The emotion Conor McGregor expressed in the centre of the octagon said it all.
In his first UFC victory since Nov. 12, 2016, “The Notorious” one was back on top Saturday night after defeating Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone at UFC 246 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
After taking time away from the UFC to deal with problems inside and outside of the cage, McGregor’s victory could not been a better result for the UFC considering the fanfare attached to him.
Wasting no time
If you bet the under in this fight, McGregor didn’t disappoint unless you paid to watch it on pay per-view. It took the Irishman only 40 seconds before referee Herb Dean called for the bell after he relentlessly pounded on Cerrone after knocking him down with a perfect kick.
This was not the quickest victory for McGregor. He defeated Jose Aldo in just 13 seconds at UFC 194 in 2015, which ended Aldo’s 10-year unbeaten streak and was also the fastest win in a title fight.
The UFC record for the shortest bout belongs to Jorge Masvidal who earned the fastest knockout at UFC 239 when he caught Ben Askren with a flying knee just five seconds into the fight.
With the win over Cerrone, the 31-year-old McGregor is now the first fighter in UFC history to earn a knockout victory in the featherweight, lightweight and welterweight divisions.
And he made sure everyone knew it, announcing his record to the crowd in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan.
Not only was the victory a big accomplishment for McGregor but the UFC also rewarded five performances of the night to McGregor, Carlos Diego Ferreira, Brian Kelleher, Aleksei Oleinik and Drew Dober. Each fighter took home a $50,000 prize.
McGregor calling for his next fight
Whether it’s Masvidal, Nate Diaz or Khabib Nurmagomedov, McGregor is ready for his next fight.
It’s tough to say where Dana White will go with the next event involving McGregor but it’s tough to expect McGregor to get a shot at the welterweight title currently being held by Kamaru Usman. The UFC president made it known that he would also want McGregor to have a rematch with Nurmagomedov, who handily beat McGregor in 2018.
It would probably make more sense to expect McGregor to fight Masvidal, which could involve the BMF title.
This is something McGregor also pointed out in his post-fight interview, calling out both champions and letting them know he is keeping an eye on them. Usman has said he has no interest in fighting Masvidal.
CONOR HAS A LIST!
— UFC (@ufc) January 19, 2020
Some might want to see McGregor take on Diaz for the third time but it’s tough to say whether he has any desire to fight again — especially against McGregor — although his latest tweets might suggest otherwise.
Reaction on social media
Of course, with a fighter of McGregor’s calibre the reaction to his victory on social media matched the hype of the fight, as many stars posted congratulations to the UFC star on his triumphant return.
Welcome back Champ!! @TheNotoriousMMA.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) January 19, 2020
— UFC (@ufc) January 19, 2020
Tough night for Cowboy
The winningest fighter in UFC had a rough night and on the big stage against McGregor it will be a tough one to recover from.
Cerrone’s last two fights have been ended early because of how much damage he took. While the 36-year-old will get a lot of criticism for his approach to this fight, he should still be recognized for his commitment to taking on a busier schedule and for being as consistent as he has been in the last few years.
There was also a nice moment when his grandmother came into the octagon to congratulate both fighters.