No matter how Conor McGregor’s foray into boxing ultimately goes on Saturday night against Floyd Mayweather, one thing will always remain constant in the 29-year-old Irishman’s life.
It starts with McGregor’s girlfriend, Dee Devlin, who has been by his side for nearly a decade, providing him inspiration.
“If It wasn’t for her, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today,” McGregor told the Irish Mirror. “She’d drive me to the gym, and she’d listen to all my dreams. I wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t for her. I’m doing all this for her.”
McGregor and Devlin, who both hail from Dublin, first met at a nightclub in 2008. She was there when he was a relatively unknown MMA prospect and she was working as a secretary to support them. She was there when he made his meteoric rise to become the UFC’s biggest superstar, and there when he suffered his first loss at the hands of Nate Diaz. And she’ll be there when McGregor moves from the Octagon to the Squared Circle to take on Mayweather as a massive underdog for the first time in his life.
“I’ve seen him for long periods of time without Dee. And he doesn’t like it. He feels more comfortable and normal when she is there,” said UFC president Dana White. “He is like, ‘I need Dee out here.’ She does something that makes him feel better.”
Not just a source of support and much-needed stability, Devlin also works on McGregor’s team. She handles the finances, cooks for McGregor’s entourage and sometimes drives him to training, according to The New York Post.
“She takes care of him and makes sure things are set up for him. She makes sure that he’s on time, to the best of her abilities,” said White.
But Devlin’s most important role is that of mother to her and McGregor’s first son, Conor Jack McGregor Jr., who was born on May 5 of 2017.
McGregor was concerned that a hectic life at home would make it difficult to train, but he explained that the transition to fatherhood has been a smooth one:
This is my first fight camp with a son. Originally, before he was born, I thought maybe I would have to do what many other fighters do, and move away, leave the family home and be isolated. I was worried about that – I hoped I did not have to do that. Thankfully it has been seamless. My sleep has not been interrupted. My son sleeps well – it’s like he knows, and he’s been on board as well.
When many fans see McGregor, they see the relentless trash talker, the massive net worth and the lavish lifestyle. But family is very clearly what keeps the Irish star grounded, and that’s critical to his success.
Don’t expect that to change anytime soon.