UFC legend Conor McGregor reflects on a win that may have gone unrecognized at the time, but has since become one of his best ever.
After bursting onto the UFC scene in 2013 with a first-round stoppage victory over Marcus Brimage, “Notorious” made his debut in the United States against a relatively unknown fighter by the name of Max Holloway.
Sure, “Blessed” went on to become one of the greatest featherweight fighters of all time, but back then he was considered an easy opponent for McGregor to finish.
It looked like a stoppage win was destined when ‘Mystic Mac’ beat their opponent in the first round, landing a variety of blows on the famed Hawaiian.
Holloway clearly wasn’t the same striker he is today and didn’t seem to have much response to McGregor’s attack which was relentless and seemed certain to finish the fight as soon as possible.
However, things changed drastically at the end of the second round when the Irishman apparently injured his knee in a wrestling exchange.
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After that, McGregor looked shaky on his feet and was forced to use his rarely seen wrestling skills to undo what looked like a disappointing decision loss.
The victory became more impressive when it was revealed that the MMA superstar tore his ACL in the second round of the fight.
The injury kept him out of action for almost an entire year and delayed his rise to the top of the division.
Nine years later, McGregor was again sidelined through injury.
This time, the 34-year-old is recovering from the broken tibia and fibula he suffered in his third fight with Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 in July 2021.
“Nine years ago today, wow! Time flies when you’re flirtatious and look good,” McGregor wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of him kicking Holloway in the face.
“An important fight for me in my career was my debut in the United States, Boston Massachusetts. I also tore my acl in this fight and was forced to use my “improvise, adapt, overcome” philosophy in real time.
“A real sink or swim moment for me in my young career, but I haven’t done it and I wouldn’t let the injury deter me. Not in the fight, not during recovery, not through the changes in my fighting style that came from this injury.
“I used my mind to improvise, my courage to adapt, and as humans we are DESIGNED TO OVERCOME! It was a certificate! I went on to win the fight and all my world titles after that. Don’t let an injury define you! Good luck and God bless everyone who continues to go through the pain!”
McGregor is expected to return to the Octagon later this year or in the first quarter of 2023.
First, he’s set to make his acting debut alongside Jake Gyllenhaal in the reimagining of the 1980s classic Road House, which is set to begin filming later this month.
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