Conor McGregor remains one of the most polarizing figures in the world of MMA. The former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion rose to stardom like nobody we had seen before. After becoming a two-weight champion with European promotion Cage Warriors, the UFC signed him in 2013.

The Irishman’s rise was rapid, as he mobilized his country behind him. It was a type of support that we had never seen before. But controversy after controversy has dogged McGregor. It’s easy to forget that he is genuinely a brilliant fighter and that only Khabib Nurmagamedov has dominated him in an MMA fight.

However, the rise to the top isn’t easy. McGregor took a trip down memory lane this week when he looked back at his 2011 win over Paddy Doherty. The match-up is from a totally different world from Madison Square Garden or the lights of Las Vegas. Check out his 4-second victory over his fellow Irishman.

Lights Out

McGregor fought Doherty in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, Ireland at Immortal Fighting Championship 4. The Notorious was 6-2 going into this fight, while Doherty was officially 4-8. However, Doherty said later that he had fought over 25 times by this point and that their records were all over the place. MMA was in a different place back then.

The fight didn’t last long. McGregor landed his patented step back left hook to finish his opponent in brutal style. It was a devastating finish and the fastest of his career so far. He’d repeat the same move against Jose Aldo to win the 145lb UFC title. McGregor wrote:

“Up Letterkenny! Host to the second-fastest knockout in mixed martial arts history. 3.5 seconds. The Step-back bang left hook.”

Zero Money

SBG Ireland head coach John Kavanagh also chimed in. He revealed that it was an eight-hour round trip from Dublin to Donegal. While this might not seem a lot to American readers, in Ireland it’s a big distance. You can go from north to south in about four hours, but Donegal is the most isolated area in the country. It doesn’t even have a railway network. Kavanagh wrote:
“This was an 8hr roundtrip for less than 4 seconds. There was zero money involved those days so I actually did want to see some fighting.”
Well, at least McGregor didn’t lose in four seconds after traveling eight hours. Spare a thought for poor Doherty. They probably spent more on car fuel than they won from the fight.
Conor McGregor. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara, USA TODAY Sports.


In 2014, Doherty spoke to Severe MMA and explained that McGregor was extremely nice to him before and after the fight. Contrary to his public persona, McGregor is usually respectful towards his fellow Irish MMA fighters. Doherty also said that he knew that ‘The Notorious’ was good enough for the UFC. He said:

“To be honest, Conor was an absolute gentleman, he was as nice as pie. I can remember before we fought I saw him. He caught my eye and I smiled at him and gave him a nod. He walked straight over to me, shook my hand and said ‘may the best man win’.

“I see all the stuff that’s going on now, but he wasn’t like that back then, certainly not with me. Even the day after the fight he reached out to me and asked me how I was and told me it would be great if I came down to train with him. The guy was 100 per cent, a really nice fella.”

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