On November 12, in the main event of UFC 205, UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor will challenge Eddie Alvarez for the UFC lightweight title. If the Irish superstar is successful in this attempt, he’ll become the first fighter in UFC history to hold two titles in two weight classes simultaneously.
Yet while a title-winning defeat Alvarez would undoubtedly be the finest accomplishment of McGregor’s already illustrious career, it’s also likely to give him a feeling of deja vu. It would, after all, be a big-stage repeat of an earlier career highlight, which saw him steal the Cage Warriors Fighting Championship lightweight title a little over six months after winning the same promotion’s featherweight crown.
In the video at the top of this post, you can witness the win that turned McGregor into a two-weight Cage Warriors champ, and the one that would ultimately earn him his ticket to the UFC.
This fight occured back in December of 2012, and pitted McGregor against the much more experienced Ivan Buchinger, who entered the fight with a 21-3 record and experience against future UFC fighters like Mairbek Taisumov, Akira Corassani, and Anton Kuivanen. Despite being the less experienced man in the cage, McGregor put on an masterclass performance.
From the opening bell, McGregor’s technique and timing began to give the Slovakian problems. In the first few minutes alone, the Irishman lands with punches, capoeira kicks, and even an expertly-timed double-leg takedown.
The real clinic, however, began as the first round began to wear down. By this point, it was already clear that Buchinger would require a miracle to leave the cage with the Cage Warriors lightweight title. Unfortunately for the Slovakian, that miracle didn’t materialize. Instead, he wound up supine, having been foiled by the precise timing and crippling power that have made McGregor such a massive star in the UFC.
Around the 1:25 mark of the first frame (6:06 in the video), Buchinger chucks a right hand at McGregor. McGregor effortlessly dips under this slow right and plants a rocket-fuelled counter left hook on the side of Buchinger’s head. Seconds later, the Slovakian fighter is coming to under the lights while McGregor celebrates to the roar of the Dublin crowd.
Two-weight world champion!
Do you think history repeats itself at UFC 205, or were McGregor’s accomplishments under the Cage Warriors banner a one-time thing? Sound off, PENN nation!