LAS VEGAS - So many memorable moments of this yearlong Jose Aldo vs. Conor McGregor feud exist, there could be an entire documentary on it without ever showing fight highlights and the project wouldn’t feel unfulfilling.
There was that world tour to promote UFC 189 in July when Aldo and McGregor originally were scheduled to fight until Aldo pulled out with a rib injury inside of two weeks of the bout. That’s when, among other things, McGregor swiped Aldo’s featherweight championship belt during a press event. That’s when a shirtless McGregor ripped a photo of Aldo in half at a bar in Brazil. That’s when McGregor got into Aldo’s head, causing the normally reserved Brazilian to break from tradition and talk as tough as he fights.
But on Saturday night at UFC 194, it was time – finally – to put all that entertaining nonsense into the archives and see if McGregor could become the first man in more than 10 years to beat Aldo.
And he needed just one punch to do it.
Aldo rushed in and got off a shot, but McGregor dropped him with a left. As Aldo fell face first to the mat, McGregor got off two more hammer fists before referee John McCarthy stopped the fight 13 seconds into the first round.
"Nobody can take that left hand," McGregor said. "He was a phenomenal champion. He deserved to go a little longer."
That’s the shortest knockout in UFC championship history.
“I did say that the right hand would be his downfall," McGregor said. "What I say happens, happens. I felt like last fight week was gone before I could embrace it, but this time I took it in. The Irish are making the fight game what it is today. I think Aldo should reassess himself while I look to maybe go for the 155-pound belt or maybe I look at Frankie, so there are options. I showed up tonight and put a stamp on the real belt, there is no doubt now.”
Aldo called for a rematch after throwing (and connecting) one punch in the fight.
“I think we need a rematch and that will be my fight," Aldo said. "The trash talking didn’t affect me, I don’t care what he says. Thanks to everyone watching in Brazil and thank you for the support. I will be back.”