BOSTON - Conor McGregor stopped Denis Siver at 1:54 of the second round in a non-title bout Sunday night in the UFC Fight Night Card at the TD Garden.
Referee Herb Dean stopped the bout after McGregor took down Siver and landed hard overhand lefts to his head.
"I don't need to rush," McGregor said. "I wanted to take my time in there, get in my minutes."
The 26-year-old McGregor, from Dublin, Ireland, improved to 17-2 with his 12th straight victory. He's the fifth-ranked featherweight in the UFC.
Siver, a 36-year-old Russian who lives in Germany, dropped to 22-10. He's ranked 10th.
"The one thing Conor can do is talk," Siver said. "But he can do more than talk. He can fight. He has a very good eye and knows how to judge distance well."
In the co-main event, Donald Cerrone of Albuquerque, New Mexico, unanimously outpointed Benson Henderson of Glendale, Arizona, in a three-round lightweight bout.
All three judges scored the bout 29-28 for the 31-year-old Cerrone. He's 27-6 with one no contest.
Henderson dropped to 21-5. He's the former UFC and WEC lightweight champion.
In the McGregor-Siver fight, Siver was cut around the left eye in the first round. McGregor finished the round with a series of uppercuts while Siver was on the fence.
McGregor landed more hard left hands and a few spinning back kicks at the beginning of the second round, opening another cut on the bridge of Siver's nose.
McGregor hopes to get a shot at UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo. UFC president Dana White said that fight could take place in May in Las Vegas.
"Now Jose Aldo will be the next in line," McGregor said. "He will find out that it's not all talk."
Cerrone beat Henderson for the first time in three fights. Henderson won by unanimous decision on Oct. 10, 2009, and by submission on April 24, 2010.
Cerrone fought for the second time in 15 days. On Jan. 3, he unanimously outpointed Myles Jury in Las Vegas.
Both fighters spent most of the bout on their feet. They successfully nullified most of each other's attacks. Cerrone scored the only takedowns of the bout. Midway through the second, Cerrone took Henderson down with an underhook. After about 30 seconds on the mat, he let Henderson back up to his feet.
With two minutes left in the third, Cerrone ducked under a spinning back kick and took Henderson down with a bear hug. Cerrone let him back up immediately and the rest of the fight continued with both on their feet.
"That's seven (wins) in a row," Cerrone said. "I feel good. I didn't want to kick as much because I thought he'd try to take me down."
A crowd of 13,828 attended the promotion, with a gate of $1.34 million, resulting in the highest paid attendance of the three UFC events at TD Garden.