Nutrition Meets Sport

Pictured: James Statham, on left, with Conor McGregor.

Pictured: James Statham, on left, with Conor McGregor.

A Sandymount resident has begun making a name for himself by becoming closely involved with Irish Ultimate Championship fighter Conor McGregor.

James Statham of Paleo Meal Deliveries, a resident of Sydney Parade, has become a key figure in the former CWFC Featherweight and Lightweight Champion’s nutrition regime.

Statham started the business over two and a half years ago, and originally got in contact with McGregor over a year ago, when the two met at the opening of a family-friendly gym on the Long Mile Road.

The event was attended by other gym owners and media types, and Statham viewed this as the perfect opportunity to introduce himself to the Irish fighter and give him samples of the Paleo menu. Statham also expressed his desire to work with McGregor and that the business was prepared to organise a meal plan for him.

After an interlude of three to four months, Statham was contacted by McGregor’s PR agent with positive feedback about the Paleo menu, resulting in a request for Statham to conduct a meal plan for him. This arrangement also gives Paleo Meal Deliveries permission to use McGregor’s brand recognition and global appeal to help promote the business.

“I connect with him directly on Twitter and that’s how we communicate,” Statham told NewsFour. “We give him a five-day meal plan of breakfast, lunch and dinner, 100 grams of Paleo carbohydrates and enough treats to keep him going in the gym because he spends eight hours in the gym, six days a week.”

The two partnered just two months before McGregor’s first fight in the O2 Arena. The working relationship paid dividends as McGregor is regarded as being quite heavy for his weight division, but due to portion control devised by Paleo, he made the weigh-in, won the fight and the rest, as they say, is history.

Statham kick-started Paleo Meal Deliveries initially to fill what he saw as a gap in the market for a more nutritious meal planning service. The food is grain-free, sugar-free and gluten-free, and high in local and seasonal produce.

Due to their association with Conor McGregor, Statham says that the company’s turnover has doubled from 40 or 50 customers a week to closer to 100. Their target audience is not just men, but women, which makes the name recognition and crossover appeal of Conor McGregor so beneficial, as he is a “PR person’s dream”, as Statham puts it.

As McGregor has just left the country for his prestigious fight against Dustin Poirier in Las Vegas on September 27th, Statham spoke to NewsFour about their working relationship. He said that he hopes that their current association will result in a career-long collaboration stretching over many years.

“What you see on TV is what you get in person; he is an absolute gentleman,” Statham said of McGregor. “We’re delighted to work with him and Conor is delighted to work with us. What’s important to Conor is that, like him, we’re young and Irish, and we’re trying to take on the more established companies. We are from Dublin, and all our produce is local, and that means a lot to him. It’s a really good relationship I have to say.”

By Craig Kinsella