Behind every great man stands a greater woman — and that is no exception for the King of UFC, Conor ‘The Notorious’ McGregor.
Overnight, the Irish featherweight — and now also lightweight — champion stunned the world by knocking out Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 in the second round.
His stunning win made the 28-year-old the first fighter in UFC history to hold championships in two weight divisions simultaneously, by adding Eddie Alvarez’s lightweight belt to his collection.
But after the historic win at Madison Square Gardens on Sunday, the undisputed champion says none of his success would be possible without the support of his longtime girlfriend Dee Devlin.
From humble beginnings, Ireland-born Dee has remained the consistent rock in Conor’s life.
Conor has publicly thanked Dee for sticking by him even when he had ‘nothing’
The 28-year-old brunette has stood by Conor throughout his challenging career, even before he stepped into the spotlight.
“My girlfriend worked very hard throughout the years and stuck by me when I had essentially nothing,” he told the Irish Mirror.
“For me to be able to take her out of work, give her everything she’s ever wanted and to travel the world with, fills me with pride.”
Before his worldwide success, fame and millions of dollars in prize money and endorsements — the love story between Conor and Dee started at an Irish nightclub in 2008, where the brunette beauty revealed how sparks flew at first sight.
“He’s very funny — he always keeps me entertained and makes me laugh,” she told VIP Magazine.
“He was already training when I met him, so I really admired his dedication to that, too.”
Conor admitted that is was Dee’s “good girl” qualities that attracted him to her in the early stages.
“I asked her to come over and we just started chatting. She seemed like a nice girl, and I like good girls.”
But her dedication, commitment and selflessness is what enabled the pair to last almost a decade together.
“Every day, since I started out in this game, she’s supported me,” he said.
“She’d drive me to the gym, and she’d listen to all my dreams. Dee is a lifesaver for me. I wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t for her, and that’s for sure. I’m doing all of this for her.”
Conor claimed that his main drive is Dee, who is his ‘lifesaver’
In 2015, after his stellar win against Chad Mendes — Dee posted an emotional tribute to her partner.
“To say that I am proud is a MAJOR understatement!” her Instagram post read.
“I am so on cloud 9 right now I can’t even put it into words! Thank you to every single person who made the trip out to Vegas to support Conor last night!
“The place was absolutely buzzin! And to all of the fans at home who also had a big part to play in making this event so special.
“Hours upon hours, years upon years of hard work and complete dedication to his craft accumulated last night.
“I am so grateful right now it’s overwhelming. We did it babe! I love you more than anything.”
In an interview with ESPN, the Walkinstown native explained how she takes care of everything outside of the fight — so Conor can simply concentrate on the task at hand.
“I definitely try to help him out all the time, even without realising it — especially around a fight because it’s such a tough time with his weight,” she said.
“I cook, clean, pack his gym bag, all that kind of stuff.”
Conor has been vocal in the past about his appreciation and commitment to Dee, who has supported him from the days of “absolute nothing”.
In an interview with the Sunday Independent, McGregor’s coach — John Kavanagh — explained how he come from a life on the dole, and living week to week on social security checks.
“It wasn’t easy. Conor was on the dole, earning £85 a fight and training at the height of winter in a cold gym,” Kavanagh said.
“Now, I don’t care how passionate you are, but there are always going to be periods thinking ‘F*** this! What am I doing here?
“Conor’s annual earnings for that five-year period was something like €1,500 (£1,300) a year. There was no money and I was running out of ideas. The UFC was a closed shop.”
Despite their busy schedules, the happy couple always make time for one another
When he’s not fighting, McGregor and Ms Devlin love to travel and shop together, and despite his rigorous training and competition schedule — spend valuable time with one another.
“My girlfriend has been there since the start. She has helped me throughout this career,” McGregor told the Irish Mirror.
“If It wasn’t for her, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today. So definitely, I love to spoil her.”
Devlin also helps her partner by helping to manage his finances.
“She has helped me throughout this career,” he told MMA Fighting in 2015. “She does not work anymore, I hired her to the business … she works for me now and collects the checks.”