UFC news: Who was Conor McGregor's first UFC opponent and what happened to him?


Prior to UFC on Fuel TV 9 event in Stockholm, Sweden on April 6, 2013, much of the talk surrounding the card centred on the late withdrawal of hometown hero Alexander Gustafsson from his main event bout with Gegard Mousasi.

The UFC debut of an Irish prospect named Conor McGregor on the prelim portion of the show was hardly a priority for the MMA media.

After the show, however, McGregor's performance - both in the Octagon and at the post-fight press conference - certainly created a buzz.

That night, 'The Notorious' defeated Marcus Brimage via TKO in just one minute and seven seconds. Soon after the conclusion of the featherweight bout, McGregor was on the microphone demanding the $60,000 prize for 'Knockout of the Night' (which, of course, he was given).

The cheque for $60,000 would be just the start of McGregor's vast career earnings with the UFC. Hundreds of millions of dollars lay in his future, alongside a pair of UFC title reigns.

The same, however, cannot be said for Marcus Brimage.

First coming to the attention of UFC fans when he competed on Season 14 of The Ultimate Fighter reality show; Team Bisping vs Team Miller.

Brimage had been due to compete on the show in two previous seasons, but had been denied due to injury. The American won his first bout on the show as a member of Team Bisping. He did not have the same luck in his next fight, though, as he was defeated by submission.

The UFC did offer Brimage an opportunity following his spell on TUF and he took full advantage of that chance. Heading into his bout with McGregor, Brimage was riding a three-fight UFC win streak.

That winning run was ended by McGregor in emphatic style - and Brimage never truly recovered.

What happened to Marcus Brimage after he fought Conor McGregor?

Following his humbling at the hands of McGregor, Brimage took some time off before dropping down to bantamweight to continue his UFC campaign. Unfortunately for Brimage, the new weight class did not bring him immediate success, as he dropped a split decision to Russell Doane at UFC 175 in July 2014.


Just five months later, though, Brimage would be back in the win column. His first-round head kick knockout of Jumabieke Tuerxun in November brought Brimage a much-needed win. It would, however, be his last in the UFC.

Brimage was released by the promotion the following year after a pair of losses to Cody Garbrandt (at UFC 182) and Jimmie Rivera (at UFC Fight Night 72). Given that both Garbrandt and Rivera are still ranked as top contenders in the bantamweight division today, the decision to part ways with Brimage does seem slightly tough. 

With that said, Brimage had lost four of his last five bouts at the time - and any fighter on that sort of run has to be in danger of losing their spot on the UFC roster.

Reappearing in March 2016, Brimage signed with South Korean MMA promotion Road FC, where he lost his sole bout to Soo Chul Kim via decision.


Brimage's final MMA bout to date took place in June 2016, where he once again lost a unanimous decision - this time to Leonardo Morales at Viva Nicaragua Canal 13: MMA War.

A return to combat sports was set for Brimage in June 2019, when he signed to fight Jamie Oldfield for bare-knuckle boxing promotion BKB.

Brimage ultimately withdrew from that bout, though, and currently has no further fights planned.

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Where was Conor McGregor born?

Still only 35 years old, there is time for Brimage to make a competitive comeback. How different things might have been, though, had he not met a certain Conor McGregor in 2013.

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