If there were any doubts as to whether a 15-month hiatus between mixed martial arts fights would negatively affect Conor McGregor (22-4) heading into Saturday night’s UFC 246 main event vs. Donald Cerrone (36-14, one no-contest), it didn’t take long for “The Notorious” to silence them.
In under one minute, the much-anticipated and much-ballyhooed Welterweight showcase fight between two of the top Lightweight competitors was a done deal.
McGregor stopped Cerrone by first-round TKO.
Time of the stoppage: 40 seconds into the fight.
The victory marked the 19th win by knockout of McGregor’s career as a fighter.
In so doing, he became the first competitor in UFC promotional history to score knockouts in three weight classes (Featherweight, Lightweight, Welterweight.)
Of course, knockout victories in quick fashion have become old hat for Conor McGregor.
Flashback: UFC 194- Dec. 12, 2015: In the main event of that card, McGregor faced off against Jose Aldo for the UFC Featherweight Championship at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
With just a single punch, McGregor knocked Aldo out to score the belt.
Interestingly, if you go back and watch that McGregor vs. Jose Aldo fight closely, you’ll notice that after McGregor landed the knockout punch, Aldo managed to land a punch as he was going down to the cage mat during the knockout.
Time of the knockout: 12 seconds into the fight.
This knockout victory was included in the 2017 documentary Conor McGregor: Notorious.
So, this begs the question of:
Can Conor McGregor attain the status that has been achieved by only elite athletes in sports, such as Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, Muhammad Ali, and the University of Alabama’s college football dynasty—that is—can he become the greatest of all-time among fighters in the UFC?
If thought about, McGregor has already checked off some of the boxes on his G.O.A.T questionnaire.
Champion in two weight classes simultaneously: check.
Most popular pay-per-view athlete in history: check.
Fought on a pay-per-view with the highest buyrate in the history of MMA: check.
Main evented a boxing pay-per-view that holds the second highest buyrate in PPV history: check.
Only fighter to score knockouts in three weight classes: check.
If Conor McGregor remains in the Welterweight division and score that division’s title, he will, unequivocally and unquestionably, become the G.O.A.T. among MMA fighters.
Only time will tell what happens next.
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