Conor McGregor (12-2) is the UFC's first Ireland-born fighter since Tom Egan in 2009. Egan's stay in the UFC consisted of fighting in Dublin against John Hathaway, and promptly getting elbowed out of the UFC. The signing of McGregor should bring something different to the table than just a one-off fight. He's one of the better prospects in the sport, and he will debut at featherweight against Marcus Brimage at UFC on Fuel TV 9 in Sweden.
This GIFathon will show you some of his best moments competing in Cage Warriors FC. McGregor captured both the lightweight and featherweight belts before making the move to the big time, and you will get to see those finishes and a few more samplings of his work.
This journey will take you from one of his earlier CWFC fights all the way to his recent featherweight title win. Many thanks as always to Zombie Prophet for delivering the GIFs.
vs. Aron Jahnsen - September 2011
This fight was McGregor's 2nd fight under the Cage Warriors banner. Here he showcases his ground-and-pound against the helpless Jahnsen, who was dominated throughout the fight and then finished with repeated left hands to the noggin.
vs. Steve O'Keefe - February 2012
McGregor's next fight was almost a year ago today, a featherweight tilt against Steve O'Keefe. Conor displayed solid takedown defense against the cage, and with O'Keefe pressing to drag this fight to the ground, McGregor countered with some vicious elbows to the side of the head. Yes, these are legal and it's similar to the way Jake Hecht TKO'd Rich Attonito at UFC 140. If you watched this live it took the commentators by complete surprise, and the crowd had no idea O'Keefe went from trying to grab a leg to limp after about 10-11 elbows.
vs. Dave Hill - June 2012
McGregor's impressive stoppage of O'Keefe earned him a title fight against Dave Hill for the CWFC vacant featherweight belt. While known more as a striker, McGregor showcased his ground skills with this rear-naked choke win to claim the title. What the GIF doesn't show you is that McGregor had Hill in full mount, looking for an arm-triangle choke, but when Hill tried to escape he gave up his back, which led to his eventual doom. McGregor locked in a body-triangle and sunk in the RNC for the 2nd round win.
The best part of this finish? McGregor's subsequent celebration with his adoring fans.
vs. Ivan Buchinger - New Year's Eve 2012
Again there was a vacant belt on the line, but this time McGregor was fighting for the lightweight title against Slovakia's Ivan Buchinger. McGregor dominated Buchinger on the feet, and finished this one in style. He slipped Buchinger's right hand and countered with a perfect left hook that sent Ivan into unconsciousness.
You've seen four of McGregor's fights, each with a different finish. Let's see if his diverse game translates well against someone like Brimage, who has really pulled off upset wins over Maximo Blanco and Jim Hettes.