In the past two years, Conor McGregor has gone from top prospect to top draw as he became one of the biggest superstars on the entire UFC roster.
Prior to his debut fight, McGregor was on social welfare and barely made enough money to pay rent, much less afford finery like thousand-dollar, custom-made suits or ride around in cars that cost more than the average asking price of a home in his native Ireland.
With that level of success in such a short amount of time also comes the risk of falling prey to many of the temptations that have been the downfall of numerous celebrities over the years — or hitting a little closer to home with a former UFC champion like Jon Jones.
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Jones might be considered the greatest fighter of all time already, but a long list of personal problems have plagued the New York native during his career. From a DUI arrest to testing positive for cocaine, which then resulted in a one-day stay in rehab, Jones has done more to deter his own career than any fighter has come close to inside the Octagon.
Most recently, Jones was arrested after allegedly committing a hit-and-run accident in New Mexico that could result in felony charges with up to three years in prison if convicted. Following the arrest, the UFC stripped Jones of his title and suspended him indefinitely.
While McGregor has raked in similar money and experienced fame the same as Jones over the last two years, he never puts himself in situations that could be considered a disaster for his career like getting arrested.
McGregor said he keeps the people closest to him around at all times so they will always make sure he walks the straight and narrow. These are the same people that stuck by his side when he had nothing, and they will certainly remind him that he could go back there again if McGregor fails to live up to expectations.
"I’ve met Jon many times. I love Jon, he’s a great man, he’s a great fighter, but his decisions and his choices? I don’t understand how, you’ve got millions in the bank, how can you be out in this little desert town in Albuquerque in a little rental Buick?" McGregor said when speaking to FOX Sports recently.
"I cannot put myself in that. So I keep my people who are with me around and have been around from Day One."
McGregor is living in Las Vegas for his training camp to prepare for his UFC 189 showdown with Jose Aldo. McGregor will be the first to acknowledge he likes the night life that a town like Las Vegas can provide, but he never hits the Strip, casinos or clubs without having a designated driver to get him around.
It’s that one part of Jones’ current situation that McGregor can’t quite wrap his head around, but he still hopes the former UFC light heavyweight champion can get his act together and return to the Octagon soon.
"I just try to understand the situation. I can’t understand it. Get a driver! If I go out now I’m driven a f—-ing limo. You’ve got money," McGregor said. "It’s just a weird situation and I wish him well and I hope he gets his head together and comes back because he’s a great man, he’s a great champion and I wish him well."