In terms of viewership, the UFC has certainly experienced growth overall in the last few years, but the sport is undoubtedly missing its main man, Conor McGregor. In fact, UFC 264 drew just under 1.8 million buys, highlighting just how much Dana White’s product is lacking without the fascinating Irishman. Put simply, McGregor is still the king of the Octagon.
Conor McGregor’s greatest moments in the UFC
A divisive character in the sport, it’s impossible to ignore Conor McGregor and what he brings to the table in terms of his all-around package. He’s a fighter who is capable of captivating large audiences, fuelling debate on Twitter and YouTube, and essentially helping the sport to grow as a whole. As such, the likes of McGregor enable fans of the sport to make educated decisions ahead of betting on MMA, be it through a money line victory or with some successful round betting, and generally bring eyes onto the sport where others might not. Make no mistake about it, the UFC is a great product overall, but it doesn’t always register the same type of success as other sports despite its clear growth on the whole.
For some, the UFC is missing Conor McGregor and the numerous highlights he has served up over the years. With his comeback potentially on the horizon, let’s take a look at some of the greatest moments of The Notorious’ career so far. Here’s hoping we can see him in the Octagon once again in 2022.
Conor’s UFC debut, April 6, 2013
It’s only right to start with McGregor’s debut, a memorable match-up with Marcus Brimage, which came to fruition five years after he turned professional in 2013. The fight lasted just 67 seconds as the Irishman, who possesses excellent boxing skills, won the fight by TKO thanks to a delicious punch that Brimage simply couldn’t handle. The debut appearance provided McGregor with the springboard that he needed to become the global MMA sensation that he is today.
Clash with Max Holloway, August 17, 2013
Despite being a fairly forgettable match-up on paper, the Irish fighters’ clash with Max Holloway in 2013 was special. At the time, fans of the sport didn’t realise that they were watching two stars in the making, with the fight being buried on the preliminary card of a UFC Fight Night, which was headlined by huge stars at the time, Chael Sonnen and Mauricio Rua. The fight between the pair did have its good moments, but in the end, McGregor got the unanimous decision which paved the way for a big future in the sport for both fighters.
The devastating KO of Jose Aldo, December 12, 2015
Arguably one of his most impressive performances ever, Conor McGregor’s battering of Jose Aldo at UFC 194 in Las Vegas was just about as convincing as it can get. The temperamental character put Aldo to sleep with a first-round KO to land himself the world featherweight title and hammer home just how dangerous he is in the process. Overall, it’s certainly up there with one of the best KOs in UFC history.
Avenging the loss to Nate Diaz, August 20, 2016
After being dealt his first loss in the UFC by Nate Diaz thanks to a second-round submission, it was inevitable that the fiery Irishman would look to gain revenge as soon as possible. The rematch came five months later and was the main event for UFC 202 in what promised to be a truly unforgettable class between two emerging rivals in the sport. The fight didn’t disappoint either, with McGregor coming out on top after a hugely exciting brawl between the two, with The Notorious getting the majority decision nod by the scores of 48–47, 47–47, and 48–47. What an incredible occasion.