Conor McGregor vs Cowboy result: Irishman wins by first round knockout in stunning UFC return

Conor McGregor made a winning return to the UFC on Saturday night when he stopped Donald Cerrone in the first-round of their UFC 246 headline bout.

It took the Irishman just forty seconds to stop Cerrone and extend his professional mixed martial arts record to 22-4.

The former two-division champion returned from a three-year stretch of inactivity and outside-the-cage troubles with a performance that echoed his greatest fights during his unparalleled rise.

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McGregor (22-4) floored Cerrone (36-14) only 20 seconds into the bout with a perfectly placed kick, and he mercilessly finished on the ground to the delight of a sellout crowd at T-Mobile Arena.

McGregor’s hand hadn’t been raised in victory since November 2016, when he stopped lightweight Eddie Alvarez to become the first fighter in UFC history to hold two championship belts simultaneously. With his fame and fortune multiplying, McGregor fought only his boxing match with Floyd Mayweather in 2017, and he lost a one-sided UFC bout to lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in late 2018.


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After a year of inactivity and trouble outside the cage, McGregor vowed to return to elite form in this bout against a fellow UFC veteran and stoppage specialist. His dramatic victory over Cerrone indicated he’s on his way.

Cerrone is the winningest fighter in UFC history with 23 victories inside the octagon, a mark that reflects both his durability and commitment to an uncommonly busy schedule. Cerrone, who also holds the UFC record with 16 stoppage wins, had fought a whopping 11 times since McGregor’s win over Alvarez, and he was in the cage for the 15th time since he lost his only UFC title shot in December 2015.

But Cerrone’s last two fights were stopped when he took too much damage, and he couldn’t block McGregor’s decisive kick or recover from the punishment on the ground.

McGregor believes he can recapture the fearsome form he showed during his meteoric rise to unprecedented MMA success. He won 15 consecutive fights during a five-year run from low-profile shows in Dublin to the world’s biggest MMA events, stopping five straight elite UFC opponents with punches on the way up.

The Irishman was fighting for the first time since he was submitted by Khabib Nurmagomedov back in October 2018 – and was impressive with his performance to set up some huge potential fights in 2020 and beyond.

Cerrone has now been defeated in three of his last three bouts, with the 36-year-old at the backend of his career but had already secured his legacy in the sport. 

For McGregor, bouts against the likes of Tony Ferguson, Jorge Masvidal and Kamaru Usman await.

 

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