How Conor McGregor Took Out Donald Cerrone In Just 40 Seconds

Conor McGregor needed just 40 seconds to take out Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone at UFC 246... but how did he do it?

How Conor McGregor Took Out Donald Cerrone In Just 40 Seconds

After losing to Khabib Numragomedov, Conor McGregor needed a big bounce-back performance in his comeback fight. He stopped Donald Cerrone in less than a minute to announce his return.

Conor McGregor ended a 15-month layoff with one of the fastest finishes of his storied MMA career. On January 18, 2020, McGregor knocked out the iconic Donald Cerrone in just 40 seconds, doing so in a manner perhaps no one, expected.

The Notorious is known for his powerful left hand which has put many opponents to sleep. 

But McGrgegor put Cerrone away with a vicious head kick that crumpled one of the toughest fighters in the history of the promotion. Although it was a flurry of punches that officially ended the bout, it was that left leg kick that hurt Cowboy and ended his night at UFC 246 early.

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On the fourth anniversary of that spectacular, performance, the Irishman posted a video of the fight on social media and captioned it with the word ‘Enjoy’:

McGregor said after the fight that he was expecting Cerrone to knock him out with a similar move. However, he also figured that it was the best strike to beat Cowboy.

“I knew he was planning to knock me out with a head kick,” McGregor told ESPN. ” I knew this is what Donald would have been envisioning. … But at the same time, I know that Donald has many discrepancies in his game, with the leans and dips under certain attacks that can also set him up for the high kick. So the high kick was something I thought I could catch him with, also.”

Image: AP

McGregor’s analysis was correct. Conor landed 19 out of 26 total significant strikes, including that devastating head kick. On the other hand, Cerrone never got a chance to get started. He threw and missed only one strike before McGregor overwhelmed him.

Impressive as it was, however, Conor McGregor’s 40-second demolition of Cowboy Cerrone wasn’t the fastest finish in the Irishman’s MMA career. Five bouts earlier on December 12, 2015, Conor McGregor joined the ranks of champions when he sensationally knocked out longtime featherweight king Jose Aldo with a single left-hand punch.

“Jose was a phenomenal champion,” McGregor revealed after the bout. “He deserved to go a little bit longer, but I still feel at the end of the day, precision beats power and timing beats speed. That’s what happened.”

Image: AP

Challenging for a world title for the first time in his UFC career, McGregor shone under the bright lights of Las Vegas and sensationally delivered the fastest finish ever in a UFC championship bout.

That fight cemented McGregor’s status as the most popular fighter in MMA. It also established McGregor as a legit PPV superstar with the event generating 1.2 million pay-per-view buys. The Notorious would deliver at least one million PPV buys in his next seven bouts, including the UFC record of 2.4 million PPV buys against Khabib. The UFC event at which he destroyed Cerrone fetched 1.0 million PPV hits.