With Conor McGregor announcing his retirement from fighting this past weekend, it looks like we won’t be seeing “Notorious” in the octagon again (though he has made retirement claims before).
Whether you think he is actually going to stay retired or this is just another thing he will change his mind about later, we wanted to take a moment and look back at the 10 best moments of his career.
With him being one of the best fighters to ever compete, we can say there were plenty of moments to choose from!
First Double Championship
While it would be a few years before McGregor would accomplish this feat in UFC, he did it in Cage Warriors. He would take the featherweight and lightweight championships in the span of two fights, and propel himself into the UFC, bringing with him his iconic swagger.
Debut in UFC
McGregor made his first appearance in UFC in April of 2013, when he took on Marcus Brimage. The fight lasted only 67 seconds, as McGregor TKO’d Brimage in the first round. Kenny Florian, who was commentating the match, aptly said: “This is why everyone is talking about Conor McGregor!” It was our first taste of McGregor’s incredible skill in fighting and paved the way for him to rise to the top.
Third Fight is UFC Main Event
It took only three matches for McGregor to be billed as one of UFC’s main headlining events. The fight was against Diego Brandão and took place in McGregor’s hometown of Dublin, Ireland. The fight was electric with McGregor landing a huge left-hand TKO to knock Brandão out. Afterwards, McGregor showed some that polarizing charisma that would earn him many fans, and plenty of enemies.
Beating Max Holloway
While this fight was buried as a preliminary card for the event, this fight proved to be something special as fans had no idea they were watching two future world champions fight. It was an action-packed, exhilarating fight with McGregor winning by unanimous decision.
First Taste of Championship
When McGregor’s fight with world featherweight champion, Joe Aldo, was cancelled after Aldo had to pull out with a rib injury, McGregor chose to fight Chad Mendes for the interim featherweight championship instead. The fight took place at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, where McGregor absolutely pummeled Mendes, to a second-round TKO. Though it was only an interim championship, it was the first taste McGregor would get.
Dropping Aldo at UFC 194
When McGregor finally got to take on Aldo for the featherweight championship, the fight lasted all of about 13 seconds. When Aldo missed on a left hook, it was all McGregor needed. He landed his own punch across Aldo’s jaw, knocking him to the ground where he delivered a couple of powerful hits to the head, and that was it. It is still one of the best UFC TKO’s of all-time.
Revenge Against Nate Diaz
McGregor’s dominance came to a stop when Nate Diaz forced McGregor to tap out in the second round, and many wondered if the fighter would look for his next challenge elsewhere. Instead, McGregor immediately demanded a rematch and got one five months later at UFC 202. The fight was an absolute blood bath with both fighters pulverizing the other. However, McGregor took the victory by a narrow margin by scores of 8–47, 47–47 and 48–47.
Conor McGregor Becomes a Double Champion
Conor McGregor made UFC history when he fought Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight championship. He won the match in the second round after the referee had to step in and stop the fight after McGregor pounced on Alvarez. He walked into UFC 205, already with the featherweight championship in hand, and he left with the lightweight belt.
Fight with Floyd Mayweather
Even though McGregor lost this fight, and it was a boxing match at that, the fact the fight even took place at all was a monumental occasion. Watching the two juggernauts go at it was as exciting as exciting can be, and in the end, Mayweather’s expertise proved to be too much for McGregor.
Conor McGregor Destroys “Cowboy” Cerrone
After McGregor took an extended amount of time away from fighting following a series of public mishaps and controversies, he returned to the octagon to fight “Cowboy” Cerrone and it lasted all of 40 seconds. Within moments, McGregor led an all-out assault on Cerrone, breaking his nose with a swift knee to the face, knocking him to the ground, and leading to the referee calling the match. It was a reminder of what greatness McGregor was in fighting. It also just may be the last time we got to see him fight ever.
Who knows if McGregor will actually stay retired or if he will come back again? All we know is he was one of the best fighters to ever compete, and while we all have our different opinions of him as a person, he was absolutely amazing to watch.
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