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Conor McGregor vs Diego Brandao: How did the Notorious One fare in his first UFC main event?

Conor McGregor draped in the Irish flagU
Conor McGregor draped in the Irish flag
Anwesha Nag
ANALYST
Modified 23 Dec 2020, 02:35 IST
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Conor McGregor is going to be in yet another main event next month, when he faces Dustin Poirier at UFC 257. The biggest name in UFC will make a return to the octagon one year after his last outing.

The MMA community has barely forgotten Conor McGregor's comeback against Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone and the 40-second knockout that bout featured, yet it is already time for another return of 'The Notorious'.

In the meantime, McGregor had announced his retirement from the sport once again. But on January 23, the world will see The Irishman walk out to the cage for the rematch of his 2014 bout with 'The Diamond'.


Conor McGregor's first UFC main event

It took Conor McGregor only two fights in UFC to get promoted to the main event. McGregor had picked up a stunner of a knockout win on his UFC debut against Marcus Brimage, and then a decision win over Max Holloway.

But the next bout was different. It was not only Conor McGregor's first main event, but it also took place in his hometown, Dublin, Ireland.

UFC had returned to Dublin for the first time in half a decade with Fight Night 46. The last event to take place there was UFC 93 in 2009. Conor McGregor was initially set to face Cole Miller, but the latter had to pull out because of an injury.

Diego Brandao stepped in on short notice to save the main event, a decision that Conor McGregor later claimed saved Brandao's career, or at least his time in UFC. Despite the change of card in the last minute, all tickets for the event sold out within a couple of hours of going live.

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On the day of the fight, the arena was flooded with thousands of Conor McGregor fans from all over Ireland, the distinct Irish flag wrapped around their shoulders or hoisted high above their heads.

As McGregor once famously bellowed: "When one of us goes to war... we all go to war." It seemed to ring true for the first-ever UFC headliner of Conor McGregor.

Conor McGregor fought Diego Brandao amid a roaring crowd of nearly ten thousand fans at The O2 in Dublin.

Conor McGregor did not disappoint those who counted on him and came to watch him win. The match did not last long, as McGregor stopped Diego Brandao in little over four minutes into the first round, just like he predicted he would.

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He started with a body kick almost as soon as they touched gloves, followed by a back and forth, and a takedown attempt from Brandao as the crowd kept on chanting for McGregor.

The two fighters grappled for a while along the fence, but McGregor made his way out to land a big left. Brandao soon experienced what many call one of the most lethal weapons in UFC - Conor McGregor's left hand punch following a bodyshot - and stumbled to the ground. McGregor followed up with some ground-and-pound before the referee intervened and stopped the fight.

Conor McGregor celebrated with the tricolor of Ireland around his shoulders amid deafening cheers from the audience.

Watch the full fight below.

In the post-fight interview, Mystic Mac was brimming with pride in not only his own accomplishment, but also the fact that it happened in his hometown, Dublin.

"I said I was gonna put him away in the first round, I put him away in the first round. You'd have to be something special to come over here in my hometown and take this away from me. There's not a man alive who can come on this soil and beat me."
Published 23 Dec 2020, 02:32 IST
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