Conor McGregor has made a rather heart-warming gesture by paying for an entire amateur Irish MMA team to compete in the Youth World Championships.
The Irishman’s cash will support the squad and coaches and allow them to travel to Sofia, Bulgaria from July 29 to August 1 to contest the IMMAF 2021 tournament.
McGregor, who is currently the highest-paid athlete according to Forbes, has generously covered costs for tournament registration, accommodation and flights for all 27 athletes and 20 coaches.
McGregor, 32, said: “Wishing the Irish squad, the very best of luck in their quest at the world championships this year!
“From the fighters to the coaches, I know the future of our fighting nation is in excellent hands! Fight with the pride of the emerald isle, team!
“We are all with you! Good luck!”
Ireland head coach Andy Ryan said: “This gesture by Conor has come at a time when Irish MMA needed it most.
“Gyms were among the worst hit by the Covid pandemic and throughout 2020, thousands of young athletes were unable to train on the mats with their teammates and coaches.
“Those who persevered, trained at home, stayed focused and qualified to represent their country are now getting the ultimate thumbs up from their hero and I have no doubt this support will light a fire under the entire squad heading out to take on the rest of the world in Bulgaria.
“On behalf of the athletes, coaches and all the gyms of IMMAA, I wish to extend a huge thanks to Conor for this incredible sponsorship.”
McGregor’s head coach John Kavanagh is the Irish Mixed Martial Arts Association president, and publicly took to Twitter to express his thanks to McGregor.
The gesture, of course, comes as the pair continue to work and continue their preparations for a trilogy clash with Dustin Poirier.
Initially defeating Poirier in 2014, McGregor was repaid via knockout in the second round of his UFC return in January.
The 32-year-old pair are now set to conclude and decide their rivalry on July 10 in Las Vegas in the main event of UFC 264.