Conor McGregor is back. The UFC’s biggest star easily defeated Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in just 40 seconds to win his comeback fight in the welterweight main event of UFC 246 on Saturday night.
McGregor bloodied Cerrone’s nose with multiple shoulder strikes during a clinch in the first few seconds of the fight, then kicked Cerrone in the jaw and beat him down to the ground, raining punches until the referee gave McGregor the TKO victory at 40 seconds into the first round. It was the second-fastest win of McGregor’s career and his first victory since 2016.
“We’ve never seen that before. Not like that,” UFC commentator Joe Rogan said afterwards about the shoulder strikes. “The performance tonight was just stunning.”
“I’ve still got work to do to get back where I was,” McGregor (22-4) told Rogan after his arm was raised. Then added of potential challengers: “Any one of these little mouthy fools, can get it,” as the camera showed “BMF” belt holder Jorge Masvidal and UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman in the crowd, who have both been mentioned as a possible future opponents.
McGregor’s UFC 246 victory was his first fight in the Octagon since the outspoken Irish superstar lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2018.
“He got me with his elbows right away, then head kicked me,” said Cerrone (36-14-1), the all-time leader in UFC wins. “I got my ass whipped early. I love this sport. I’m gonna keep fighting.”