Conor McGregor was left in tears following his first professional MMA defeat, a new book about the former UFC lightweight and featherweight champion has revealed.
Before McGregor, 32, rose through the ranks of the UFC to become one of the most recognisable stars on the planet, he was earning his stripes in the UK, fighting with Cage Warriors and Cage of Truth.
And it was with the latter promotion that The Notorious suffered his first career defeat, when he was submitted via a knee bar by Artemij Sitenkov as a 19-year-old in June 2008.
And Sitenkov has claimed that his opponent was left in tears in the octagon following the defeat, as the Lithuanian revealed in Obsessions, a new book published in France revealing stories about the Irishman.
‘Conor tried to get into my head during the weigh-in,’ Sitenkov said. ‘But I was not impressed at all because this is something we do in my country.’
‘Conor stayed on the ground for a few minutes. He was crying and he was completely devastated.
‘I had to go to his dressing room to try to cheer him up and he was still crying when I got in.’
Obsessions is written by French journalist Charles Thiallier, and the sports writer went to Crumlin, Ireland, where McGregor grew up, to get a better understanding of the superstar.
‘Even though I know he is not that popular right now in Ireland, I think that whether we like him or not, in 10 or 20 years’ time he will have his name among the most influential sports people of his generation,’ writes Thiallier.
‘He is the guy who made MMA popular around the world, he is the face of the UFC and he probably changed the sports for ever.’