Conor McGregor is an interesting case study when it comes to both sport and business. Not only did he become a 2-weight UFC Champion before the age of 30, but he crafted a legitimate multi-million dollar business career – with significant brands in the clothing and drinks industries – while doing it.

According to Forbes, Conor McGregor’s net worth stood at $99 million ahead of his fight with Donald Cerrone at UFC 246 in early 2020. Not bad for a man who began life as a trainee plumber, with barely enough money to get by.

At The Transition Phase, we believe athletes are highly valuable to organisations, and hep athletes utilise their transferrable skills in a professional environment. Here’s the reasons we believe Conor McGregor was able to do just that.


Throughout his sporting career, McGregor has stated that he pays just as much attention to the mental side of the game (often referred to as ‘Fight IQ’) as the physical.

Possessing a strong Fight IQ involves paying close attention to the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors, overcoming obstacles in real-time and adapting your strategy to suit different scenarios. You’ll recognise that all of these are skills exhibited by top business leaders as well as athletes.

Good athletes and business leaders are high-energy and tenacious. The great ones add a rock-solid strategy and the knowledge needed to execute it.


The best athletes in the world bring something new to their sport: something fresh and dynamic, that no one has quite encountered before. The best CEOs create brands that perform in the same way.

In both cases, people at the top of their fields end up changing the game. From Steve Jobs to Michael Jordan, Elon Musk to Conor McGregor, they set new standards for others to follow.

Conor McGregor did this by adopting a flamboyant, stylish and confident personality and possessing the skills to back up his lavish media appearances. This combination has bagged McGregor contracts with Reebok, Heineken and Monster Energy – some of the biggest brands on the planet.

We’re not suggesting everyone should try to emulate McGregor’s antics – many have tried and failed. We’re all different. The key is to find the aspect of your game that you’re best at – that no one else can replicate – by injecting your own characteristics and experiences into what you do.


“There is no talent here. This is hard work, this is an obsession.”

McGregor’s quote sums up one of the strongest transferable characteristics found in high-level athletes, which is the focus and drive needed to achieve goals. In both sport and business, very few reach the top without serious amount of energy and an obsessive drive to get there.

When working with high-level young athletes, we’ve found that their ability to focus on sporting goals – even with mounting pressures from school, university and other aspects of life – translates well into the business world.

Talent will only go so far without hard work and an obsessive drive to get where you want to be.

We’re an early careers programme that supports talent from a high-level sporting background.

We utilise our own experience of having successfully transitioned careers to provide athletes with career guidance and support, making them aware of their transferrable skills and how they can be utilised in a professional environment, whilst providing organisations with access to high potential talent.

Click here to find out more.