Conor McGgregor, for a few years, was probably the most famous athlete on the planet.

His achievements are the stuff of legend. He earned millions of dollars, became a two-weight champion with devastating victories, and seemed untouchable.

In his prime, McGregor was a hyper-focused striking wizard who used impeccable timing and intelligent reading of an opponent’s style to systematically destroy all who came before him. Some said that his weakness was his ground game, which had led to two submission losses early in his career, but the UFC matched him up well on his rise to the top. He laid waste to a plethora of good fighters on the way to beating Chad Mendes for the interim featherweight title, then took Jose Aldo’s belt in a 13-second knockout.

No one expected Jose Aldo, then the greatest featherweight of all time, to go down in 13 seconds.

He looked nigh-invincible, but the aura was shattered a few years ago by Nate Diaz, who took a fight on short notice and came out victorious thanks to a rear naked choke on a clearly gassed McGregor.

Conor would go on to win their rematch, but was unable to finish Diaz. That win set up his tango with Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight crown. He defeated Alvarez in a lopsided knockout victory, one of the greatest title-winning performances of all time.
Conor’s four-punch combo that put Eddie Alvarez on the floor is one of the greatest displays of technical striking that you will ever see in an MMA bout.

McGregor then took a hiatus from MMA and used his fame to set up a boxing showdown with Floyd Mayweather Jr. that is thought to have earned him in the area of $100 million. He lost that fight thanks to a masterful performance from Floyd, who showed that McGregor did not have the elite boxing skills to seriously threaten ‘The Best Ever’.

Nate Diaz shocked the world with his submission win.

Maybe it was the money, the fame, or it could be some of the darker things that have rumored to have consumed McGregor. Recent years have seen him become embroiled in a seemingly endless list of legal problems. He’s mainly driven headlines with his erratic behavior instead of his exploits in the cage.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. put on a clinic and showed that Conor McGregor was overmatched in a boxing ring.

One could argue, though, that the bus attack that landed him in hot water with the law also drove interest in his mega-fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov. McGregor had embraced the image of a madman, and fans ate it up.

However, he couldn’t back up all of his vitriol leading up to the fight and was soundly defeated by the champion from Dagestan. He was dominant and kept McGgregor on the ground through most of the fight, even taunting him and saying, “Let’s talk now!” while pounding his opponent. Much like his first fight against Diaz, Conor was defeated by submission.
Khabib was not impressed with Conor’s antics.

Khabib also showed Conor who the true madman was, jumping out of the cage to fight the Irishman’s teammate and setting off the most infamous post-fight brawl in UFC history.

That was the last time we saw ‘Mystic Mac’ in the cage until today’s fight against ‘Cowboy’ Donald Cerrone.

On paper, it was a good matchup for the man from Crumlin. Cerrone is a fighter that loves to scrap and has many highlight finishes on the feet.

What some people take for granted, though, is that Cerrone is also a high-level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner who earned his black belt in 2016. He did not get to show off any of his grappling in this fight.

Both fighters looked calm and focused in their walks toward the cage, with the crowd going wild as Conor raised his hands at them before entering the octagon.

MgGregor came in flying to start the fight, giving Cerrone a bloody nose with a series of shoulder strikes from a clinch in the opening seconds into the fight. He followed up with a high kick that sent Cowboy stumbling and finished him with strikes on the ground.

It was a masterful performance that ended in 40 seconds. It was a great showing for McGregor, whose superstardom has been re-ignited with the devastating victory.

It was a good reminder, too, that the fight game is cruel and will eat you up. The planes, the watches, the designer suits are great, but they aren’t what will help you win the in the cage. When you lose that hunger, and that focus, defeats will pile up. You always have to be focused and ready to put on your best performance at all times – and Conor certainly looked the part.
A view of the fight taken by a fan in the arena.

Tonight, Conor McGregor looked like the world-beater of old. It doesn’t matter who he fights next, it will be one hell of an event. I’d personally like to see him fight Jorge Masvidal in a massive money fight. I hope Dana and the UFC make it happen.

People appreciated the victory, including kings from other sports, like LeBron James, who tweeted out his congratulations right away.

Love him or hate him, Conor McGregor showed exactly why he’s still one of the most popular fighters in the world today. His next bout will be must-watch TV, and he deserves recognition for that.