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Conor McGregor Beats Cowboy Cerrone via TKO in 40 Seconds at UFC 246

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistJanuary 19, 2020

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JANUARY 17:  Welterweight fighter Conor McGregor poses on the scale during a ceremonial weigh-in for UFC 246 at Park Theater at Park MGM on January 17, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. McGregor will face Donald Cerrone at UFC 246 on January 18 in Las Vegas.  (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)
Steve Marcus/Getty Images

Conor McGregor had a victorious return to the Octagon with a first-round TKO win over Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone to close out UFC 246 in Las Vegas on Saturday.

The electricity that comes from the moments before a McGregor fight directly translated to the opening moments of the bout as he got the quick finish.

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JUST LIKE THAT! Conner McGregor beats Cerrone by TKO in 40 seconds! 👊💥 https://t.co/PqWe63I99A

McGregor went right to work with a creative barrage of strikes that precipitated an early end. He struck Cerrone with a combination of shoulder strikes that bloodied Cowboy's nose and created space to unleash even more strikes. 

Any concerns of a more focused and less expressive McGregor outside of the cage would be a less explosive fighter inside of it were certainly silenced. 

Luke Thomas @lthomasnews

There was some concern McGregor's calm demeanor would turn into a cold performance in the cage. Nope. He was calm fight week and absolutely ferocious come fight time. He looked focus and dialed in all week, all 40 seconds of the fight, too.

The Notorious is a man who has set a lot of UFC records and he noted that he added another one with the finish:

Bloody Elbow @BloodyElbow

"I made history here tonight, I set a new record. I'm the first fighter in UFC history to secure knockouts at featherweight, lightweight, and then welterweight here tonight. I'm very proud of that." - Conor McGregor

After the fight the Irishman wasted little time before launching into promoter mode, calling out anyone and everyone:

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And ANYONE can get it next! #UFC246 https://t.co/JJvV49ChWc

The Irishman picks up the win after a tumultuous time away from the ring.

McGregor took almost a year-and-a-half off after his fourth-round submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov. In that time, he has become the subject of two ongoing sexual assault investigations. He also faced charges that were dropped for allegedly stealing and smashing a fan's phone and pleaded guilty to punching a man in a bar.

The 31-year-old plans on fighting in 2020, though. As for what that means regarding opponents, he hasn't been picky.

"Activity is what I plan this year," he said, per Thomas Gerbasi of UFC.com. "The opponent does not matter. It can be Jorge [Masvidal], it can be Kamaru [Usman], it can be the Khabib rematch, it can be Tony [Ferguson], it can be Justin [Gaethje]. There's a whole host of brilliant names. It could be Max [Holloway]. I don't care. Activity is what I'm after."

There's obviously a lot out there for McGregor if he wants it. If he chooses to stay at welterweight, a title fight with Kamaru Usman would be on the table, or another spectacle against Jorge Masvidal with the "BMF" title on the line again would be a huge event.

However, there are options at lightweight, and there's still the possibility that the former two-division champion could go back to boxing. He has recently talked about a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Regardless of what he chooses to do next, he's already re-established himself as must-see TV and will continue to be a draw whatever fight is next for him.

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