Ahead of his next UFC fight, have a look at the Conor McGregor one-punch KO which convinced Dana White to give him lucrative deal and send him towards superstardom

0


Long before the glitzy Las Vegas fight nights or those adrenaline-inducing super cars, Conor McGregor was just a simple lad from Crumlin with a dream.

Eight years ago, ‘The Notorious’ held the Cage Warriors featherweight title and had ambitions to become a two-weight champion.

Conor McGregor is now the biggest superstar in the UFC

Getty Images – Getty

Conor McGregor is now the biggest superstar in the UFC

Ivan Buchinger was the ominous figure who stood in his way at 155lbs, with the Slovakian fighter having lost just three times in his career en route to collecting the lightweight title.

Many at the time felt the Irishman was closing in on his dream move to the UFC, with victory almost certainly securing his contract from Dana White. Yet, behind the scenes, the dream was seemingly slipping away.

Coach John Kavanagh and McGregor’s management team had received an email from the UFC rejecting their fighter – just a few months before the New Year’s Eve 2012 clash against Buchinger.

With the featherweight division locked up under reigning champion Jose Aldo, the door seemed firmly shut to McGregor and his dream of fighting on the biggest stage was dashed.

The Irishman celebrates his victory over Dave Hill with future fiancée Dee Devlin in June 2012

Getty Images – Getty

The Irishman celebrates his victory over Dave Hill with future fiancée Dee Devlin in June 2012

McGregor poses with the Cage Warriors featherweight belt before his bout with Buchinger in Dublin

Getty Images – Getty

McGregor poses with the Cage Warriors featherweight belt before his bout with Buchinger in Dublin

However, McGregor refused to be deterred and displayed the sort of mental fortitude which has become a staple of his game.

Not only was the Irishman flawless on the night at The Helix in Dublin, he delivered a first round knockout which left the former champion rendered completely unconscious.

His flawless head movement and pinpoint left hook slept the Slovakian and left referee Marc Goddard with no choice but to step in and bring the contest to a halt.

Unlike the wild celebrations where he jumped into the crowd after his featherweight title win over Dave Hill, McGregor was far more subdued. Perhaps still reeling from the UFC rejection, ‘The Notorious’ hoisted both world titles aloft but barely managed to crack a wry smile.

‘The Notorious’ hoists both Cage Warriors belts aloft, but looks despondent after being rejected by the UFC

Cage Warriors (Twitter)

‘The Notorious’ hoists both Cage Warriors belts aloft, but looks despondent after being rejected by the UFC

Conor McGregor and Dana White race down Las Vegas strip in UFC President’s Ferrari after Irishman’s UFC debut and knockout

However, it soon became clear the blockbuster performance had caught the attention of the UFC brass, with Dana White and Sean Shelby moving quickly to sign the Irishman in February of 2013.

In April of that same year, McGregor stopped Marcus Brimage in his UFC debut to earn himself a hefty bonus and a drive around Las Vegas in White’s Ferrari.

The rest, as they say, is history; the 32-year-old repeated his title-winning heroics in 2016 when he knocked out Eddie Alvarez 11 months after stopping Jose Aldo.

McGregor will return to action on January 23 at UFC 257 to face Dustin Poirier in the hope he can become a two-time UFC champion and once again fulfil the dreams he had as a young boy in Dublin eight years ago.





Source link

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.