The return of Conor McGregor to the octagon after an extended… sabbatical will redraw the collective gaze of legions of casual MMA fans onto his Lightweight title bout against Khabib Nurmagomedov on the UFC 229 card in Las Vegas this weekend.
Quite the bout it promises to be, too, with the undefeated champion Khabib fancied by bookmakers against the returning Irishman, who hasn’t laced up his gloves since becoming the “double champ” when defeating Eddie Alvarez to claim the Lightweight belt at Madison Square Garden almost two years ago.
An uncommon underdog tag hasn’t stopped the challenger from spouting off his usual brand of brash forecasting in the building up to the fight, with a bit of whiskey-flogging in there for good measure.
As divisive a figure as he is, his draw is undeniable and the projections are for the pay-per-view figures for this fight to break the promotions own records.
Ahead of his return, we take a look at five of his most explosive knockouts in MMA. Enjoy!
5. Marcus Brimmage - Welcome to the UFC. His first performance on this stage didn’t phase McGregor much and he secured himself a first big payday with a ruthless combination in the first.
4. Dustin Poirier - Here McGregor picks apart Poirier - while talking to him - before reigning down hammer blows on him from above and forcing the referee to step in, a composed showing.
3. Chad Mendes - Not the most spectacular of his KO’s but surely one of the sweetest for him. The American wrestling provided a real challenge to the Irishman, as evidenced by the deep cut above his eye in this clip. Backing his opponent up and finishing with a trademark left hand will have come as a relief.
2. Ivan Buchinger - This next clip comes from a bout under a different promotion’s banner. It was to be his last KO under it, and what a stunning effort it is. Just look at this.
1. Jose Aldo - Short but sweet. Having baited the longtime featherweight champion for months before this bout, his Brazilian opponent felt the pressure and overshot the runway on his way in. The result very final indeed.