Fan who ran into Octagon to help McGregor at UFC 229: ‘I thought Conor could be killed.’
Fearing for Conor McGregor’s life, a fellow Irishman took his own life in his hands and leaped into the Octagon to save the beaten fight on Oct. 6 at UFC 229.
“I wouldn’t say adrenaline took over,” 41-year-old David Martin said in an exclusive interview with For The Win on Tuesday. “I’d say patriotism took over first.
“I thought Russia was attacking Ireland. I thought a bunch of Russians were jumping in and this guy (McGregor) was tired and beaten down from the fight and was being attacked by what I thought were a bunch of Russian fans. I needed to step in. I was thinking my country was calling for me right now and I’m going in.”
Here’s the video of Martin (in the white jacket), running into the Octagon:
Earlier we shared a story that UFC champ Daniel Cormier told about a fan who raced into the Octagon after UFC 229 to check in on Conor McGregor.
Martin is a big UFC fan. He’s the CEO of a company called Fantasy, which is doing some work with the UFC and its website. He went to the fight with his friend, actor Josh Duhamel, which helped him get a ticket upgrade to his cage-side seats behind Cormier. He has never trained in any of the martial arts. He praised Cormier for setting down Khabib. He says he went in to protect Conor, not to fight anyone. And, most importantly to this story, he’s originally from Dublin, Ireland.
Martin said he thought Conor might get killed in the Octagon.
“I’m disappointed how I didn’t get there faster,” he said. “In reality, if that guy that hit Conor in the head hit him in a different spot, like right-center of the back of the head and it could have been a fatal blow and Conor could have been dead. It happens all the time at nightclubs, somebody gets punched right in back of head and it’s a fatal blow. Just because you’re Conor McGregor it doesn’t mean that something like that can’t happen to you. I thought Conor could be killed and those guys were going in to kill him and that’s what I could not have happen.”
Let’s rewind to how he initially got into the Octagon. Martin said it all started when he was holding back an emotional Cormier, Khabib’s teammate, who was sitting cage-side with his kids, a row in front of Martin.
“I saw Daniel getting really upset and emotional over what happened and he’s there with his two kids and his team was under attack,” he said. “The last thing I wanted was Daniel Cormier in the ring emotional and swinging.
“I jumped on Daniel’s back and put my arms around him and pleaded with him not to go in. My arms were around him and he couldn’t get over the rail and I thought, ‘Jesus Christ, this guy is gonna turn around and throw me to the ground for hanging on to him.’ I kept saying to him, ‘Your kids are here. Your kids are here.’ He calmed down and as he calmed down I saw the guy in the red shirt jump over the rail and I thought, ‘Oh Jesus, Conor has nobody in there with him.’
“Conor was about to get attacked. I put my hands on top of Daniel to leapfrog him because he’s not that tall. I leaped over him and saw the door (to the Octagon) open and I wanted to get in there and protect my countryman. I thought there were all Russian guys in there and I wasn’t having that.”
Martin then made his move.
“By the time I got up the steps, I didn’t even know to go straight or right. I just wanted to make sure Conor was protected because he had nobody. Then John Kavanagh got there right before I did and got security around Conor. (Conor) heard my voice telling him to calm down and he heard I was from Dublin.”
Martin said he was able to speak to Conor during the madness.
“I was talking to him and I just held onto him and pushed security away with Kavanagh because he didn’t..
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