Some events in MMA are just flat out unforgettable. We all remember where we were when Forrest Griffin and Stephen Bonnar went toe to toe for the first Ultimate Fighter finale. Every fight fan can remember where they were when Chris Weidman knocked out Anderson Silva. And every fight fan will remember where they were when Ireland took over the UFC.
To call it a take over is putting it mildly. At UFC fight night in Dublin, Ireland, the Irishmen put on a flawless victory that Raiden would be proud of. All four Irish fighters won their respective bouts, going 4-0, but if you add fighters like Ian McCall, Gunner Nelson, Norman Parke and Illir Latifi, all adopted sons of Ireland, well then that number balloons to 8-0 on the night.
Out of the eight victories for the home team six of them were finishes with the only two that did go to the scorecards ending in unanimous decision wins.
From the prelims to the main event, Ireland was past the point of heating up and was on fire from the get go. Everyone was at the top of their game on Saturday night but the performance that stole show was that of headliner Conor McGregor.
McGregor had a lot to prove Saturday night. There were still questions surrounding McGregor’s health and whether he would be the same fighter he was before the ACL injury that kept him out of the cage for the past year. Add on top of that all the trash talking and self-admiration that McGregor spewed from his lips leading up to the bout and it was time for the Dublin born fighter to put his money where his mouth was.
McGregor delivered in spades. From spinning back kicks fresh off the glove tap with Brandao to vicious body shots and combinations, McGregor seemed like a man on a mission. The constant pressure and meticulous way McGregor picked Brandao apart would be the Brazilian fighters undoing and McGregor would earn the TKO finish in the first round in front of a ruckus Irish crowd.
“The crowd here is like nothing anyone has ever seen before,” said Dana White.
According to White the crowd reached 110 decibels, which is the equivalent of a sold out rock show. Just like their fighters, the Irish fans were in top form from the first fight to the last, yelling, chanting and at times bathing in their own alcoholic beverages after tossing cups full of beer in the air after victories.
“I’ve been doing this for 13 years and I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Dana White.
Ireland had taken over the UFC for one of the most memorable night of fights in the organizations history and after McGregor’s victory in the cage he expressed his feelings on the Irish conquest yelling, “We’re not here just to take part, we’re here to take over!”
With nights like last Saturday’s it seems valid that a guy coming off a huge win in front of a huge home crowd would have such ambitious comments moments after the fight.
It surely seems that there is a new breed of bad a— entering the UFC and the overly brash, yet tremendously talented Conor McGregor is leading them along the way.
“Football stadiums and world titles, that’s what I want,” said McGregor.
With performances like this and crowds like the one that came to watch him fight on Saturday, it’s hard to not give the man what he wants.