Conor McGregor became a superstar and UFC debut opponent Marcus Brimage became a Pillow Fighter

Conor McGregor’s journey in the UFC has been nothing short of extraordinary. His debut match against Marcus Brimage in April 2013 marked the beginning of his rise to superstardom in the world of MMA. In contrast, Brimage’s career took a different trajectory after facing McGregor.

McGregor’s debut in the UFC was electrifying. The young Irishman showcased his striking prowess with a stunning 67-second knockout win over Brimage.

During his post-match interview, the then-24-year-old requested UFC president Dana White for a $60,000 performance bonus. White readily honoured his new prospect. This marked the beginning of a historic career that would see him become a dual-weight champion in the UFC.

McGregor’s relentless pursuit of success both inside and outside the Octagon has made him the biggest star the UFC has ever seen. With reported career earnings of £438 million, he has become one of the wealthiest athletes in the world. In 2021, McGregor topped Forbes’ list of the richest sportsperson.

In addition to his professional career, McGregor has also ventured into business and entertainment. His upcoming role in Amazon Prime’s remake of ‘Road House’ is a testament to his expanding reach beyond the world of MMA.

On the other hand, Brimage’s career took a downturn after facing McGregor. Following the loss, Brimage went on to lose three of his next four UFC bouts. After suffering a knockout loss to Jimmie Rivera in July 2015, he was released by the promotion.

Brimage went on to face two more defeats, separated by a six-year break. Brimage finished his 7-8 professional MMA career in 2021 and made his retirement official in January of this year.

In a bizarre turn of events, Brimage even participated in a 16-man one-night Pillow Fighting Championship tournament. The winner would be awarded a $5,000 prize and a PFC title. However, he faced off against Hauley Tillman in the final round and lost.

Despite his setbacks, Brimage has found solace in practicing yoga. As evident from his social media presence, Brimage has been leading yoga classes and embracing a more zen lifestyle.