ByJustin Golightly, writer at
Design wizard. MMA mathematician. Formerly of Middle Easy, Justin Golightly has been featured on Bleacher Report, Uproxx and TMZ.
Justin Golightly

It was a night that would prove us all wrong.

Nothing went the way it was supposed to, but the result may have been the most important moment in McGregor's career.

The main event at was supposed to be a highly anticipated war with for the UFC featherweight title. Both fighters would go around the world and back like the airplane flying on the map in the Street Fighter games. McGregor would eat pictures of Aldo in Brazil; Aldo would say he was the king of Ireland in Dublin, but these two wouldn't fight until .

After Aldo suffered a rib injury, McGregor was thrown into a bout with what was billed as his stylistic Kryptonite: . McGregor had dealt with constant criticism during his meteoric rise that he was being kept from American wrestlers. He would use this opportunity to step up and face the very threat he was believed to be shielded against.

The international tour, a severe weight cut, the stakes and the moment seemed to suck the life out of McGregor. He simply didn't look good. Tensions rose. He even almost got into a fight with Mendes' teammate . But, when the lights came on, when it was time to shine, McGregor was there in full luminosity.

After a musical spectacle never seen before in the UFC, Mendes and McGregor would fight for the interim UFC featherweight title. It would be the first time McGregor suffered so much adversity in the Octagon. Mendes took him down exactly like everyone said he would, opening up a crimson river on the Irishman's face with disdainful elbows; a strategy he would keep up for two, grueling rounds.

However, when McGregor was able to get to his feet, it was clear his hands were a problem Mendes just couldn't solve. Not only that, but the body work McGregor put in with piercing font kicks would be a slow killer. After McGregor escaped a submission attempt, he came at a gasping Mendes with deadly precision. With only a few moments left in the second round, the fight would be stopped after one, last sniper left.

Conor McGregor had defied all odds and won his first UFC title, and nothing would ever be the same. McGregor will attempt earn the UFC lightweight title at UFC 205.

What was your favorite McGregor moment?


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