The highs of Conor McGregor: From UFC double champion to breaking PPV records

Love him or hate him, Conor McGregor has become one of the most recognisable faces in any fight sport of our current generation.

Despite his fighting career plateauing since his glory days, the name McGregor is still one used heavily in the UFC, whether it be for good or bad reasons.

The Irishman is looking to redefine his legacy by becoming the first three weight UFC champion if a fight between himself and the UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman comes to fruition.

Whether or not McGregor can return to the top of the UFC ranks, the now 33-year-old has had a stellar career and Planet Sport are going to take a look at his best moments.

McGregor is a former two-division UFC world champion

The UFC debut

In 2008, a young Irishman by the name of Conor McGregor made his professional MMA debut under trainer John Kavanagh. It took only 8 seconds of the second round for the then 20-year-old to get the first win on his record.

Four years into his career McGregor began to make waves in the promotion Cage Warrior, winning their version of the featherweight and lightweight title in consecutive fights.

It was after the latter in which Dana White and the UFC came calling for the man they called 'Notorious'.

It was finally official in February of 2013 that McGregor was now a contracted UFC fighter with his debut coming little over a month later against The Ultimate Fighter former contestant Marcus Brimmage.

Despite all the hype McGregor, he didn't allow the pressure to get on top of him as he dispatched of Brimmage just over a minute into the fight, connecting with three consecutive uppercuts, leaving the man known as 'The Bama Beast' staggered and dazed.

With McGregor's statement and intent well and truly made, the Irishman's UFC journey had begun.

First UFC title win against Jose Aldo

cGregor built up his resume in the company over the next two years with notable wins over Max Holloway, Dustin Poirier, and Chad Mendes

Thirteen seconds. That's all it took.

After his momentous debut, McGregor built up his resume in the company over the next two years with notable wins over Max Holloway, Dustin Poirier, and Chad Mendes.

After six fights under the promotion owned by Dana White, McGregor finally got his chance for one of the prestigious UFC belts. In his way of claiming his first piece of silverware since his Cage Warriors lightweight championship was the revered featherweight champion Jose Aldo - who was on an 18-fight win streak.

The Brazilian became the inaugural UFC featherweight champion after they merged with fellow MMA fighting company WEC. Having ruled at 145lbs for over seven years, Aldo would soon face the entity of Conor McGregor.

Just 13 seconds after the bell rung to begin the first round, McGregor's left-hook sent Aldo onto the canvas with the fight being stopped straight after. The knockout became the fastest UFC title fight win, breaking the record of 14 seconds set by Ronda Rousey.

But after a short night's work, the then 27-year-old cemented his name at the top of the featherweight division.

Revenge win over Nate Diaz

Nate Diaz vs Conor McGregor 2

The Irishman suffered his first defeat in the UFC when he tapped out of Nate Diaz's rear naked choke at UFC 196 in March 2016.

Despite the loss, the Stockton based southpaw wasn't supposed to be the original opponent for McGregor, with the featherweight champion billed to face the lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos.

With the Brazilian having to pull out with a broken foot, Diaz came as a late replacement with McGregor also agreeing to fight at welterweight, 15lbs above the lightweight limit that the was originally scheduled at.

After taking his first loss in 16 fights 'Notorious' was keen to avenge this and just five months later at UFC 202, Diaz Vs McGregor 2 was set up.

The build-up for the bout was as fierce and fiery as it gets with the memorable press conference between the fighters which ended with them pelting bottles at each other before McGregor telling Diaz 'You'll do nothing, you'll do fu**ing nothing'.

The pay-per-view sold 1.65 million buys ranking it as the second most bought UFC card of all time, and the fighters delivered for the people at home. The fight swayed both ways over the five rounds with the welterweight frame of McGregor beginning to feel the pace towards the latter rounds of the fight.

But it was the Irishman who got the victory by majority decision with the judges seeing it 47-47, 48-47, 48-47.

Even after both fighters have made calls for the rubber match to happen, it seems unlikely that the two mixed martial artists will share the octagon again yet, we must never say never.

First simultaneous two-weight world champion

McGregor's legacy continued to be defined when just three months after his gruelling victory over Nate Diaz, the then featherweight champion decided to venture to the 155lb division to face the champion, Eddie Alvarez.

On a night which saw UFC return to New York for the first time in 21 years due to their MMA ban, 'Notorious' and his band of Irish fans took over Maddison Square Garden in a wave of green, white, and gold.

Dubbed by Dana White as the biggest fight card in history, it was the second ever time the promotion saw two of its champions fighting it out for the same belt - the first time being when the welterweight champion Georges St Pierre defended his belt against the lightweight champion B.J. Penn.

Eddie Alvarez was making his first defence of his UFC lightweight championship which he has just earnt after his first round TKO victory over Rafael Dos Anjos.

With 'The Underground King's wrestling background matched with McGregor's Karate history; the bout was shaping up to be a great clash of styles.

The fight began at a quick pace however, with Alvarez having to survive being knocked down on three occasions to find his way through to round two.

Yet the torment continued for Alvarez who managed to see three minutes into the second round before the featherweight champion's four-punch combination spelt the end of the night for the American.

In a night when McGregor sat on top of the UFC tree, he seemed untouchable at the time. Unfortunately, the Irishman's UFC was plateau after, winning only one out of his next four fights.

Despite this, his name would be forever etched in the history books due to the accomplishments he achieved on that memorable night in New York.

Floyd Mayweather boxing fight

Floyd Mayweather is a former five-division world champion in boxing

Despite coming off the wrong end of the result, the McGregor brand rose after his 12-round scheduled boxing match with Floyd 'Money' Mayweather.

Heading into the cross-over bout, the American boxer was an undefeated five-division world champion, with a stellar record of 49-0. McGregor meanwhile, was a two-weight UFC champion with a record of 21-3.

Two of the biggest stars of their respective sports clashing, it was always going to be a spectacle of the highest order.

The build-up towards the fight became an event in itself, as the fighters embarked on a four-stop press conference tour entertaining crowds in LA, Toronto, New York, and London, producing some iconic moments.

The most memorable of which being the famous McGregor line aimed at Mayweather saying, "What you doing with a school bag on stage, you can't even read."

The fight drew in a staggering 4.3 million PPV buys, making it the second most bought of all time, just 300,000 off Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao.

The undercard saw the likes of Savannah Marshall, Yordenis Ugas and Gervonta Davis all feature at the T-Mobile Arena.

After a strong start from McGregor which saw him land his best punch of the fight in the first three minutes - a counter left hook flush on the chin of Mayweather - the fight began to tilt in the favour of the boxer.

As the pace of the Irishman dropped, Mayweather took advantage with the ref stopping the fight in the tenth round.

Despite the loss, McGregor showed heart, courage and skill and proved why he belonged on the grandest stage of them all.

READ MORE: Dustin Poirier says family's 'financial freedom' from Conor McGregor wins was his biggest reward

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