On January 18, in Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, former featherweight and lightweight champion of the world, Conor McGregor (21-4), faced off against Donald Cerrone (36-13), otherwise known as “Cowboy.” Coming off of a loss from the reigning UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2018, it’s been two years since McGregor has stepped into the octagon. Many have questioned whether McGregor can still live up to his notorious title as he hasn’t won a fight since 2016. Within 40 seconds of the match, the outcome was decided!
At the weigh-in on January 17, both fighters came in at 170 pounds, right at the welterweight limit. While Cerrone was met with cheers from the crowd, McGregor caused a roar from fans as he screamed at the audience with excitement. President of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Dana White, asked Cerrone what the fight meant to him. He replied, “This is incredible… I cannot wait. Everyone says I never show up, this is the fight to show up for.” When asked the same question, McGregor, in a comical matter, stated, “How good do I look at 170 (audience cheers)? I feel really good at this weight. I’m coming for all in this division, it begins with Donald, let’s go, I am excited!” McGregor also thanked the audience for all the support, apologized for his late return, and claimed that the fight was dedicated to his mom.
Going into this fight, both fighters were considered to be the best strikers in the UFC. Although a win from Cerrone would add on to his reputation of the most wins in UFC history, a victory for McGregor would mean redemption for his career—certainly there was more pressure on McGregor.
“Fight!” The much-anticipated fight kicks off. Without hesitation, McGregor rushes in to throw a left jab only to have C duck it, however, he was met with a left knee. Possibly stunned, Cerrone clenches both of McGregor’s arms; in a never before seen fashion. McGregor, whose arms are clenched, lunges and lands his left shoulder to Cerrone’s face several times, causing him to bleed. Looking dazed, Cerrone throws a right kick but it was blocked. Showing him how it’s done, McGregor responds with a crowd-roaring left kick which leaves Cerrone stumbling back. Taking advantage, McGregor repeatedly lands blows to the side of Cerrone’s head and eventually, he falls to the ground. Trying to cover his head, McGregor puts all his training into his brutal punches eventually causing the ref to pull him off of Cerrone: TKO! Although McGregor is well known for his left punch, this time, it was his left kick!
After McGregor was confirmed the victor and hugs were exchanged, White asked him how it felt to be back: “Very good yo… Donald holds the record for most head-kick knockouts… I am so happy to get him down with a head kick myself.” White then asked what was next, McGregor responded, “You know, I like this weight division…I don’t believe I am there yet, I got more to do to get back to where I was.” Near the end of his answer, McGregor added, “And anyone of these melty filths can get it…all of them. It does not matter.”
White then asked Cerrone his thoughts on what happened, he replied, “awe man, he uh, got me with his elbows rights away. Distorted the s*** outta me and then head kicked me…aye man, I love this sport, imma keep fighting, I don’t care, it’s just what I love.”
McGregor’s UFC record is now 22-4 and has achieved a knockout across three weight classes.McGregor will inevitably enter the octagon again to take on the Welterweight Division after this fashionable comeback.
Photo: Andrius Petrucenia(Licenced CC BY-SA 2.0)