ByAmy Kaplan, writer at
Senior Staff Writer // Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @PhotoAmy33
Amy Kaplan

I've been a fan almost as long as I have been an MMA fan. I have followed his rise to fame, and was even cageside for his fight with Chad Mendes.

However, that isn't my favorite McGregor moment, despite seeing it firsthand, and I will tell you why:

Fighting Mendes on short notice, and winning wasn't exactly a monumental accomplishment. Sure, it was a great fight, and sure, he had to work for it, but short notice fights are never taken quite as seriously because there are too many "what ifs."

What the Mendes fight lacked, the fight could deliver, and that was validation.

I knew McGregor was something special for a long time, but beating Mendes and securing the interim title didn't prove that. For people to take him as seriously as I did, he needed to beat the champ, he needed to beat Jose Aldo.

I remember watching the fight at a friend's house, surrounded by people calling me a fair weather fan, a girl who didn't know how great Aldo was, and a "silly newbie" who couldn't possibly understand the intricacies of the fight game yet. No one but me believed that McGregor could win.

And then he did it. He knocked out the great Jose Aldo with just one punch in 13 seconds flat. I knew that moment would secure his place in the Hall of Fame, in the history books and in the heads of those doubters.

Conor McGregor was finally the true, undisputed featherweight champion of the UFC just two years, eight months and six days after making his promotional debut.

This moment in McGregor's career changed everything. While the haters sat stunned on their couches, or took to Twitter to call him "lucky," he was off celebrating his victory. The only thorn in his impressive crown is the lack of a featherweight title defense, and I'm not exactly happy about that, but it's MMA ... nothing is perfect.

I would still love to see another fight between Aldo and McGregor. I have a massive amount of respect for Aldo and think that he does deserve a rematch - not because I think McGregor got lucky, but because of Aldo's years of being undefeated. Plus, I'd love to see McGregor shut Aldo down once again.


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