herald

Tuesday 24 October 2017

McGregor delights Dublin fans in big comeback

IRELAND's UFC poster boy Conor McGregor made a stunning return to the Octagon on Saturday in front of a home Dublin crowd at the 02.

By finishing Brazil's Diego Brandao in the first round it also marked a successful comeback from a serious knee injury for the Mixed Martial Artist.

"I felt calm throughout," the featherweight said afterwards. "I said I was going to put him away in the first round and I put him away in the first round. There's not a man alive that can come on this soil and beat me."

By the time the main event rolled around Irish fighters had gone undefeated on the night (4-0). There had also been 3 wins for Conor McGregor's SBG team-mates. All that was required was an exclamation point put on the night with an emphatic victory from McGregor. A big ask maybe but cometh the hour, cometh the man.

McGregor's opponent offered an early barrage but once the Dubliner settled into his stride he proved the hype was real. Throwing a diverse range of punches and kicks, Conor had Brandao rocked early.

Brandao began to look pedestrian as McGregor moved up the gears.

Landing at will Conor began to load up his punches with power, freezing Brandao with a body shoot first and then dropping him with a vicious left. Conor followed Brandao to the floor and landed right hand after right hand as Brandao covered up and waited for the referee to finish the fight.

After a year out, McGregor returned in triumphant fashion in his home town. He will only have big fights ahead of him with tougher opposition than he's faced. You get the sense that is exactly what Conor wants.

McGregor added: "This is the feeling of success bursting through every vein in my body.

"I just felt comfortable - this is what I was put here to do. Something tells me that by the end of the year, I'll be world champion. I would turn over every man, woman and child to get that belt. And I want to fight again soon. I want to get straight back in there."

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