Last week, we interviewed UFC featherweight Conor McGregor on his fight mindset as he prepared to fight Dustin Poirier at UFC 178 in Las Vegas. When asked how he thought the fight would go, he said, "I am going to come out of the gates, spinning, flying through the air, and I will crack him with something that will put him down, and I believe it will be a first round stoppage."
Well, he pretty much nailed it on Saturday night, defeating Poirier by first round TKO with 1:46 gone in the opening stanza. Early in the round, McGregor landed a straight left that hurt Poirier. He later landed a left hook that caught the American behind the ear, and when Poirier went down, McGregor rained down hammer fists that convinced referee Herb Dean to call a halt to proceedings. With the win, McGregor moves to 16-2, while Poirier is now 16-3.
Arnold Schwarzenegger sent a congratulatory tweet to McGregor, just like he did after McGregor defeated Diego Brandao:
McGregor says he is now ready to fight for the world title, but with the champ Jose Aldo taking on Chad Mendes in Rio de Janeiro on October 25 (a fight the UFC is flying McGregor to see live) he might have to wait his turn or defeat one of the other fighters ranked above him to get a shot at the belt. Check out the fight highlights:
Earlier in the night, former M&F cover star Tim Kennedy (18-5) suffered a controversial loss in his middleweight fight with Yoel Romero (9-3). Romero got the better start, but Kennedy hurt the Cuban badly at the end of the second round and had him out on his feet, but Romero was saved by the bell. The controversy occurred at the start of the third round when Romero remained on his stool and did not answer the bell to start the round. The 37-year-old was finally forced up by referee John McCarthy, and he went on to hurt Kennedy badly early and win via TKO with 58 seconds gone in the third. Check out the highlights:
Kennedys post-fight tweet summed up his take on what happened:
Other highlights on the card included a hugely impressive performance by bantamweight Dominick Cruz (20-1) after nearly three years out of the Octagon due to injury. Cruz dominated Takeya Mizugaki and ended the fight in just over a minute. Cat Zingano survived an early onslaught by Amanda Nunes to win by third round TKO to set up a title shot against Ronda Rousey in January, and in the main event, "Mighty Mouse" Demetrious Johnson submitted Chris Cariaso in the second round.