Irishman makes quick work of Cerrone on his return to UFC OctagonMcGregor seemingly calls out Jorge Masvidal and Kamaru Usman - 'any one of these fools can get it'
Conor McGregor promised we'd see the "old" Conor. And he duly delivered.
The former featherweight and lightweight champion smoked Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone with a first round TKO in the main event of UFC 246 on Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
McGregor rocked Cerrone with what seemed to be an accidental knee as "Cowboy" ducked a huge overhand left from the jump. McGregor then landed a series of well-placed shoulders to the head, and a kick flush on the American's chin which wobbled him. The Irishman rained shots on Cerrone against the fence until he fell, then finished him by ground and pound in just 40 seconds.
Just as he had promised - "Mystic Mac" is back, and that can only be a good thing for the UFC. And it wouldn't be a McGregor win without a scorching post-fight promo.
"I like welterweight. I feel really good," the 31-year-old told Joe Rogan in the Octagon. "But I came out of here unscathed. I'm in shape.
"We've got work to do to get back to where I was. Any one of these fools can get it. All of them. Every single one - it does not matter."
Conor McGregor smashes Donald Cerrone's nose and ends fight swiftly in explosive start to 2020
Watching on from cageside were a smiling Jorge Masvidal, with his "BMF" belt strapped over his shoulder, and welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.
"The Nigerian Nightmare" feigned a yawn when the cameras were on him as McGregor seemingly called the two men out for what would be huge fights at 170 pounds.
"I'm the first fighter in UFC history to secure a knockout victory at featherweight, lightweight and welterweight. I'm very, very happy. I'm very proud," McGregor added.
"I'm so happy. UFC can strip fighters and give fighters make believe belts but they can't take away knockout finishes."
There were doubts surrounding McGregor (22-4), after a 14-month lay-off following his acrimonious loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov. Did he still have the fire inside? The motivation?
Returning at welterweight, where he has a 1-1 record, also raised eyebrows. But the Irishman looked in the best shape of his career as he dismantled Cerrone (36-14, 1 no contest).
"Cowboy" received an emotional hug from his grandmother after the fight, and was later taken to hospital. He couldn't hide his disappointment.
"One hundred per cent, I've never seen anything like them," he told Rogan of McGregor's improvised shoulder shots in the clinch.
"I stepped back and he head-kicked me. I was like, 'Oh man, this happened this fast, I got my a** whipped'."
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