Conor McGregor knocked out Jose Aldo in a record breaking thirteen seconds at UFC 194 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday night. McGregor’s dominating left hand strike proved to be the deciding factor in what had been a long dispute about which man, Aldo or McGregor, deserved the belt.
Jose Aldo was the first UFC featherweight champion following a merger between the UFC and WEC. Aldo had successfully defended the title multiple times prior to Saturday night’s bout, however was often criticized by McGregor for not “earning” the belt. Aldo and McGregor were set to face off in July when Aldo pulled out of the fight due to a rib injury. At that time, Conor McGregor stayed on the card to gain a victory over the number one contender Chad Mendez for the interim featherweight title.
McGregor often seethed at being referred to as the “interim” titleholder, at one point telling GQ British Magazine “…what do you mean interim? Aldo and I had a date, he didn’t show, someone else took his place, I beat him, easy. So don’t give me interim.”
McGregor just wrapped up his tenure as a coach for the most recent Ultimate Fighter season. Conor spent much of the series discussing his upcoming bout with Aldo, and fans were entertained by the final episode this week when Aldo showed up to help opposing coach Urijah Faber’s team, waiting to see if sparks would fly between Aldo and McGregor much like they have at previous press conferences in which the two nearly came to blows.
As tonight’s fight began, neither contender touched gloves and it was Aldo that swung with the first left only for McGregor to deliver a left of his own. The blow sent Aldo to the mat with McGregor flying on top to deliver a short series of hammerfist punches before referee John McCarthy intervened and declaring McGregor the undisputed champ.
Jose Aldo immediately requested a rematch during his post fight interview and appeared to be in tears.
Despite McGregor’s previous harsh criticism of Aldo, Conor seemed to have some empathy for his opponent stating, “I feel for Jose, he was a phenomenal champion. We deserved to go a lot longer.”
Perhaps the viewers deserved a longer matchup, as it was one of the most highly anticipated matchups in UFC history. Viewers shelled out money for a pay-per-view event, one that was shorter than a Vine. Conor McGregor’s quick finish both impressed and frustrated fans who took to Twitter to express their disdain for not getting their money’s worth.
It took me longer to come up with a clever tweet than it did to watch this fight. 😒 #UFC194
— Vincent Marcus (@VincentMarcus) December 13, 2015
The fight you all paid for, I just watched in a vine #UFC194
— Mark Babicke (@MarkBabicke33) December 13, 2015
Paid $60 for a fight I could’ve watched on giphy for messenger #UFC194
— Kiss Me Kate (@KatieBurnett) December 13, 2015
So will Conor McGregor’s quick finish hurt future UFC pay-per-view sales? Most likely not. Previous title holder Ronda Rousey had become increasingly known for devastating opponents in less than thirty seconds, yet according to Yahoo Sports, UFC President Dana White says last month’s Rousey versus Holm fight “broke every record we’ve ever had from the venue, to merchandise, to commercial pay-per-view, everything.” McGregor is similar to Rousey, dominating opponents and known for having a sharp tongue.
Much like Ronda Rousey, most likely McGregor’s record-breaking win over Aldo will result in making Conor an even more marketable fighter with as many people tuning in to see if McGregor will lose a bout as those who tune in to see McGregor win.
Were you one of the disappointed UFC 194 pay-per-viewers or were you happy with the McGregor versus Aldo match up? Tell us what you think!
[Conor McGregor cover image courtesy of Steve Marcus/Getty Images.]