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6 min read

Ten Years Ago Today: Conor McGregor Arrives in the UFC

On this date ten years ago, “Notorious” Conor McGregor made his very first walk to the UFC octagon. The event was UFC on Fuel TV 9, the date was April 6th, 2013 and the spot was the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden. If you’re curious, the main event was Gegard Mousasi vs. Ilir Latifi.

Most people watching at the time didn’t know they were getting the first look at arguably the UFC’s most polarizing and captivating fighter in the history of the promotion.

Leading into the Fight

McGregor, then 24 years of age- held a record of 12 wins (11 by KO/TKO and one by submission) and only two losses (both by submission). “Notorious” was on a hot stretch, riding an eight-fight winning streak, and was coming off winning the Cage Warriors Featherweight and Lightweight Championships back-to-back and being a double champ in the promotion, a bit of foreshadowing there.

In February 2013, Dana White made a trip to Ireland and was swarmed with requests to sign McGregor to the UFC. White eventually met with McGregor and spoke with the CEO at the time, Lorenzo Fertitta-days later, McGregor was offered his very first UFC contract.

The opponent for McGregor’s debut was Marcus Brimage, then 28, and the fight was on his birthday. Brimage had a record of 6-1, was an Ultimate Fighter 14 alum, riding a four-fight win streak, and was undefeated in the UFC (3-0). A fun fact on Brimage, he was also the debut opponent for Cody Garbrandt, another popular UFC fighter.

Breakdown of the Fight

McGregor instantly opened the fight by taking center control of the octagon before Brimage pushed forward with a combo, barely landing as McGregor landed a left-hand counter shot that seemed to wobble Brimage. Brimage landed a couple of body shots as McGregor whiffed on a knee. The two disengaged before Brimage landed an outside leg kick and landed a right hand that glanced off of McGregor’s chin while McGregor missed on a left hand. McGregor then landed a nicely timed teep kick to the body that knocked Brimage off balance as he was coming in wildly. McGregor then opened up with a big spinning heel kick that missed as Brimage circled away. McGregor followed up with a nice counter left to the chin of Brimage as he was stepping into range to throw a looping right hook.

This is when McGregor really started to take control of the octagon and look for his iconic left counter, landing numerous counters and uppercuts. Brimage threw another kick that was checked by the observant McGregor but then Brimage followed up with a solid right hand that backed McGregor up.

McGregor then landed a solid left straight to the temple of Brimage and followed up with another uppercut and a huge right hook after. McGregor landed a nasty front kick, perfectly placed on the chin of Brimage that wobbled him. Brimage followed McGregor, throwing shot after shot only for McGregor to slip and dodge the majority of them while landing counter shots of his own. As Brimage pushed in on McGregor near the fence, the ending sequence ensued. As Brimage missed, McGregor peppered his opponent with a sequence of six strikes that dropped Brimage and McGregor followed him to the mat to land six more strikes to get the finish at 1:06 in the very first round.

Kenny Florian then interviewed McGregor and the Irishman ended the interview with the iconic phrase “Dana, 60 G’s baby!” Style points indeed for the debuting McGregor.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Images

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