Conor McGregor has made headlines in some of the greatest fights in UFC history and in doing so has achieved some of the sport’s most memorable performances in recent years.
From featherweight to welterweight, McGregor made his mark in the sport with knockout wins, trashy speeches and a few championship belts.
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But which of his 10 UFC wins was the most impressive?
We’ve put our heads together and put together this list of the Irishman’s best performances in the UFC. We took into account the level of the opponent, the size of the occasion and how he got those wins.
5. McGregor beats. Nate Diaz by majority decision
We’ve favored some spectacular knockouts on this list, but the high-stakes context of this rematch made it difficult not to include it.
McGregor had been beaten by Diaz months earlier after the Californian replaced the late Rafael dos Anjos. A loss in the rematch at UFC 202 would have seriously derailed McGregor’s hype train.
Would he have received a lightweight title shot against Eddie Alvarez, or a big-price boxing match against Floyd Mayweather with back-to-back losses? I doubt.
He answered a lot of questions on the night of the fight. It was the deepest he had ever been taken, he had five tough rounds, took punches and fended off submission attempts.
It wasn’t his most complete or amazing victory, but it was perhaps the one we’ve learned the most from.
4. McGregor beats. Diego Brandao via KO in the first round
The performance was sublime, but it was the scene that made this one truly impressive.
It was McGregor’s first main fight, in front of fans in his hometown of Dublin. He was also coming back from a knee injury he suffered almost a year earlier in his win over Max Holloway, and he had spoken a lot. of trash talk in construction.
Against a Brazilian jiu-jitsu whiz in Brandao, who won “The Ultimate Fighter” in 2011, McGregor stayed safe when the fight went to the ground, and he was brought to a screeching stop four minutes after the first round.
3. McGregor beats. Dustin Poirier via KO in the first round
Just over two months after his win over Brandao, McGregor was back in the cage against Poirier in his first appearance on the main card of a pay-per-view event.
McGregor was ranked ninth at featherweight, facing fifth Poirier. ‘The Diamond’ was also McGregor’s biggest opponent to date and led a three-game winning streak.
There was more chatter, millions of eyeballs, and tremendous pressure. The winner was guaranteed to be catapulted up the rankings, with a potential title fight in the near future.
When the opening siren sounded, McGregor proved he was above Poirier, showing poise and patience on his way to a resounding victory. It was the last time he didn’t title a UFC card.
2. McGregor beats. Eddie Alvarez via TKO in second round for UFC lightweight title
One of the most devastating one-sided title fights to be won by a challenger.
McGregor made his name in history by simultaneously becoming the UFC two-weight world champion when he completely dismantled Alvarez at Madison Square Garden in UFC 205.
After a generally heated build up, McGregor dropped the then lightweight champion several times in the first round, featured by holding his hands behind his back and putting an exclamation mark on the victory in the second.
The 2016 fight is his last victory in the title fights.
1. McGregor beats. Jose Aldo via first round knockout for UFC featherweight title
Thirteen seconds. That’s all it took for McGregor to send longtime featherweight champion Aldo to the canvas in the biggest fight of his life at UFC 194.
The victory was made even more impressive when footage was later leaked of McGregor practicing the exact move – a perfect counter left to an Aldo in charge – in the locker room before the fight.
We debated whether or not to rank Alvarez’s win No.1, but opted for this win due to Aldo’s record and legacy in the sport.
What we have learned
Reflecting on some of those wins is like taking a trip back in time to revisit the irresistible wave of momentum McGregor had on his journey to becoming a two-weight world champion.
It was almost impossible not to get caught up in it.
It’s also worth noting that the most recent win on the list dates back over four years. Since then, he’s seen more controversy outside of the Octagon than he’s won inside. He also took a boxing match against Floyd Mayweather and convincingly lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov.
McGregor’s only victory since his demolition of Alvarez in 2016 is a 40-second stoppage by Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, who really had nothing to do.
The other thing that stands out is how comfortable McGregor is in the spotlight. Against Aldo, Alvarez and Poirier, McGregor upped the hype and pressure with some serious trashy speech. But once the cage door was closed, he was able to block everything and achieve sublime performances.
The same cannot be said of these three opponents. Aldo was mentally broken long before fight night, Alvarez had seemingly forgotten what had led him to the title in the first place, and Poirier looked like a stag in the headlights.
Will McGregor be able to add another to the roster this weekend?