Conor McGregor has hit headlines again, but for all the right reasons this time as he has managed to save a BJJ and MMA gym, SBG Portarlington, from having to close down. The Ireland-based gym has been one of many that have been financially effected by constant Coronavirus restrictions, and every day more and more of them are having to shut their doors for good. In reality, there’s only so long a business can continue when it’s income is drastically slashed but it’s outgoings remain largely the same, it’s simply not feasible long term. All across the British Isles, the response to Coronavirus has been mixed and very inconsistent with some locations opening back up for business at certain times and others remaining in lockdown for longer periods.
This level of uncertainty doesn’t help of course and even BJJ promotions have been feeling the pinch of late, Polaris being one of the premier grappling organisations in the world and even they have found this year difficult in the face of restrictions. This difficulty hasn’t just been felt in one place either as the ADCC World Championship finals have been delayed a year, the IBJJF World Championships have been cancelled altogether for 2020, and even the legendary Caio Terra has had to shut his doors in the face of mounting pressure from local officials.
When SBG Portarlington announced that they were going to have to join the list of gym casualties to Coronavirus on their official Instagram account, it was only a matter of days before Conor McGregor decided to step in. The SBG Ireland affiliate’s head coach, Bellator veteran Philip Mulpeter, shared a photo of him, McGregor, and John Kavanagh to announce the news that the ex-UFC World Champion had been able to intervene and help the gym survive through the financial difficulty that Coronavirus restrictions have forced on them.