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Conor McGregor makes another UFC comeback this weekend following a 12-month absence.
McGregor has reversed his latest retirement to take on Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 at Fight Island in Abu Dhabi in a rematch of their September 2014 contest, which the Irishman won.
Here, the PA news agency looks at five of his best victories in the octagon.
Max Holloway (TD Garden, Boston, August 2013)
A unanimous decision over a prospect who had seven wins and two losses does not appear to be remarkable at first glance. But Holloway went on to establish himself among the company’s finest fighters, becoming featherweight champion after putting together a 13-fight winning streak. It was at the 145lb-limit where these two future stars faced off and McGregor, a little more than three months on from his UFC debut, was taken the distance for the first time in his 16th mixed martial arts contest. Victory was all the more impressive because he tore his anterior cruciate ligament at the halfway stage.
Jose Aldo (MGM Grand, Las Vegas, December 2015)
— UFC (@ufc) December 13, 2015
The hype around McGregor was growing rapidly and hit new heights with this 13-second blowout of a champion who boasted a 10-year unbeaten streak that spanned 18 fights. A picture perfect left cross knocked out the Brazilian before he hit the floor to signal an emphatic conclusion to a rivalry that had been building for months. With this win, McGregor proved he could back up his bravado and the 1.2million pay-per-view buys was a UFC record for a non-heavyweight contest, proving the charismatic Dubliner was one of the company’s most bankable attractions.
Nate Diaz (T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, August 2016)
Five months on from a shock first defeat in the UFC, McGregor returned to Sin City and the welterweight limit – 25 pounds heavier than where he reigned at featherweight. McGregor, as he did in the first bout, started the rematch strongly and floored his rival three times inside the opening two rounds. The resilient Diaz, though, absorbed the punishment and took advantage of his opponent’s fatigue to finish on top, only to lose a majority decision. McGregor proclaimed “the king is back” after topping a bill that generated a then UFC record 1.65m PPV buys.
Eddie Alvarez (Madison Square Garden, New York, November 2016)
Unsurprisingly, McGregor was the headline act as the UFC was staged in the Big Apple for the first time and he marked the occasion by joining all-time greats Randy Couture and BJ Penn in winning UFC titles across two weight classes, while he was the first to hold two belts at the same time. Alvarez, like many before him, was unable to handle the power of his foe and was knocked down three times in the opening round before being stopped three minutes into the second. McGregor therefore proved he was the man to beat at both featherweight and lightweight in what would prove to be his last UFC outing for almost two years.
Donald Cerrone (T Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, 2020)
After performing a U-turn on his 2019 retirement, McGregor stepped back into the fray after 15 months away and more than three years since his last UFC victory. He needed just 40 seconds to reassert himself, staggering Cerrone with some innovative shoulder strikes. McGregor then floored ‘Cowboy’ with a precise head kick and a flying knee before the referee stepped in. In beating Cerrone, McGregor became the first fighter to bank knockouts at featherweight, lightweight and, here, welterweight. “I made history here, I set another record,” he declared at the end.