“The Notorious” Conor McGregor called his own shot, and made good on the promise Saturday night at UFC Fight Night 46 in Dublin, Ireland. The hometown favourite put on a show for his supporters in attendance at The O2, finishing Diego Brandao in the very first round of the main event.
Conor McGregor went to say no one could beat him on his own soil in Ireland. Returning from an 11 month layoff after tearing his ACL in the previous fight against Max Holloway, McGregor returned with a bang. Winning his 3rd straight fight in the UFC, improving to 15-2 and continuing to climb the featherweight ladder.
Both fighters had a heated staredown at the weigh-ins Friday, which got the audience fired up for this main event, but when it was all said and done the two showed respect and class for one another.
“I wanna say Thanks to Conor McGregor, for doing what he said, finishing in the first round,” Brandao said.
“I respect him [Brandao]. I respect where he came from, he won the ultimate fighter. But nobody was going to take this away from me,” McGregor responded.
McGregor, the proud Irishman returned to fight in his homeland for the first time since he won the Cage Warriors lightweight championship in 2012, had his dream come true of being able to bring a UFC event back to Ireland. For the next step, McGregor is not backing down for his wishes to have a UFC fight in a stadium in Ireland.
“It’s a dream come true, to walk out there and the noise of that crowd–it actually got so loud it wasn’t sound anymore, it was a buzzing,” McGregor said. “We’ve been starved of this, the UFC, for 5-6 years now. This is our first event. I’m proud of all the Irish people and all the die hard UFC fans that came out and showed that we are a nation that supports this sport and the UFC. I believe a football stadium is definitely in the near future.”
“Let’s bring one of these so called number one contenders over and let’s fill out a stadium and let’s see who the real number one contender is.”
While Conor McGregor has aspirations of a title shot in the near future, Dana White has calmed those thoughts by saying he needed to get into the top 10, and then the top 5 first before becoming a contender. McGregor reiterated that he wanted to take out the entire featherweight division, one-by-one and still believes he’ll be a world champion at the end of the year.
“I’m looking to get as quick turn around as soon as possible, and climb that division one-by-one. I will eliminate the whole division,” McGregor said. “When I’m finished there will be nobody left.”
It looks like that line of fighters will begin with top 10 featherweight, Dustin Poirier, who tweeted that he was ready. McGregor says he’d be ready for a September fight at UFC 178.
“I already know that guy doesn’t want to fight. His teammate Cole Miller, they’re from the same camp, pulled out of the fight.” McGregor alluding to the fact that his teammate Cole Miller pulled out of the originally scheduled bout against him on this card and Dustin Poirier didn’t campaign to be a replacement for the fight.
McGregor was quick to praise the success of his teammates and fellow Irishmen on the card, who went an undefeated 4-0 and 5-0, respectively.
“I didn’t say we were here to take part, I said we were here to take over.”
Conor McGregor’s stardom and meteoric rise in the UFC has continued to be a huge story in the MMA world, and he’s bringing along a few of his friends with him as evident on this UFC Dublin card.