Conor McGregor rose through the ranks very quickly in the UFC. He joined UFC as the Cage Warriors double champ. He was the featherweight and the lightweight champion of the promotion. However, it was time for him to take the next step in his career. With an unbelievable amount of hype behind him, McGregor made his UFC debut in April 2013.
He effortlessly squashed Marcus Brimage in the first round to pick up a win in the featherweight division. Conor also got the KO of the Night bonus for the bout. It kicked off an insane win streak, where he beat all-time greats like Max Holloway and Dustin Poirier. His KO win over Poirier made the UFC grant him the featherweight title shot against then-champ Jose Aldo at UFC 189.
However, Aldo pulled out due to an injury, and Conor went on to fight Chad Mendes for the interim featherweight belt. Although it was a tough fight, Conor stopped Chad in the second round of their fight. He took on Aldo in the next fight at UFC 194 and what followed, is now legendary! As Conor KO’ed Aldo in just 13 seconds, Joe Rogan famously screamed “He slept him!”
Conor McGregor made history at UFC 205 in Madison Square Garden
Conor McGregor was on top of the world after dusting Jose Aldo at UFC 194. While any other fighter would have been happy to stay in the weight class and defend his belt, Conor had something historic in his mind. He had two iconic fights with Nate Diaz right after. After beating Diaz the second time, The Notorious One did something that nobody even attempted in the UFC!
At the time, there was yet to be a fighter who became a two-weight champion simultaneously. Conor wanted to change that and challenge for the lightweight title. He wanted to replicate his Cage Warriors feat in UFC and got the chance to do so at UFC 205. The event was also significant in another sense, as it was the very first UFC PPV in New York and the iconic Madison Square Garden (MSG) arena.
The build-up to the fight was iconic itself. During one of the press conferences, Conor uttered the famous insult to Jeremy Stephens as he said, “Who the f**k is that guy?” Conor was at the peak of his powers and everything he touched, turned to gold. He fought Eddie Alvarez for the belt on November 16, 2016, and had perhaps the best performance of his life.
The bout lasted just under two rounds as he knocked Alvarez out to become the first-ever UFC double champ that day. It was one of the biggest reasons behind his ability to land the Floyd Mayweather fight in 2017. However, he was later stripped of both of his titles due to inactivity. While he never went down to 145 lbs to reclaim his title, Conor unsuccessfully took on Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 for the 155 lbs belt.