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5 times Conor McGregor proved his doubters completely wrong

McGregor v Cerrone
McGregor v Cerrone
ANALYST
Modified 21 Mar 2021
Top 5 / Top 10

Conor McGregor is often termed a loud-mouth who knows how to stay in the public eye. His eccentric personality is a product of a business-minded marketeer. However, having made his UFC debut back in 2013, the Irishman has silenced his haters in more ways, and on more occasions, than one.

When you look at the career graph that 'The Notorious' has had, there is no denying that the man is a legend. Therefore, in this article, we look back at five such incidents where Conor McGregor proved his doubters completely wrong.


5. Defeating Jose Aldo

Jose Aldo vs McGregor
Jose Aldo vs McGregor

Jose Aldo was the featherweight champion from his days at the WEC. He defended his title against reputed opponents like Chad Mendes, who had almost destroyed Conor McGregor on short notice at UFC 189, and former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar.

Aldo had witnessed an unbridled reign in the featherweight division for almost 10 years. However, Conor McGregor proved that Aldo was only human.

Conor McGregor got into Jose Aldo's head. During UFC 194's promotional world tour in Brazil, Conor caught eyeballs throwing darts at Jose's photo pinned to a dartboard.

During another of the pre-fight press conferences, which took place in Dublin, Conor insulted Jose Aldo by snatching his belt, before shouting, "You're looking at the king!".

Jose went on the record to say how badly he wanted to punish Conor. But when McGregor finally faced the featherweight champ, he knocked him out in 13 seconds.

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Speaking after the fight with the featherweight title on his shoulder, Conor McGregor said nonchalantly, "Nobody can take that left-hand shot."

Jose hadn't lost for 10 years but was seen nearly in tears in the dressing room after that loss to McGregor. His career had changed forever.


4. First double-champ

Conor McGregor becomes UFC
Conor McGregor becomes UFC's first double-champ

Right after the victory against Jose Aldo, Conor McGregor decided to fight for another belt. He was already a double champ in the Cage Warriors but wanted to repeat the feat in the UFC as well.

UFC President Dana White liked the idea and gave McGregor a shot in 2016 against Rafael Dos Anjos, the lightweight champion.

However, weeks before the fight, Dos Anjos pulled out of the fight owing to a leg injury, making room for Nate Diaz to enter the fray.

Conor McGregor fought Nate Diaz at UFC 196 in March 2016, and lost in what was one of the biggest upsets in UFC history.

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On the other hand, Rafael Dos Anjos went against Eddie Alvarez at UFC Fight Night 90 to defend his title. Eddie Alvarez knocked Dos Anjos out cold in the first round, becoming the lightweight champion - much to Conor's displeasure.

Later that year in November, Conor faced Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205. After a few takedowns and an eventual KO in the second round, 'The Notorious' became the first ever UFC fighter to hold titles in two weight divisions simultaneously.

It wasn't the first time this had been attempted in the UFC, though. BJ Penn, who was the lightweight champion in 2008 had tried to conquer the welterweight title in 2009 against George St-Pierre at UFC 94, although unsuccessfully.

After Conor's historic achievement, Daniel Cormier became the second UFC fighter to hold two titles at the same time - light heavyweight and heavyweight.

Amanda Nunes and Henry Cejudo achieved the feat soon after. However, Conor McGregor was the first ever to do so - proving his doubters wrong.


3. Lightweight to welterweight

McGregor welterweight (top) vs featherweight (bottom)
McGregor welterweight (top) vs featherweight (bottom)

After Rafael Dos Anjos pulled out of UFC 196 against Conor McGregor, Dana White named Nate Diaz as the replacement. However, the interesting thing was that the fight wasn't in lightweight, but in welterweight instead.

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For most of his career, Conor McGregor was a featherweight fighter, but showing up for the weigh-ins for the fight against Diaz, he looked a natural welterweight. In a promotional interview, UFC President Dana White also called Conor the "man out of category".

However, Conor didn't look out of category and gained mass in proper proportions to his body, unlike Max Holloway who weighed 70 kgs ahead of UFC 236 against Dustin Poirier, getting much skinnier in the actual fight.

Conor McGregor showed great work ethic and training, earning the respect of his doubters for all the efforts that must have gone in the process of making weight.

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Published 21 Mar 2021, 09:44 IST
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