UFC Fight Night 46: Charismatic Featherweight Conor McGregor Thrives In Dublin Main Event Spotlight

By Rick LaFitte


Conor McGregor punches Diego Brandao during UFC Fight 46 main event
Getty Images

Brash UFC featherweight Conor McGregor showed that he was ready for the biggest stage of his career at Fight Night 46 in Ireland. “The Notorious” delivered a stellar effort against Diego Brandao in front of his raucous supporters in Dublin by producing a first-round stoppage in their main event battle.

It was an outstanding display from McGregor in his first Octagon appearance since last August. He suffered a torn ACL in a unanimous decision victory against Max Holloway at Fight Night 26. There were huge expectations and big-time pressure on the Irish star to live up to the hype in his first headlining effort on home soil. He responded with a star-making performance and has been quick to emerge as one of the promotion’s brightest stars.

After a heated stare down at the weigh-in, both men carried that aggression over to deliver an action-packed start. Each combatant came out swinging and landed some solid punches. When the fight did finally hit the mat, McGregor was able to ward off a heel hook submission attempt from his opponent and get back to his feet to continue a stand-up battle.

McGregor would close the show in emphatic fashion late in the opening stanza after some body shots and a perfectly placed straight left hand that sent “DB” to the canvas. McGregor would follow up with ground-and-pound punches until the fight was halted at the 4:05 mark sending the crowd at O2 Arena into a frenzy.

The former Cage Warriors champion has now produced three straight Octagon victories including a pair of first-round stoppages. McGregor’s effort earned him a Performance of the Night bonus. He’s now riding an 11-fight win streak and has produced 13 knockouts in his 15 career victories. Brandao sustained his second consecutive first-round knockout loss.

Before this weekend’s matchup there had been rumblings that a McGregor victory might land him a fight against No.6 contender Dustin Poirier. Now that McGregor let his fists do the talking against Brandao, here’s hoping that matchmakers are able to make that clash a reality. “The Notorious” has expressed a desire to face Poirier at UFC 178 and it would be a tremendous addition to an already stacked card.

Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for RantSports.com

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