Conor McGregor has been named as one of the 100 most influential people on the face of the earth by TIME Magazine.
The UFC lightweight champion, and first fighter in the promotion’s history to hold two championship belts consecutively, was recognised by the magazine as one of the foremost sports stars in the world in their Pioneers category.
In a glowing write-up, penned by Arnold Schwarzenegger, the former bodybuilder, actor and politician was effusive in his praise for the Dubliner.
“Conor McGregor is more than a fighter, more than an athlete, more than a champion—although, as the first person in the history of the Ultimate Fighting Championship to hold titles in two weight divisions at once, he is clearly all of those things”, Schwarzenegger wrote.
“Conor is also the rare personality who has become bigger than his sport. That lean, compact body must struggle to keep his enormous character inside.
“From the first time I met Conor, I knew he wasn’t the type of star you could box into one category. Since I’ve gotten to know him, I can tell you that what you see on the screen—the now familiar face of mixed martial arts—just scratches the surface. The Dublin native is razor-sharp, disciplined and charismatic. His energy is absolutely contagious, to the point where you almost start shouting in an Irish accent after 30 seconds of hearing that world-famous mouth.
“Conor has a fire in his belly that can’t be quenched with championship belts. There are no brakes that can stop his engine.”
Others to make the list include US President Donald Trump, sports stars LeBron James and Tom Brady, as well as the likes of Pope Francis and Melinda Gates.