As Conor McGregor plots his latest return to the Octagon by putting, in his own words, ‘opponents unconscious’, what better time to take out the Notorious One’s playbook and relive one of his most memorable victories.
McGregor’s sensational win of 2015 against Jose Aldo at UFC 194 saw the Irishman begin his journey toward becoming UFC’s first dual-weight champion – going on to beat Eddie Alvarez a year later – but it will also be remembered for the night commentator Joe Rogan was left speechless.
Arguably the voice of MMA for some years, Rogan, the former Fear Factor presenter was left stunned by McGregor’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it take down of featherweight champ Aldo seven years ago.
In a nostalgic tweet by UFC Canada, memories of that night are captured perfectly, as the split-screen action rolls with Rogan’s face also shown from ringside.
As McGregor and Aldo finally met a fortnight before Christmas that year after their initial bout from UFC 189 was postponed due to the Brazilian sustaining a rib injury, the two prepared to go at it in what was billed as the most highly anticipated featherweight bout of all time.
Rogan, looking on from ringside before opening bell, had noted that while McGregor looked ‘extremely loose’, Aldo meanwhile, appeared a man who may have been ‘feeling the pressure of this moment’.
In the annuls of sports commentary, perhaps no truer words have been uttered.
When the bell rang out at the packed MGM Grand in Las Vegas, McGregor immediately went to dominate the ring on the front foot. After an initial kick to his opponent’s leg, Aldo backed off briefly before diving in for left-right combo; the rest is history.
McGregor, a southpaw, telegraphed the move and stepped back before countering with devastating left hand to Aldo’s chin which sent him to the canvas, unconscious.
“OHHHHHHHH”, cried Rogan, as Sin City erupted in tandem.
McGregor went back in for two hammer fists to the head of Jose, as referee ‘Big’ John McCarthy was quick to step in and stop the contest.
“Ohhhhhhhh. He’s slept him!”. As the Irishman scaled the cage in celebration, Rogan was left open-mouthed. “Ohhhhhhh!…..Unbelievable”.
Leaving a few moments for the gravity of what had just passed to sink in, Rogan rather adroitly concluded: “Oh my god”.
After just 13 seconds into the fight, to this day its remains the fastest knockout in a title bout in UFC history.
As far as the future for McGregor, his next career move could be a return to UFC as documented, but given the unpredictable nature of one of sports’ most enigmatic characters, it could also be as a high-wire circus performer. Perhaps not.
What is for certain however, is that McGregor’s sensational stoppage of Jose Aldo will be hard for him to top. Joe Rogan would probably agree.