Conor McGregor did what he said he would do to Diego Barandao: stopped him in round one.
First Round KO
McGregor floored Barandao with a vicious left straight that dropped the Brazilian near the fence and after a flurry, referee Leon Roberts stopped the punishment at the 4:05 mark of round one. It was a spectacular comeback for the pride of Dublin, who had been out for 11 months after an ACL surgery.
McGregor was near perfect in his return as he was completely firing from all cylinders in manhandling the UFC’s #15 ranked featherweight en route to his eleventh straight victory, and the 15th of his career against 2 losses. McGregor was fighting in his hometown of Dublin for the first time under the UFC promotion, and the crowd of over 9,500 at the O2 Arena loved every second of it.
The fight lived up to its billing as an action packed one. Both fighters had a fast start as each were looking to slug it out at the center of the octagon in the opening seconds of the bout. After McGregor connected on a spinning back kick that erased doubts on his surgically repaired knee, Barandao secured a bodylock takedown a couple of second later. But McGregor reversed it in midair and put himself on top of Barandao’s closed guard. McGregor then scored on punches and kicks to the legs before Barandao rolled back to his feet.
The embattled Brazilian tried a flurry of punches to stem the tide, but none of them landed cleanly on the aggressive McGregor. After landing a significant body shot that hurt Barandao, McGregor then uncorked that left straight that sent his opponent to the canvass. Sensing the finish, the Dublin native then rushed for the kill and finished off the helpless Barandao with a series of punches. The knockout was 13th in Conor’s 15 wins and his second first round win in three fights at the UFC.
Going To The Top
Though the win was undoubtedly the biggest in his career, McGregor has yet to face a top 10 featherweight in his career. After the fight, the brash Irish standout talked about world titles and fighting in stadiums. He was referring to his ambition of fighting in a big fight at a bigger outdoor stadium in Ireland.
His cockiness wasn’t well taken by everybody. Immediately after the bout, McGregor got called out by #6 ranked featherweight Dustin Poirier via the internet. And since McGregor said that he wanted to fight as soon as possible, UFC President Dana White stated that he might book McGregor against Poirier at the UFC’s next PPV event at UFC 178 on Sept. 27.
Looks like the “Son of Sonnen” is going straight to the top now.