It had been nearly a year since Conor McGregor had fought in the octagon due to injury. When he finally returned, he put on a show for his home crowd.
In front of a raucous Irish crowd at the O2 Arena in Dublin, McGregor finished Brazilian Diego Brandao with punches at 4:02 of the first round in the main event of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night card.
Afterwards, the fast-rising featherweight felt good about his performance via Sherdog.com:
I said I was going to put him away in the first round, and I put him away in the first round.
McGregor was in control from the outset, reversing a Brandao takedown attempt and easily escaping submission attempts from the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt.
Once on the feet, McGregor pushed Brandao back with a hook to the body, followed by a straight left that put Brandao on the mat. Some follow-up punches ended the fight and put McGregor in line for a top-10 opponent after three straight victories since joining the UFC.
Not to be outdone in the co-main event, Icelandic export Gunnar Nelson remained undefeated after a second-round submission victory over Zak Cummings via rear naked choke.
Nelson was very calm throughout the fight, picking his spots well. Cummings had solid spurts but was never able to put Nelson in any danger.
He finally struck late in the second round as he took Cummings down and immediately took his back. Some strikes softened Cummings up before Nelson cinched in the choke at 4:48 of the second round.
Now sporting a 4-0 record in the UFC’s welterweight division, Nelson is likely to see a major step-up in competition for his next fight.