Conor McGregor had an insane amount of hype behind him going into his UFC Fight Night 26 bout on Saturday night. He even got the main event treatment for his walkout, as the UFC dimmed the lights for his walkout. It's hard to live up to that hype, but McGregor did it with a 30-27,30-27, 30-26 decision win over Max Holloway.
McGregor used his unorthodox style to control Holloway throughout the entire standing portion of the fight. He wasn't as good when the fight went to the ground, but his kicks and punches made up for that. He said after the fight he felt his knee pop, which is why he took the fight to the ground even after he had success standing.
“I felt great out there. I could’ve gone another twenty-five of those rounds if need be. I went to catch a kick early in the fight and when he bridged and rolled I heard my knee click and it just wasn’t stable after that," McGregor said after the bout. "I could feel it moving in and out of position which is why I had to switch gears and start taking him down."
With the fight taking place in Boston, the Irish McGregor had a huge contingent of Irish-American fans. Fans waved the Irish flag and dressed up as leprechauns to cheer him on, but he wasn't happy with the performance he put on.
"I’m not happy with my performance though, this is mixed martial arts and that’s not the way I like to fight out there. I felt the finish coming before my knee went and they say he’s one of the better strikers in the division. I’m just trying to prove that no one can stand with me in the octagon.”
He did impress some big names. According to Fox Sports' Mike Chiappetta, McGregor was congratulated by UFC president Dana White, boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
This was just McGregor's second fight in the UFC. His last one was a first-round knockout of Marcus Brimage.
Michael McDonald rebounds with a win
In other UFC Fight Night 26 action, Michael McDonald rebounded from his title loss to Renan Barao with an overwhelming win over Brad Pickett. McDonald wobbled Pickett early, and looked close to finishing the fight in the first round. Pickett inexplicably survived McDonald's onslaught.
In the second round, McDonald had Pickett in position for an armbar, but Pickett maneuvered out of that submission. Unfortunately, he McDonald transitioned to a triangle choke. Pickett tapped out at 3:43 in the second round.
Other results from the UFC Fight Night 26 prelims:
Steven Siler def. Mike Brown via knockout (punches) - Round 1, 0:50
Diego Brandao def. Daniel Pineda via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Manny Gamburyan def. Cole Miller via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Ovince St. Preux def. Cody Donovan via knockout (punches) - Round 1, 2:07
James Vick def. Ramsey Nijem via submission (guillotine choke) - Round 1, 0:58