UFC stars including McGregor help to raise £60,000 for paralysed MMA fighter

UFC light heavyweight contender Johnny Walker was among the star names that attended a fundraiser hosted by Conor McGregor's coach John Kavanagh this weekend for paralysed fighter Ian Coughlan.

SBG Ireland HQ was the host venue for the 'Unstoppable Super Seminar' on Saturday afternoon, which saw Kavanagh join a number of top coaches and fighters to teach MMA techniques to beginners.

Walker was joined by ex-UFC fighter Paul Redmond, as well as McGregor's striking and wrestling coaches Owen Roddy and Sergey Pikulskiy in Dublin to showcase techniques for participants, who had donated to the fighter's GoFundMe to gain entry.

Coughlan was left paralysed when he suffered horrific spinal injuries after a training routine went wrong earlier this year, and at time of print, just under €70,000 (£60,000) has been donated to help him pay for surgery that could help him walk again.

The event was attended by fighters and beginners from across the country, and saw 'rival' gyms come together to raise money for the cause.

"It's terrible what's happened," coach Andy Ryan, whose Team Ryano gym is a direct competitor with SBG, told Mirror Fighting at the event.

"It's very hard on his family, it's not just him but his wife and kids who we have to think about at this time of year around Christmas.

"Hopefully this will give them a bit of comfort, we'll raise enough money to get the treatment he needs and he'll be able to look after the family."

Ryan and Redmond have stood across the cage on countless occasions from Kavanagh's fighters, including for Coughlan's last MMA outing against Constantin Gnusariov at Bellator 227.

But they took to the mats to help out their friend, who is now just over €3,000 away from reaching his goal of €73,000 raised for the procedure, which will take place in Germany.

The event was attended by Coughlan's wife Rayna, as well as the top names from the Irish MMA scene and boxing coach Packie Collins.

"It really was a freak accident that left him paralysed," Redmond added. "So it's good to see the MMA community come out for this."

Hundreds of fans and martial artists donated the €100 entry fee to attend the event despite some being unable to make it due to coronavirus restrictions.

You can donate to Ian Coughlan's GoFundMe for life-changing surgery by clicking this link!

And Conor McGregor helped the cause along with a social media post promoting the GoFundMe alongside a €10,000 donation of his own.

He has also donated some signed goods to be auctioned off in the coming days, while Kavanagh will take bids on a pair of the UFC legend's training boots from his fight with Floyd Mayweather in 2017.

"It's a fantastic initiative," Pikulskiy said. "Ian is one of our own, and John and all of the coaches have come in to help him.

"It's fantastic to see all the people who have come out and join this event."

Kavanagh has implored fans to continue donating to Coughlan's GoFundMe page even after he hits the required €73,000, as he hopes to meet with the MMA fighter to present a significant "bonus" cheque from the auction.

"The last couple of weeks over €40,000 has been added to the GoFundMe," Kavanagh explained. "Today a few grand more and we're getting closer to that target number.

"Between the auction coming up and everyone donating, I'm very confident in saying we'll hit that target before Christmas and maybe make a very big difference to somebody's life."

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