Conor McGregor ended his long hiatus from professional competition at UFC 246 in January, when he stopped Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone in just 40 seconds to win the welterweight main event in dominant fashion.
That comeback fight was supposed to be the beginning of what McGregor had repeatedly referred to as his 2020 UFC "season." But amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, UFC president Dana White announced that the MMA organization would finally join nearly every other sports league in the world and suspend events. The highly-anticipated UFC 249 lightweight title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson is supposedly still happening on April 18, but with fewer than 10 people at the event, per federal recommendations. The winner of Khabib/Ferguson may well be McGregor's next opponent.
You recently donated $1 million to the Steven Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation through your Proper No. Twelve whiskey. What made you pick that particular charity?
When we began the vetting process on where to give, my partner Ken Austin saw the fundraising commercials that Tunnel to Towers was playing on TV. Ken’s wife grew up in The Rockaways in Queens, New York. Many first responders live in that area and many lost their lives on 9/11, just as Stephen Siller did.
We are so proud to partner with the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation to honor these proper heroes. The foundation’s goal is to ensure stability and security for these families facing sudden tragic loss. Proper No. Twelve’s donation will go towards paying off the mortgages for families of law enforcement officers and firefighters across America, who were killed in the line of duty and left behind young children.
What's your favorite way to drink whiskey? Beside drinking it straight or on the rocks, do you have a favorite cocktail?
I do prefer my Proper No. Twelve neat or on the rocks, but there is nothing wrong with a good cocktail like a Proper Sour or a Proper and Ginger. I like both of those.
Let's talk UFC. What is your prediction for the Khabib vs. Ferguson fight...and would you like to fight the winner?
Obviously, based on what’s going on in the world today, all need to stay safe and not congregate in large groups. We will see what Dana and the UFC decides. One thing I can tell you is that I have never backed down from fighting anyone, anywhere, and that holds true today.
Do you know who you'll be facing in your next UFC fight yet? How many fights do you think you have left before you retire?
I’ll tell you this: I’m entirely focused on the sport I love, on winning fights like I did in January in 40 seconds against Donald. This year is going to be huge for me--and the world will see that I am still the best fighter in the history of the UFC. There will be many more fights in my career. I love what I do. I’m as hungry as ever. Retirement isn’t on my mind.
You're known for showcasing everything from watches to sneakers to suits on Instagram. What is your current favorite watch, pair sneakers and shirt or jacket that's in your regular rotation?
I love my new Reebok Zigs. They’re comfortable, and I enjoy running in them. Of course, as most know, I own a line of clothing called August McGregor. It has been doing amazingly well. I love wearing all of it, from the t-shirts to the fine suits we make.
Hand hygiene is key. The good habits we will have gained from this wild COVID-19 attack will see us too strong in the future. Everyone should stay vigilant, isolated, and safe with their families at home. People should not think for a second that it won't effect them and put their guard down. We are all in this together around the world and will beat this.
A lot of the big parades have already been canceled, but what's the best way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day here in America?
Americans know how to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day. In Ireland, we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. In America, you guys celebrate St. Paddy’s Week, and I love it. While I could not come to America this year because of the virus, I hope to be there next Paddy’s Day and surprise many people in different cities like I did last year.
What I’ve been telling people to do is to order a bottle or two of Proper No. Twelve from your local liquor store and enjoy Proper No. Twelve at home on Facetime with your mates!
Anything else you'd like to add?
Sláinte and stay safe! I love you all.