It only took 13 seconds for MMA fans to fall in love with Conor McGregor.
On December 12th, 2015, Conor McGregor changed the course of mixed martial arts history.
McGregor was still on a high after a successful 14-fight win streak. Eight of the wins came from smaller European organizations and that sealed his admission in the world’s biggest cage fight, the Ultimate Fighting Championships.
McGregor didn’t disappoint, breaking Marcus Brimage’s four-fight win streak with a first-round TKO. Next, Max Holloway took his third and last ‘L’ before becoming the current featherweight champion.
From there, the Irishman went on a KO streak of the ages that included high profile victims in succession. Diego Brandao, Dustin Poirer and Dennis Siver, all of whom had more UFC experience, caught first or second round knockouts.
MMA fans clamored for McGregor to fight for a strap and while featherweight champ Jose Aldo nursed a rib fracture, a bout with Chad Mendes was scheduled for the interim title.
McGregor did not disappoint, taking out the Team Alpha Male fighter via TKO in the second round. The attendance and box office numbers broke both Nevada and U.S. MMA records, fueled by an influx of Irish fans pouring into Sin City.
The McGregor Era Is Born
Then came the fateful December 12th showdown with Aldo.
McGregor defined his promotional abilities by taunting Aldo at every public appearance. He stole Aldo’s belts at press conferences, mocked the fighter, and predicted a KO victory.
The ethos of “Mystic Mac” was born after Aldo was KO’d in a mere 13 seconds.
For those uninitiated to the aura of Jose Aldo, he was the miniature version of Anderson Silva at this time. Back in 2009, he personally dismantled Cub Swanson via a flying knee in 8 seconds.
McGregor went from a talkative sideshow to the man in 13 seconds and began a legacy that would produce a bitter rivalry with Nate Diaz, along with “The Money Fight” boxing match against Floyd Mayweather where he brought boxing’s pound-for-pound king out of retirement en route to the second biggest pay-per-view fight in history.
December 12th will always be the day the star with possibly the biggest “bollocks” in combat sports was born.