One of the most memorable athletes of all time, and certainly one of the biggest athletes of the modern age, Connor McGregor is an enigma.
Let’s look into his career.
Conor McGregor debuted at the Ericsson Globe (now the Avicii Arena) in Stockholm in 2013, he wasn’t only thinking about his first fight, he was planning a UFC takeover.
On April 6 of that year, the 24-year-old - only the second athlete from Ireland to fight for the UFC. Connor went to work on Brimage with precision, sending the American to the canvas in the first round and earning McGregor his first Knockout of the Night award. MMA commentator Kenny Florian’s shout of, “This is why everyone is talking about Conor McGregor!”... If only he knew how good a foreshadowing he would've made.
With just two fights under Connor’s belt, the UFC already had McGregor pegged as a sure thing. They were so convinced of this that it headlined him at UFC Fight Night in Ireland on July 19, 2014. UFC betting odds of -690 had McGregor chalked as the clear favorite.
Fighting in front of his Dublin home crowd, McGregor turned the lights off for Brazilian Diego Brandão, with a big left hand that earned him a first-round TKO (technical knockout) and the Performance of the Night award. After the fight, a still-pumped McGregor stated that there wasn’t a man alive who could beat him on Irish soil!
When Connor McGregor, “The Notorious” finally had a go at Aldo in a pre-Christmas bout at UFC 194 in Las Vegas on December 12, 2015, the Irishman brought the fight to an end in 13 seconds flat!
All it took was a missed left hook from Aldo before the Brazilian succumbed to a hammer-like left-hand blow to the jaw that sent him face-down onto the canvas. Some had predicted a closer match. Before the fight, online sports betting showed a narrow advantage of -105 in McGregor’s favor.
Fans will remember March 5, 2016, as the day that Conor McGregor tapped out for a second-round submission after being caught in a rear naked choke by American Nate Diaz.
But what truly stood out about this pivotal outcome was McGregor’s response. Just five months later, on August 20, 2016, he returned to Vegas to once again face the American in a UFC 202 rematch. This time it was a narrow majority decision in McGregor’s favor, and McGregor won over a brand new set of by overcoming his former defeat.
A huge highlight in McGregor’s career.
Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 in Madison Square Garden on November 12, 2016, saw the now 28-year-old add the world lightweight belt to his featherweight title. This time, McGregor used a left-right combo to drop the American to the canvas and walk away with a double crown.
The bout went down in the history books as the Irishman was the first UFC fighter to ever hold two world titles at the same time.
More than a year after announcing he was retiring from the sport, McGregor returned at UFC 246 on January 18, 2020, for a welterweight showdown with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone.
This bout just lastled a mere 40 seconds into the first round. Cerrone was KO and McGregor took home another Performance of the Night award, as well as earning the prestige of being the first fighter in UFC history to have achieved KO finishes in three divisions: featherweight, lightweight, and welterweight.
It’s not difficult to see why people call him: “The Notorious!”