The Punch That Began The Era Of McGregor

The Punch That Began The Era Of McGregor

Los Angeles, CA- Yet another blow has been dealt to bantamweight (135) phenom Ronda Rousey (12-1), but this time it was not dealt while she was in the octagon. Rousey’s 14 second armbar win over Cat Zingano, a UFC record for the fastest in a title fight at the time, has now been topped by new UFC featherweight (145) champion Conor McGregor (19-2).  The brash Irish southpaw uncorked a deadly left hook that put Jose Aldo (25-2) to sleep immediately.  Aldo managed to land a punch that cut McGregor right after Conor landed his own, but it was too late.  Aldo was already unconscious just 13 seconds into the UFC 194 main.


Jose was the greatest fighter in the history of the featherweight division going into the clash with Conor.  I predicted Conor to win, and thought a first round knockout was possible.  I certainly thought it would not go past three.  Even I was in utter shock with the way Aldo crashed to the canvas after the first punch Conor landed.  It was an epic conclusion to nearly a year of buildup for this match.  Conor McGregor is the goods.  There is no doubt about it now.  This win was the equivalent to boxer Juan Manuel Marquez (56-7-1, 40 KOs) icing the legendary Manny Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs) three years ago.  Aldo was considered number one pound for pound going in, and had not lost in ten years.  His only loss was at lightweight (155), a division ten pounds above his comfort.


The way he was dismantled will leave some fans wanting an immediate rematch, but I would give a big fat NO to that suggestion.  The UFC needs to build its stars back up.  Instead of going after the fast money, let these fighters build themselves back up.  Immediate rematches did not work out so well for Anderson Silva (33-6, 1 NC) or Renan Barao (33-3, 1 NC).  Barao technically had a fight between his two whoopings at the hands of T.J. Dillashaw (12-2), but only because he was hospitalized after nearly dying trying to cut weight for the originally scheduled immediate rematch.  Silva was stopped in the second round twice and is now on the outside looking in with regards to the belt.  When will Zuffa learn?  Time will tell how Cain Velasquez (13-2) and Ronda Rousey perform in their immediate rematches after both were thoroughly beaten by their opponents  the first time.


It was a fitting end for the reign of middleweight (185) kingpin Chris Weidman (13-1).  He won the title after an especially reckless Anderson Silva dropped his hands and invited the KO Weidman delivered.  Chris was taken down and pummeled by Luke Rockhold (15-2) after strangely attempting an ill-advised spinning kick against the best kickboxer in the division.  Perhaps karma struck the former champ.  Moments after finding out he had broken Anderson Silva’s leg in one of the most gruesome endings in combat sports’ history, Weiddman responded by saying “Good! F*** him!”.  One cannot help but feel that Anderson may have had a similar response upon learning of his conqueror’s destruction.  Time was 3:12 of round 4.


Yoel Romero (11-1) of Cuba will likely be the next challenger for the middleweight throne after picking up a split decision win over Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (22-4, 1 NC).  The fight started in explosive fashion, as Romero dropped Souza hard with a spinning back fist in the first round.  The Olympian put a beating on Souza for the remainder of the frame, with the Brazilian barely surviving and stumbling to his stool in a haze.  Round 2 was very timid by comparison, with Romero maybe edging it with strikes.  Round 3 was a dominant round for Souza, who took Romero down a few times and punished him on the ground.


Romero won, and maybe should have scored a 10-8 in the first, but it was a performance that will leave most questioning his gas tank.  Romero appeared to fade badly down the stretch, which could be a major issue against someone like Rockhold.  I think you have to favor Luke in that matchup.  The real question is “will the new champ continue to whine about Vitor Belfort’s steroid use?”.  Time will tell, but what is now abundantly clear the the MMA landscape has just been altered dramatically.

Zack “Attack” Young

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