Before he was the Irish megastar worth hundreds of millions of dollars, Conor McGregor was rockin’ a fake Rolex.

McGregor is not just the most successful mixed martial artist of all time. He’s one of the highest-paid athletes in the world. But it wasn’t always like that for the Irishman. When he was 17 years old, he moved from Crumlin to Lucan, Dublin, Ireland, where he worked as an apprentice plumber. In 2006, he began training in MMA alongside Tom Egan and made his pro debut on the regional scene in Ireland two years later.

In 2013, Conor McGregor stepped inside the Octagon for the very first time against Marcus Brimage at an event broadcast on the now-defunct Fuel TV.

The rest is history.

“You ever hear the term, you gotta fake it til you make it? Before anything, I was getting the fake ones,” McGregor revealed in an interview with GQ Sports. “I was rockin’ the fake ones proud. Funny enough, my first ever real watch that I got was a gift post-UFC Dublin, which was in [2014] and it was a gift for me from Lorenzo Fertitta who was the owner of the UFC at the time. He gifted me a solid gold Rolex Sky Dweller.

“So after the belt, I won the belt. Got a knockout in the first round. It was a mega-successful event. We all went out to dinner after with the Fertitta family and they gifted me this Rolex. It was my first real watch. Before that, I was at the press conference wearing a fake one. You gotta fake it til you make it.”

Fast forward to 2024, Conor McGregor is responsible for eight of the 10 highest-grossing pay-per-views of all time his iconic clash with Khabib Nurmagomedov being the only instance where the promotion eclipsed two million buys.

McGregor has not competed since he suffered a brutal leg injury in his trilogy bout with Dustin Poirier in July 2021, but UFC CEO Dana White has guaranteed that the Irishman will return to the cage in 2024.