All that pomp and circumstance we had to put up with over the past six months is a lot more tolerable now that we know Conor McGregor is, in fact, the real deal.
He proved it by stopping Chad Mendes in the UFC 189 pay-per-view (PPV) main event last night (Sat., July 11, 2015) inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada (video highlights here), capturing the interim featherweight championship and setting up a blockbuster title unification bout against Jose Aldo.
You thought UFC 189 was nuts? Wait until you get a load of this.
McGregor spent most of the lead up to his showdown against Mendes -- a late replacement for the injured Aldo -- running his mouth and acting like a superhero drunk on his own power. Not much changed when the Octagon door slammed shut in "Sin City."
Before Mendes could even plant both feet and start the fight, "Notorious" was already waving his arms, talking shit, and dancing around the cage. It was a lot like the old days of former middleweight champion Anderson Silva, who was able to break most fighters before they threw their first punch.
Because behind all that tomfoolery, a real, genuine killer does work.
A lot of fans -- present company included -- were not so fast to jump on the McGregor bandwagon. His run under the UFC umbrella was mostly highway miles with nary a bump in the road. Mendes was the kind of opponent who could take the fight into uncharted water, the canvas, and shut down the showman's high-octane offense.
For a hot minute there, that's exactly what he did.
But as time dragged on, "Money" was down to his last few quarters and just didn't appear to have the conditioning to withstand his opponent's relentless attack. He wilted late in the second stanza and during his complimentary post-fight speech, offered no excuses and never once mentioned his two-week training camp.
He was probably too busy watching the Conor McGregor show.
One that started with a walkout song, live in person, by Sinead O'Connor. Like "The Spider" before him, a McGregor fight has now become an event in and of itself, and it appears the 18-2 Irishman intends to give fans their money's worth each and every time.
I appreciate that, having spent $60 on last Saturday night's PPV event (full results here).
We'll soon turn our attention to Ronda Rousey, who competes in just a few weeks against Bethe Correia. But if this prediction comes true and Jose Aldo is able to return in October, then we can expect the McGregor train to leave the station shortly thereafter.
And based on what I saw at UFC 189, that's just fine by me.