‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor is set square off with Donald ‘The Cowboy’ Cerrone at UFC 246 on January 19th after a one-year hiatus from the UFC.
McGregor’s career has featured some of the best in-and-out of the octagon performances highlighted by his taunting, trash talk and risk-taking moves.
Get yourself ready for UFC 246 with five of McGregor’s best octagon performances:
5. 1st Round KO vs. Dustin Poirier
In the fourth UFC fight of McGregor’s career, he showcased all the qualities that make him the colorful fighter we know today.
Notorious taunted and showed little-to-no respect for Dustin Poirier from the jump, including putting his hand in Poirier’s face when meeting in the middle of the octagon during fight instructions.
McGregor was unfazed by anything Poirier attempted, and knocked him out after one minute and 46 seconds in the first round.
4. Majority Decision Victory vs. Nate Diaz
McGregor’s biggest redemption story of his career was the major decision win over Nate Diaz. After snapping his 14-fight win streak and undefeated UFC record, McGregor bounced back in a slugfest rematch five months later at UFC 202.
Both fighters came out swinging, but Notorious landed the most significant blows of the fight including cutting Diaz wide open. After five hard-fought rounds, the scorecards read (48-47, 47-47, 48-47) but if you judged the fight based on Diaz’s face, McGregor would have won by a landslide.
3. Post-Fight Interview Following 2nd Round TKO vs. Eddie Alvarez
After two tough fights with hard-nosed Diaz, McGregor took on his third fight of 2016 and made history at UFC 205. Notorious defeated Eddie Alvarez via 2nd Round TKO to become the first fighter in UFC history to simultaneously hold titles in two weight divisions.
McGregor dominated the fight and had an impresssive knockout, but nothing compared to his colorful post-fight interview with Joe Rogan. Notorious was cockier than ever during the conversation, asking for his second belt multiple times, then followed with one of the funniest comments a trash talker could say after insulting numerous fighters in the UFC.
“I’d like to take this chance to apologize to absolutely nobody!” - McGregor.
2. 2nd Round TKO vs. Chad Mendes
After winning his first five UFC matches, McGregor earned his first title opportunity at UFC 189 where he was set to face off with featherweight champion Jose Aldo. However, nearly two weeks prior to the event, Aldo announced he would have to pull out of the fight due to a rib injury thus making the interim championship up for grabs.
Replacing Aldo was two-time featherweight title challenger Chad Mendes. The fight remained the headliner and surely didn’t disappoint as McGregor and Mendes went at it from the start. Throughout the fight, the two fighters exchanged trash talk after trading blows and Mendes gave McGregor a run for his money in the first round after drawing blood with a vicious ground-and-pound elbow.
However, McGregor’s cut seemed to have only made him stronger. Notorious caught Mendes with a mean left hook in the final 10 seconds of round two to win the interim UFC featherweight championship.
1. 1st Round KO vs. Jose Aldo
Don’t blink or you’ll miss it! The top McGregor performance in the octagon was hands down the historic 13-second knockout against Jose Aldo at UFC 194 - marking the fastest knockout in UFC title fight history and unifying the UFC featherweight championship.
Aldo went into the fight without a loss in his UFC career, and had successfully defended the featherweight title on eight consecutive occasions over a six-year span. Unfortunately for the Brazilian, he ran into the Notorious fist of McGregor.
Prior to Aldo, McGregor was still regarded as an untested loud mouth, but after taking down one of the most respected and proven fighters in the UFC, Notorious showed that he was here to stay.