McGregor's knockout display earns shot at title
Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena was the most remarkable yet in McGregor's rise to the top of the mixed martial arts world. It was a night for which there is simply no known comparison. From entrance to exit it was steal-your-breath stuff.
At the end of it all McGregor had what he had wanted most - hardware. His heroic fightback off the bloodied canvas and crushing knockout of Chad Mendes earned him the reward of an interim featherweight title and sent his star to even more soaring heights.
"It has been a hell of a ride," he said. "Just over two years I've been here. I've just about broken every record in the game.
"Trust me when I tell you there is a lot of work involved. I have been home for 19 days this year. I have constantly been working, constantly promoting this fight as well as keeping on top of my weight and skill level."
McGregor raced into battle from the bell and swung a kick at Mendes' body.
From there on the fight largely swung the Californian's way. Mendes was billed as the wrestler who was going to test McGregor's alleged weaknesses in that department.
So it proved as Mendes knocked the upstart down to the canvas. A swinging elbow smashed into McGregor's right eyelid and split it wide open.
It was the first time in his UFC career that McGregor was turning the canvas crimson, but after he was knocked down again he got up to deliver the decisive blow.
"I didn't feel threatened," said McGregor after his fifth KO in six UFC fights. "I always prevail. I am confident that I can walk through everything."