Just 13 seconds to conquer the world

by Gazette Reporter

13 SECONDS.
That is all it took for Dublin’s Conor McGregor to become the undisputed, unified, UFC featherweight champion of the world.
Whether it was a seat in the MGM Garden Arena, or a barstool in Dublin, or the sofa at home, people had barely settled into their seats when the Notorious knocked Jose Aldo to the floor.
After a couple of early swing and misses from both fighters in the opening seconds, the Brazilian, and undefeated champion of 10 years threw out a right-jab. In doing so, he left that side of his chin exposed and McGregor landed one of his devastating left-hooks and Aldo collapsed to the canvas, catching the Dubliner with a decent right-hook on the way down.
With Aldo down, McGregor took his chance and let two clinical hammer punches rain down on his opponent before referee John McCarthy stepped in and ended the bout.
The Las Vegas crowd, which looked and sounded about 80% Irish, erupted as months of talk was finally backed up by a ferocious walk.
Speaking in the ring afterwards, the ever-confident and assured Irishman was perhaps more humble than ever before.
“Again, nobody can take that left-hand shot,” he said. “But I tell you, he’s powerful and he’s fast. But precision beats power, and timing beats speed, and that’s what you saw there.
“I feel for Jose, he was a phenomenal champion. We deserved to go a little bit longer but I still feel at the end of the day, precision beats power and timing beats speed every day of the week so it would have happened sooner or later.”
What McGregor does next is already the subject of much debate. Immediately after Sunday morning’s fight, Aldo suggested a rematch.
However, the next contender in the 145lbs featherweight division would more likely to be Frankie Edgar, who knocked out Chad Mendes the night before in the main-event of the Ultimate Fighter finale.
Another likely option for the 27-year-old is a move up to the Lightweight Division, a weight which many feel would be more natural to his 5’9” frame.
In the UFC 194 post-fight press conference, unusually but unsurprisingly, the Notorious practically ran the event itself, without a moderator.
Again, he was respectful towards Aldo and spoke about the possibility of moving up to the 155lbs lightweight division.
When asked, having beaten Aldo, if he now believed he was the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport, McGregor answered: “I believe so. I believe there are many great fighters.
“There are many people who do great things but when you combine it all together, the whole package, the whole animal that is the fight game.
“I don’t think there is anyone who does it better than me. I think I am the pound-for-pound number one.”
Having first held an interim title since July and now the unified title, the SBG fighter insisted if he does move up to 155lbs, the featherweight belt will remain in his hands. “I tell you one thing that won’t be happening.
“If I go up to that lightweight division there’s no way in hell I’m vacating my belt. That’s not happening.
“There’ll be a belt on one shoulder and a belt on the other shoulder. I understand why previously they would have fighters do that [vacate titles], because many fighters don’t fight as frequently as I do; tell me how many fights I’ve had in the past year, I’m busy, I stay active, I’m fresh. So when I go up and take that lightweight belt I will still be the featherweight champion.”
On the possibility of title-defence in Dublin, he didn’t hide his ambition. “If they offer me Croke Park, or they offer me the football stadium, you’re damn right I’m going to take it,” he said.
On whether his profile in the UFC means he can demand it, he added: “Maybe I can these days, but for now I’m going to sit back in the shadows for Christmas and plot, then I’ll be back in the New Year with something.”

Related Articles