Nate Diaz has led shock allegations of ‘fixing’ after Conor McGregor won his comeback fight in just 40 seconds.
McGregor stopped Donald Cerrone with a head kick and punches just 40 seconds into the first round at UFC 246, announcing his return to mixed martial arts with his first victory since 2016.
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The Irish former two-division champion returned from a three-year stretch of inactivity and outside-the-cage troubles with a performance that echoed his greatest fights during his unparalleled rise.
McGregor (22-4) floored Cerrone (36-14) only 20 seconds into the bout with a perfectly placed kick, and he mercilessly finished on the ground to the delight of a sellout crowd at T-Mobile Arena.
McGregor said: "It feels very good, I made history here. I set another record: I'm the first fighter in UFC history to secure knockout victories at featherweight, at lightweight and now at welterweight.”
However not everyone was convinced.
Diaz, one of McGregor’s fiercest rivals, took to Twitter after the fight to say: “This s***s all fake. Weak as f***.”
Another fan replied: “There was defo something up with that. Surely a fix?”
While another added: “What a joke of a fight, that was terrible. Fix.”
That McGregor fight was a joke. I want my money back. That was definitely a fix #UFC246— Jordan Solomon (@jsolo81) January 19, 2020
Man oh man......McGregor/Cowboy and the fix was on! Never seen an old cagey fighter like Cowboy take 4 shoulders to the face and not even try and move out the way....SMH— Mike Patterson (@Cosa_Billstra) January 19, 2020
Not buying that one... everyone gets paid, and McGregor gets to have an even bigger ticket day next time. Fix 👍🏻— Brother Hum (@BrotherHum) January 19, 2020
Cerrone may have beaten McGregor in the street, in a barn, on the beach, in a hurricane....but it looks effing obvious (especially in slo-mo) like the fix was in. UFC didn’t want their golden boy hurt. Conner was aggressive/Donald was passive n got a broken nose. 🤔— ≋T≋A≋N≋K≋... (@TankOfTheFranks) January 19, 2020
Who’s next for McGregor?
As for who he wants to fight next, McGregor said: "Any one of these little mouthy fools can get it. I like this weight division, I feel really good, it's good going up and down.
"God willing I came out of here unscathed, I'm in shape, I don't believe I'm there yet, I've still got work to do to get back to where I was.
"I'm going to party tonight and celebrate, spend time with my family and get back in the gym and train."
McGregor's hand hadn't been raised in victory since November 2016, when he stopped lightweight Eddie Alvarez to become the first fighter in UFC history to hold two championship belts simultaneously.
With his fame and fortune multiplying, McGregor fought only his boxing match with Floyd Mayweather in 2017, and he lost a one-sided UFC bout to lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in late 2018.
After a year of inactivity and trouble outside the cage, McGregor vowed to return to elite form in this bout against a fellow UFC veteran and stoppage specialist.
His dramatic victory over Cerrone indicated he's on his way.
Cerrone is the winningest fighter in UFC history with 23 victories inside the octagon, a mark that reflects both his durability and commitment to an uncommonly busy schedule.
McGregor won 15 consecutive fights during a five-year run from low-profile shows in Dublin to the world's biggest MMA events, stopping five straight elite UFC opponents with punches on the way up.