McGregor cops UFC title with single punch
(Associated Press) - December 13, 2015 - 9:00am

LAS VEGAS – Conor McGregor backed up every word he ever said to Jose Aldo with one spectacular punch.

McGregor stopped Aldo with a left hand to the jaw just 13 seconds into the first round Saturday night, claiming the undisputed featherweight title at UFC 194.

McGregor (19-2) finished the fight with an electrifying exchange shortly after the opening bell, slipping Aldo’s lead right and cracking the champ with his formidable punching power.

Aldo (25-2) actually finished his punch and hit McGregor with a left, but the champ fell senseless to the ground. McGregor pounced, only to be pulled off in his fifth consecutive knockout victory.

“What I say happens, happens,” McGregor said. “There is no doubt now.”

Aldo had won 18 consecutive fights over the last 10 years, but not even the only previous 145-pound champion in UFC history could survive McGregor.

The loquacious Irish brawler goaded Aldo throughout the promotion of their delayed bout, only to earn a victory that was even more dramatic than he predicted. McGregor’s victory was the fastest title fight in UFC history, surpassing Ronda Rousey’s 14-second win over Cat Zingano at UFC 184 in February.

“Jose was a phenomenal champion. He deserved to go a little bit longer, but I still feel at the end of the day, precision beats power and timing beats speed,” McGregor said.

Luke Rockhold also claimed the UFC middleweight title with a bloody fourth-round stoppage of previously unbeaten champion Chris Weidman in front of a frenzied crowd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

But the sellout crowd was packed with thousands of screaming Irish fans who traveled to see whether their braggadocious countryman could back up his talk. The fans celebrated long after McGregor left the cage, singing and carousing and forming a lengthy conga line.

McGregor, a former plumber who was fairly late to take up mixed martial arts as a career, has won 15 consecutive fights since November 2010 while building an international celebrity on his combination of MMA skill and verbal dexterity. He is 7-0 in UFC bouts, stopping all but one opponent with his vaunted punching power.

McGregor picked one of the UFC’s most daunting targets in Aldo, who had made seven consecutive title defenses. The Irishman targeted the imperious Brazilian champion with a steady stream of trash talk and entertaining antics, infuriating Aldo while making himself into a pay-per-view draw and the UFC’s second-biggest star behind Rousey.

ACIRC ALDO CAT ZINGANO CHRIS WEIDMAN GRAND GARDEN ARENA JOSE ALDO LUKE ROCKHOLD MCGREGOR RONDA ROUSEY UFC WHAT I
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