McGregor Puts Irish MMA On The Map With Devastating KO Debut


Irish fans had a new sporting achievement to celebrate last Saturday, as Crumlin native Conor McGregor took the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) world by storm. Making his debut in the UFC, the biggest MMA organisation in the world, McGregor became only the second Irish fighter ever to compete in the company, and the first to score a victory. The win was also a statement to the rest of the fighters in the featherweight division of the UFC, as McGregor needed only 67 seconds to KO his opponent Marcus Brimage. The 24 year old McGregor surprised many who claimed that he would struggle against the higher level of competition in the organisation. Despite being a highly touted prospect in MMA, McGregor would not be the first fighter who had dominated in a smaller organisation but then struggled when it came to performing on the big stage.

The KO over Brimage kept a string of finishes alive for McGregor, who has never had a fight go past the second round without knocking out or submitting his opponent. Coming into Saturday’s fight with a 12-2 record, “Notorious” has now won his last nine fights in a row. The icing on the cake for McGregor however, was undoubtedly the $60,000 bonus that he received as the “Knockout of the Night” award. Not bad for someone who claimed that up until last week he was living off €188 per week from social welfare. This life changing experience looks set to continue for McGregor, who has signed a five fight deal with the UFC.

This victory could be also be great news for Irish MMA fans in other ways. The success of McGregor could be an incentive for the UFC to hold an event in Ireland, which they have not done since UFC 93 in 2009.Though this event was a success overall the main card did not feature any Irish fighters, something which would surely change if McGregor can keep up his winning ways. Not only would it be great for Irish fans to get a chance to cheer on McGregor in person, another UFC event in Ireland could be a chance to showcase some local talent and maybe even give some other Irish fighters a chance to break their way into the big time.

Even if we don’t see another UFC event in Ireland any time soon, UFC president Dana White announced that Irish American fans in Boston will get a chance to cheer on McGregor in person at his next fight on August 17. His opponent has not yet been announced, but fans can expect a tough test as the UFC attempt to find out if they really have found the first Irish star in the company’s 20 year history. Fans can also see more of McGregor when he makes an appearance on the Late Late Show on RTE 1 this Friday.

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