One Punch KO of Jose Aldo Tops Lengthy List of Conor McGregor Highlights

Jun 15, 2016
When examining the lengthy list of Conor McGregor highlights in UFC competition, his one-punch knockout of Jose Aldo to claim featherweight gold immediately comes to mind.

The “Notorious” Irishman taunted his Brazilian opponent constantly in the weeks and months leading up to their showdown at UFC 194, even calling his own shot before the two combatants stepped into the Octagon.

"Let's see how this contest plays out. If [Aldo] can give me a war and he can earn a rematch, then we can do a rematch -- but I just don't see him answering the bell for the second round,” McGregor said during a pre-fight conference call. “I can't see his face or his body at the beginning of the second round. I see him KO'd inside one and when you KO a man inside one, there's no need for a rematch.”

McGregor appeared downright clairvoyant on the night of Dec. 12, 2015, as he floored the longtime 145-pound king with a perfectly-timed counter left hook during their opening exchange in the UFC 194 headliner. McGregor’s two follow-up hammerfists were unnecessary, as Aldo hit the canvas stiff as a board after absorbing the initial blow. When referee John McCarthy stepped in to halt the bout, just 13 seconds had elapsed.

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In that brief period of time, McGregor’s place as a superstar was cemented.

“Jose has been a phenomenal champion,” McGregor said at the post-fight press conference. “It would’ve been nice if the contest had stretched out a little bit longer just for all that it’s been through, but I still feel the same process would’ve happened. Timing beats speed; precision beats power. That’s it. I respect Jose. I wish him well, but we are on to the next chapter.”

That next chapter would include a move up to the lightweight division, where he was to challenge for the 155-pound belt at UFC 196 before Rafael dos Anjos withdrew from the bout due to injury. Instead, McGregor fought Nate Diaz at welterweight at the event and suffered the first loss of his UFC tenure via second-round submission. Their rematch is rumored to take place at UFC 202.

Despite that defeat, Conor McGregor highlights abound during his rise to stardom in the Octagon. His official coming out part occurred at UFC Fight Night “Shogun vs. Sonnen” in Boston, where he outpointed fellow contender Max Holloway despite an injured knee. His headlining appearance in his native Dublin, where he knocked out Diego Brandao inside of a round, was an electric event. And subsequent stoppages of Dustin Poirier, Dennis Siver and Chad Mendes all featured the signature McGregor flair.

As arguably the UFC’s biggest star, McGregor’s greatest highlights could be yet to come.

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