Conor McGregor stopped Jose Aldo with one spectacular punch simply 13 seconds into the first round, backing up his bravado and claim the undisputed featherweight title
Conor McGregor boasted again and again what would pass when Jose Aldo stood across from him in the octagon. But even the 27 -year-old Irishman never went so far as to predict that Aldo, undefeated in 18 bouts going back to 2005, “wouldve been” knocked out cold in 13 seconds.
Thats precisely what happened on Saturday night inside a rabid MGM Grand Garden Arena, where a swathe of McGregors countrymen gathered to watch a result many grew convinced, mostly through the power of McGregors demeanors and terms, was inevitable.
But even the most hardcore of believers could not have envisaged McGregor smoothly slipping and parrying a righthand lead from the Brazilian, then coming across with an immaculately timed left that distorted Aldos jaw and flung him unconscious to the canvas.
It was, to be dramatic, the most Conor McGregor moment yet. And thats saying something because during the Dubliners UFC career , now totalling seven fights since 2013, the Notorious One has made many worth remembering.
No power, merely accuracy, said a matter-of-fact McGregor, who reacted to the stunning victory as if it was simple fate. No velocity, only period. Thats all it takes. These are four-ounce gloves. Thats all it takes.
A keen observer of movement and body mechanics, of numbers and sequences, McGregor has separated himself from the pack by going about things his own way. Resulting up to the fight, he spoke of the 29 year-old Aldo , now 25 -2 as a professional mixed martial artist, as simply another foe. This, according to the men who faced Aldo and lost, was preposterous. The Brazilian is athletically gifted. A speedy and hard puncher. A ogre kicker. A black belt jiu-jitsu grappler. Again, though, it was McGregor who was proved correct. Ridiculously so.
Hes strong and hes fast but accuracy beats power and timing beats speed, McGregor said, nary a hint of sweat on his eyebrow. I feel for Jose. He was a phenomenal champion. He deserved to go a little bit longer It would have happened sooner or later.
Aldo, bleeding from a cut on the bridge of his nose, slumped in his corner. This is a landmark moment not only for McGregor but for Zuffa, which promotes the UFC. After years of search, the Las Vegas-based promotion ultimately has its first European superstar one they can expect to sell out stadiums and make mega-rich bouts for years to come.