The UFC's first trip to Ireland was headlined by countryman and local superstar Conor McGregor against TUF 14 winner Diego Brandao. Fireworks were expected, a supremely loud crowd was on hand to witness this big featherweight fight at the O2 Arena in Dublin.
In a wild first 30 seconds, both men showed off their striking creativity as they flashed spinning kicks and fast punches. Brandao went in for a takedown but it was stuffed. McGregor reversed position so that Brandao was against the cage and then he turned the tables and took the Brazilian down. Posturing up and looking to pick his shots, Brandao attacked with a leglock off of his back and McGregor scrambled out of it (aided by a cheeky fence grab), much to the delight of the fans.
The two engaged in some slugging out as McGregor's reach and timing was tough for Brandao to crack. Brandao caught McGregor with a right hand but Conor hurt him with a left hand and a body shot. Brandao backed his way towards the fence with his right arm outstretched and clearly hurt. McGregor dropped a wobbly Brandao with a straight left and then finished the job by slamming his right fist into Brandao's face over and over, as the Brazilian offered no resistance or attempt to get back up and the fight was stopped. Roars came from the Irish supporters as if McGregor had just won the featherweight title right there.
Official Result: Conor McGregor def. Diego Brandao via TKO (punches) at 4:05 of round 1
McGregor (15-2) is 3-0 in the UFC and put in another great performance. Big things are ahead for "Notorious" and it's quite likely that his next fight will be against a top 10 opponent. Brandao (22-10) loses for the 2nd time in 3 fights, with both coming by TKO.
Stay tuned for our post-event coverage of what was an unforgettable night in Ireland. Conor McGregor keeps his hype train rolling with another 1st round knockout.