was a time when the UFC passed on the opportunity to sign the Irishman.
The Notorious has featured in some of the most iconic and lucrative bouts to ever feature in the burgeoning sport.
But, as his coach John Kavanagh revealed this week, there was a time when McGregor was told “thanks, but no thanks” by his current employers.
As part of the current social media trend of “how it started, how it’s going” in which famous figures share images comparing their humble beginnings with their current status, in this instance Kavanagh shared an email from UFC rejecting McGregor.
He compared it with a picture of the Irishman in front of a packed-out crowd.
The email was sent to UFC matchmaker Sean Selby back in 2012 in the hopes he would take the Notorious onboard.
Instead, his response was a polite rejection.
It read: “Thanks for the email. If I can use any of your fighters, especially Conor, I will contact you.
“At the moment, the featherweight division is terribly impacted from so many UFC lightweights moving down in weight.
“So, I’m not looking to sign anyone else for a while, but hopefully, it will clear up soon and guys like Conor will get the opportunity.”
That rejection may well have spurred McGregor on.
His rise, considering that rebuff, certainly makes for inspirational reading.
Within a month, the Irishman had become a two-weight Cage Warriors champion with an impressive 12-2 record.
UFC decided to take a chance. He went on to win his first UFC bout, four months later, after knocking out Marcus Brimage in the first round.
The rest, as they say, is history.