The Lost Interviews – Conor McGregor Reflects on Title Win Over Dave Hill at Cage Warriors 47

In 2012, Conor McGregor was a fast rising star on the European circuit. Competing under the Cage Warriors banner, McGregor’s momentum was running high. After dispatching Steve O’Keefe in fast action that February, Conor was given the nod to face Dave Hill for the Cage Warriors featherweight title in his own backyard at the Helix in Dublin. This archival pieces were written in 2012 by our man Harry Williams.

Here, McGregor reminisces just two weeks after capturing his first Cage Warriors title in dominant fashion over Hill. He critiques his performance, his approach to the big occasion and what his plans originally were for the remainder of 2012.

This interview was first posted on YourMMA.com in June of 2012, which changed hands in 2015. Fortunately, this interview and many others have been recovered over seven years later and, with the approval of the former website, we are redocumenting this booming time in Irish MMA.

Two weeks ago at Cage Warriors 47 in Dublin, Ireland, native Irishman Conor ‘Notorious’ McGregor (11-2) raised the roof in the Helix Theatre with a superb performance over Dave Hill (10-3) to capture the Cage Warriors featherweight title. For this fight, McGregor kept all his training the same but spent most of the time on what he thought was necessary which paid off dearly.    

“Training for the fight was great,” stated Conor. “The same as always; long hours in the gym, miles upon miles on the road, strict diet and zero injuries. Everything was perfect. 

“I work on specific things by going off my sparring, rolling, or wrestling. If one day my game isn’t where it needs to be, I’ll work on it or work on whatever I think needs improving. 

“I’ll just keep showing up and putting the hours in and take it day-by-day. I wouldn’t think for a second ‘Ah, this next guy is going to shoot so I better put all my time into sprawling.’ I go by what I feel needs work.”

Reminiscing on the bout, the proclaimed ‘fighting pride of Dublin, Ireland’ seemed to be satisfied with his display but saw ways in which he could have done things differently. 

“I am happy with my performance,” said McGregor. “However, I could pick a million mistakes from the first round alone. But that’s what this game is all about; perfection and improvement. They’re what I am looking for so I’ll take it all in and continue training the same way I would with or without the belt.”

Although the featherweight really enjoyed fighting in his own backyard, to him, it doesn’t matter where the fight takes place; he is going to give it his all every time, no matter what. 

“Fighting at home was great,” beamed McGregor. “It was brilliant to have everyone there supporting me but it’s still the same old cage. It makes no difference where in the world it is. Whether it’s in Dublin or Uzbekistan (laughs), I’m still going to come straight for you from the moment the bell rings.”

After receiving a standing ovation for his performance in the Helix, Conor jumped out the cage and made his own ‘Jose Aldo UFC 142’ style run into the crowd to celebrate the win with a few of his friends and Irish fans. He explains,

“I jumped the cage because I saw about five people halfway up the cage jumping in, literally one foot over the top of the cage jumping in and I said to myself, ‘Ah, f**k it. I’ll just bounce out instead (laughs).’ I wasn’t really thinking anything at the time, I just went on emotion.”

As far as the future is concerned, the SBG Ireland member isn’t letting anything go. All he’ll be doing is travelling all over to improve every inch of the fight he brings. 

“There are a few things in the pipeline for me,” admitted the 23-year-old. “But I’ll let Cage Warriors announce them. I’m heading over to Iceland in early July to train with Gunnar Nelson and the rest of those solid grapplers over there so I’m looking forward to the change of scenery and some good training sessions.”

To wrap things up, Conor would like to add a few things.

“I’d like to thank John Kavanagh and everyone at Straight Blast Gym for all their help and everyone that came out for this fight. Also, Big Shots Nutrition for helping out with supplements for the team.”

Podcaster, lead MMA writer and analyst for SevereMMA. Host of the SevereMMA podcast, out every Sunday. Economics and Mathematics graduate from UCC. Also write for Sherdog. Previously of hov-mma and fightbooth. As heard on 2FM, Red FM, Today FM and more. Follow me on twitter for updates @SeanSheehanBA and on Facebook Facebook.com/seansheehanmma