This is quite the week for Conor McGregor. The Dublin native will headline a UFC card in his hometown in just his third appearance for the world's premier mixed martial arts league when he faces the considerable challenge of Brazilian slugger Diego Brandao. Not only is this the biggest week and biggest fight of his career so far, McGregor will also have to find time to blow out a few birthday candles as today (Monday) also marks the 26th anniversary of his birth.
To mark this auspicious occasion, we figured we'd look into the Irishman's combat career thus far and cherry-pick 26 of his most notorious facts.
Words: John Balfe
1 - McGregor became the first non-American to hold world titles simultaneously in two different weight classes after winning the Cage Warriors featherweight and lightweight titles in consecutive fights.
2 - After winning the Cage Warriors lightweight title, McGregor vacated the belt soon after and became the first Irishman to register a win in the UFC.
3 - McGregor made his UFC debut in Sweden in April of 2013 and took just 67 seconds to dispatch US fighter Marcus Brimage, who was undefeated in the UFC at the time.
4 - Before settling on an MMA career, McGregor briefly served an apprenticeship as a plumber before deciding that it wasn't for him.
5- Sports were a big part of McGregor's youth and he briefly contemplated attempting to become a professional footballer.
6 - McGregor's first professional bout was a second round TKO of Gary Morris on March 9th 2008, he would compete a further three times that year.
7 - McGregor's second UFC fight in Boston was dubbed 'The People's Main Event' by MMA journalist Ariel Helwani, who noted the surging public enthusiasm in McGregor.
8 - McGregor won this bout via unanimous decision after dominating opponent Max Holloway throughout despite picking up a serious knee injury in the second round - the only time he has ever gone to a judge's decision.
9 - McGregor has collected an outstanding 12 knockouts in his 14 victories, with one submission and one decision also on his record.
10 - The extent of McGregor's injury was only revealed in the days after the fight when it was announced that he had torn the ACL in his left knee and would require several months of rehabilitation.
11 - McGregor underwent intensive rehabilitation on his knee in California, where he received vocal support from the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger and UFC legend Georges St. Pierre.
12 - The Dubliner is currently on a ten fight unbeaten streak and will be looking to extend that run against Diego Brandao this weekend.
13 - Despite being in the UFC for a less than 18 months, McGregor has already had two opponents withdraw from matches against him: Andy Ogle last year and Cole Miller this year. McGregor maintains that opponent withdrawals have been commonplace throughout his career so far.
14 - McGregor trains in SBGi (Straight Blast Gym Ireland) which has three locations in Dublin: Long Mile Road, Exchequer Street and Blackrock.
15 - The Dubliner's training partners include highly ranked Icelandic UFC star Gunnar Nelson and newly-minted UFC employees Cathal Pendred and Paddy Holohan - all three of whom will also feature on the UFC Fight Night Dublin card this weekend.
16 - By the time McGregor takes to the cage this weekend he will be the fourth Irish fighter to have taken to the cage after Pendred, Holohan and Neil Seery. Northern Ireland's Norman Parke is also involved.
17 - Such was the impact that Conor McGregor made in his UFC debut he was signed up by sports apparel brand Dethrone to be one of its global ambassadors.
18 - McGregor has a similar deal with Irish tailor Louis Copeland and frequently wears his suits for televised appearances such as the Late Late Show.
19 - It was this sense of style which saw McGregor being awarded the title of the Most Stylish Man in Ireland at the VIP Style Awards earlier this year.
20 - Somewhat unsurprisingly, McGregor is currently ranked as the #1 featherweight in Europe.
21 - McGregor currently holds the record for the second fastest knockout in MMA history when he starched Paddy Doherty in just 3.5 seconds in April 2011.
22 - The Dubliner competed in boxing in his youth and was very successful, winning an Irish amateur championship before stopping to concentrate on mixed martial arts.
23 - McGregor regularly retreats to Iceland to train and did so for a number of weeks in preparation for the forthcoming Diego Brandao fight.
24 - When asked if he holds any collegiate qualifications, McGregor's answer was that he "holds a Master's in unarmed combat".
25 - €60,000 was the amount of 'Knockout of the Night' bonus money (on top of his regular pay) that he earned for his 67 second knockout of Marcus Brimage in his UFC debut.
26 - The ethos which McGregor lives by, "Stay Ready So You Don't Have To Get Ready", has become a catchphrase associated with him, appearing on a range of internationally available t-shirts by Dethrone.
In other UFC Fight Night Dublin news, the official weigh in for the event will be open to the public on Friday 18th July. You can see the full event on Setanta and 3e (part of the TV3 network). The prelim card will be shown live exclusively on UFC Fight Pass, fans can sign up to Fightpass.com to receive a free 7 day trial.