By Niall Clarke.
- Connor McGregor knocks out Jose Also in 13 seconds to win the Featherweight title
- Luke Rockhold defeats Chris Weidman for the UFC Middleweight title
- Full UFC 194 recap
Las Vegas, Nevada- Connor McGregor needed only 13 seconds to knock out Jose Aldo and be crowned as the undisputed UFC Featherweight champion.
*WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES*
Blink and you missed it. For all the hype and build towards arguably the biggest fight in the history of Mixed Martial Arts, it only took 13 seconds and one punch for a new champion to be crowned.
McGregor caught Aldo with a counter left hook as the Brazilian charged in. The champion’s face first collapse to the mat was symbolic of his reign at that very moment. Referee ‘Big’ John McCarthy rushed in to make the save to save Aldo from further punishment- A decade of dominance was over.
McGregor climb the cage in triumph, he had backed up all his pre-fight talk and he did it without breaking a sweat. The quickest UFC title fight in history, not even ‘the notorious’ one predicted that.
It was not just a victory for the man himself, it was a victory for Ireland. The fighting face of the nation is now the king of the Featherweight division.
He became the first man to ever knock out Aldo, one of the most feared strikers in the sport, and ended his ten year undefeated streak.
“Nobody can take that left hand shot. He’s powerful and fast but precision beats power and timing beats speed.” McGregor said in his post-fight interview on BT Sport.
“Jose was a phenomenal champion who deserved to go a little bit longer.”
Whether you love or hate McGregor, there is no escaping his appeal. His brash personality and silver tongue generates interest. Whether you want him to conquer the world or get his comeuppance, you pay to see him fight, and that is only good for this rapidly growing sport.
What’s next for the Irishman? There are talks of him potentially moving up to Lightweight to face the winner of the Rafael Dos Anjos vs Donald Cerrone title fight next week. The Irishman had previously got into a verbal confrontation with the pair during a press conference.
Or he could be facing the new but familiar number one contender, Frankie Edgar. The New Jersey native had ‘The Answer’ against Chad Mendes on Friday, scoring a first round knockout of his own to establish himself as the new number one contender.
No matter which path the champion chooses to take, there will be millions of Irish fans following him and millions more watching his every step. McGregor equals money and his next fight will undoubtedly draw huge business.
Rockhold dominates Weidman for the Middleweight title
In the co main event, Luke Rockhold inflicted the first loss in Chris Weidman’s career to claim the Middleweight championship.
After an evenly contested opening two rounds, the champion made a crucial mistake in attempting a spinning back kick. This led to a takedown for Rockhold who proceeded to mount Weidman and unleash some vicious ground and pound, badly hurting the New Yorker. Referee Herb Dean had a case to stop the fight right there, but let it continue into the Championship rounds.
After a dominating round for the challenger, Weidman came out for the fourth still reeling from the beating he took in the third. Rockhold capitalised with an early takedown and continued the beat down he started in the third. A rain of punches and elbows from top position gave the referee no choice but to stop the fight.
This was Weidman’s first career loss after previously going 13 fights unbeaten.
Analysis: As a man known for his superb fight IQ and game-planning, ‘The All-American’ did not fight smart this time around.
He fought hard and landed some good shots on the challenger, but ultimately made a crucial mistake with the spinning back kick. It was uncharacteristic of Weidman to attempt such a flash manoeuvre, but that was due to the pressure Rockhold was putting on him.
The challenger got into the champion’s head with some stellar counters to everything he attempted. Rockhold used the guillotine choke effectively to make Weidman doubt the takedown.
On the feet, the use of kicks and the check hook when Weidman attempted to come in and land his big shots, proved to be vital. It made the champion tentative to throw his big right hand and that resulted in him trying the spinning back kick, a move in 13 previous fights we had never seen him attempt.
It resulted in a takedown and the brutal ground and pound that could have ended the fight a round earlier. In the fourth, Weidman was physically and mentally finished as he could not recover from the previous round beating- the finish was inevitable.
Next up for Rockhold: Yoel Romero
In the Middleweight contender’s match, Yoel Romero edged out Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza by split decision in controversial fashion.
The Cuban clearly took the first against the former Strikeforce champion with some nasty ground and pound. But in the second and third rounds, it seemed like ‘Jacare’ controlled the fight but the judges did not agree.
Romero was rewarded with a split decision, 29-27, 29-28 and 28-29 and will likely go and face Rockhold in the new Middleweight king’s first title defence.
Demian Maia put on a grappling clinic in a dominant decision (30-26, 30-25, 30-25) victory over Iceland’s Gunnar Nelson and put himself in contention for a UFC Welterweight title shot.
The Brazilian is widely regarded as the best Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner in the sport and at times it was like watching a man vs a boy as he dominated the grappling exchanges.
Nelson is no slouch on the ground himself but was made to look like it by a superb Maia who has called for a title shot after his impressive display.
In the first main card match of the night, Max Holloway defeated Jeremy Stephens in a Featherweight contender’s bout.
Holloway put on an effective counter striking display to avoid the punching power of Stephens and claim a unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) victory.
Featherweight title: Connor McGregor def. Jose Aldo by KO (punches) at 0:13 of Round One
Middleweight title: Luke Rockhold def. Chris Weidman by TKO (punches) at 3:12 of Round Four
Yoel Romero def. Ronaldo Souza by split decision (29-27, 28-29, 29-28)
Demian Maia def. Gunnar Nelson by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-25 x2)
Max Holloway def. Jeremy Stephens by unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28)
Urijah Faber def. Frankie Saenz by unanimous decision (29-28 x2, 30-27)
Tecia Torres def. Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Warlley Alves def. Colby Covington by submission (guillotine) at 1:26 of Round One
Leonardo Santos def. Kevin Lee by TKO (punches) at 3:26 of Round One
Magomed Mustafaev def. Joe Proctor by TKO (knees and punches) at 1:54 of Round One
Yancy Medeiros def. John Makdessi by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Court McGee def. Marcio Alexandre by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)
UFC on Fox: Dos Anjos vs Cerrone will take place on December 19th.
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