On Saturday night,“The Notorious” Conor McGregor claimed a stunning victory over Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at UFC® 246 at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada, United States. It took the Irishman just 40 seconds to secure a famous win, landing a number of accurate strikes with his notorious left hand, left shoulder and dominating leg skills to defeat Cowboy by technical knock out. In McGregor’s first bout since October 2018, it was the 31-year-old’s ninth career UFC® victory and his first win since November 2016.
In one of the most highly anticipated UFC bouts of recent times, McGregor pulled off one of his most spectacular performances, becoming the first UFC fighter to secure knockout victories across featherweight, lightweight and welterweight divisions. In what was the first UFC event of the new decade, McGregor was one of five fighters to receive a performance of the night bonus, and sent an emphatic message of intent to the rest of the welterweight division.
Reflecting on his incredible victory, Conor McGregor said: “I feel amazing, there’s still work to be done, but this is a great first step. That shoulder shot is a good shot. It wasn’t specifically part of the game plan, I was ready to utilize all of my weapons, including wrestling, including grappling, I was ready to showcase all of my skills. I saw he was susceptible to the head kick also. I know he was looking to land that on me, but I wanted to land it on him.”
When asked about his thoughts on opponent Cowboy, McGregor was full of respect and admiration: “I love that record he has, most head kick knockouts in UFC history, that’s phenomenal. That record is almost worth more than a world title in my mind. He’s a phenomenal fighter and I appreciate everything about Cowboy. He’s a great father and has my respect for the rest of my life.“
“It was good to get back out there and get that feeling again. I did great work this camp, I pushed myself so hard I had to hold myself back sometimes. I’m excited about the future, I’m not going to dwell on this victory, it’s back in the gym and back to work. Who is next doesn’t matter, the when is more interesting. The whole world lights up when I fight, so I want to get back out there again. Soon enough, we’ll see what happens.”
There were 19,040 in attendance inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, while a television audience tuned in from across the globe. With a huge amount of interest surrounding the event ever since the headline bout’s announcement in December, the eyes of the world were most certainly watching as McGregor put on an exhibition in martial arts fighting.