Conor McGregor is as popular as ever in Ireland despite his inactivity in the cage and legal troubles, according to longtime head coach John Kavanagh.
Kavanagh said whenever he and McGregor - who returns to the cage against Donald Cerrone at UFC 246 on Saturday - are in public together, all he sees are "mobs of fans asking for pictures."
“I’d love for people to spend a little bit of time, like I do, driving through town with Conor or having to call into a shop with Conor, and being mobbed for selfies and people shaking his hand and congratulating him,” Kavanagh said on a conference call, according to MMA Fighting's Peter Carroll.
Kavanagh added: “I think people confuse sometimes Twitter life with real life and people like to believe stuff on Twitter, but very, very few people are on Twitter. It's when you're actually in real life, when you’re going through Dublin and going through the airport, there are just crowds of people screaming and running up to us."
McGregor was considered the biggest superstar in mixed martial arts just three years into his UFC career. He earned a 13-second knockout of Jose Aldo in 2015 to capture featherweight gold, and he became the first UFC fighter to hold two belts simultaneously in 2016 with a stoppage of Eddie Alvarez.
"The Notorious" has been involved in four of the five best-selling UFC pay-per-views, and his 2017 boxing match against Floyd Mayweather is the second best-selling pay-per-view in sports history.
Since then, McGregor's only fought once - losing by submission to lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 in October 2018 - and he's had several run-ins with the law.