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Saturday 3 December 2016

Unstoppable McGregor earns €600k-a-second and sets sights on Croker

Champion

Conor McGregor, left, fights Jose Aldo during a featherweight championship mixed martial arts bout at UFC 194, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015, in Las Vegas. McGregor stopped Aldo with one spectacular punch just 13 seconds into the first round Saturday night, backing up his bravado and claiming the undisputed featherweight title at UFC 194 on Saturday night. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Conor McGregor, left, fights Jose Aldo during a featherweight championship mixed martial arts bout at UFC 194, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015, in Las Vegas. McGregor stopped Aldo with one spectacular punch just 13 seconds into the first round Saturday night, backing up his bravado and claiming the undisputed featherweight title at UFC 194 on Saturday night. (AP Photo/John Locher)

UFC champion Conor McGregor earned around €600,000-a-second for his historic victory over Jose Aldo.

The Dublin star is in line for a massive pay day - and the featherweight champion will be awarded more per second than any other fighter in UFC history after taking just 13 seconds to win in Las Vegas on Sunday morning.

While the majority of McGregor's pay cheque hinges on pay-per-view buy rates - numbers that won't be reported for several weeks - the Crumlin native is guaranteed to bank the highest pay-per-second total, and could net €7m from the night's proceedings.

Sensational

McGregor's contract entitles him to a share of the pay-per-view buys and, with UFC 194 expected to total up to 1.5 million buys and the Dubliner earning €500,000 through fight and sponsor pay, his return from the fight could easily hit that mark.

Following the sensational victory, attention has now turned to McGregor's next challenge.

Irish fans are hoping UFC bosses stay true to their promise that The Notorious can defend his title in a venue on home soil.

Earlier this year, UFC President Dana White told McGregor that if he beat Chad Mendes and Jose Aldo in Las Vegas, his first title defence would take place in Ireland.

Speaking following his fight on Sunday night, McGregor said: "If they offer me Croke Park, or if they offer me the football (Aviva) stadium, you're damn right I'm gonna take it."

With a seating capacity of more than 80,000, the home of GAA, Croke Park, would be a mouth-watering prospect for a title defence by the 27-year-old Crumlin native.

However, Croke Park officials said they could not speculate on that possibility until an approach has been made.

"We have had no approaches so, in that context, we are unable to comment," a spokesperson told the Herald.

The Aviva stadium, with a seating capacity of 50,000, has also been touted as a possibility if the UFC does come to Ireland.

It was a spectacular day for Irish fans all around with parties continuing both at home and in Las Vegas - where thousands of fans took over the pubs and clubs in the Nevada city.

Dubliner John O'Donnell, a partner in Crush restaurant at the MGM, described the atmosphere as "nuts" following the Irish invasion.

Meanwhile, the world champion has been inundated with messages of congratulations from fellow Irish sport stars - including Olympic champion Katie Taylor and former world No 1 golfer Rory McIlroy, who described McGregor as "the real deal".

"He turned a sceptic into a believer last night," said McIlroy.

"Talk is cheap, but that left hand will make him."

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