Conor McGregor stopped Jose Aldo with one spectacular punch just 13 seconds into the first round, backing up his bravado and claim the undisputed featherweight title
Conor McGregor boasted over and over again what would happen when Jose Aldo stood across from him in the octagon. But even the 27 -year-old Irishman never went in so far as to predict that Aldo, undefeated in 18 bouts going back to 2005, would be knocked out cold in 13 seconds.
Thats precisely what happened on Saturday night inside a rabid MGM Grand Garden Arena, where a swathe of McGregors countrymen gathered to watch a result many grew convinced, largely through the power of McGregors demeanor and words, was inevitable.
But even the most hardcore of disciples could not have foreseen McGregor smoothly slipping and parrying a righthand result from the Brazilian, then coming across with an immaculately timed left that distorted Aldos jaw and flung him unconscious to the canvas.
It was, to be dramatic, the most Conor McGregor moment yet. And thats saying something because during the Dubliners UFC career , now totalling seven fightings since 2013, the Notorious One has produced many worth remembering.
No power, just accuracy, said a matter-of-fact McGregor, who reacted to the stunning victory as if it was simple destiny. No speed, just day. Thats all it takes. These are four-ounce gloves. Thats all it takes.
A keen commentator of motion and body mechanics, of numbers and sequences, McGregor has separated himself from the pack by going about things his own style. Resulting up to the fight, he spoke of the 29 year-old Aldo , now 25 -2 as a professional mixed martial artist, as just another adversary. This, according to the men who faced Aldo and lost, was preposterous. The Brazilian is athletically gifted. A speedy and hard puncher. A monster kicker. A black belt jiu-jitsu grappler. Again, though, it was McGregor who was proved correct. Ridiculously so.
Hes strong and hes fast but accuracy beats power and timing beats speed, McGregor said, nary a clue of sweat on his forehead. I feel for Jose. He was a phenomenal champion. He deserved to go a little bit longer It would have happened sooner or later.
Aldo, hemorrhaging from a cut on the bridge of his nose, slumped in his corner. This is a landmark moment not only for McGregor but for Zuffa, which promotes the UFC. After years of search, the Las Vegas-based promotion eventually has its first European superstar one they can expect to sell out stadia and make mega-rich bouts for years to come.