Forty seconds. That’s all the time Conor McGregor needed to knockout Donald Cerrone at UFC 246 on January 18 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and remind the world why he’s the most notorious fighter in the game.

After a powerful left hand led the two fighters to clinch, McGregor landed a series of brutal shoulder strikes before stunning Cerrone with a head kick (ironically, that’s “Cowboy’s” signature move) and then finishing him with five heavy left hands before the referee stepped in to call it off.

 

 

 

Fans are praising McGregor, not just for his spectacular performance, but for how he behaved before and after the fight. During the media circus the week prior, “Notorious” was confident but also calm, focused, and wholly respectful of Cerrone, both as a fighter and a man. Instead of bringing his standard Rage-Against-The-Machine-meets-frat-bro energy, the Irishman had the demeanor of the witty uncle who always tells the best stories at Thanksgiving.

After finishing Cerrone and embracing him, McGregor then strutted across the cage to embrace Cowboy’s grandmother, Jerry Cerrone. From striking a senior citizen in a Dublin bar to now hugging the sweetest of old ladies, this moment marked McGregor’s metamorphosis into Good Guy McGregor. He’ll kick you in the face, but then he’ll hug your gam-gam—in a completely platonic way. This is the content you want to see.

 

 

All last week, McGregor has been referring to his 2020 return as a “season,” stating that he’d like to stay as active as possible. In his post-fight interview with UFC commentator Joe Rogan, McGregor implied that he’d fight anybody, he does not care who.

“Any one of these mouthy fools can get it,” he told Rogan. “All of them. Every single one of them can get it, Joe. It does not matter. I’m back, and I’m ready.”

With so much fire in his belly, and McGregor’s mention of a possible March return, we break down five opponents we’d like to see him take on next. 

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