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13th Nov 2016

Conor McGregor is king of the hill and top of the heap as he makes history in New York City

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Darragh Murphy

Tomorrow morning, Conor McGregor will wake up as A-Number one, top of the list and the UFC lightweight champion.

‘The Notorious’ made history in New York as he added the 155lbs title to the featherweight crown he already called his own.

The Irishman experienced little to no resistance as he put on a striking exhibition, the latest of his career, and knocked opponent Eddie Alvarez out in the second round.

And from the moment he appeared on the monitors in Madison Square Garden, there seemed to be no doubt that that would be the way of it.

McGregor made the walk first and, Trumplike, he strutted around the Octagon, allowing his soles get a feel for the worn mat, bloodied from the ten wars that preceded the lightweight decider.

A Notorious B.I.G. tune was the soundtrack for Eddie Alvarez’s walkout, rather than his opponent’s, but even that couldn’t win over the partisan crowd, which was predictably and predominantly green,

White shorts were sported by the Dubliner, for the first time since he competed against Chad Mendes last July, and the performance was uncannily similar to his victory over ‘Money’ – the wrestler who was supposed to expose the greatest flaw in McGregor’s game.

‘Ole, Ole, Ole’ was punctured by the thuds of three early Alvarez leg kicks but, after that, it was essentially all McGregor.

The trademark left hand dropped the defending lightweight champion but he rolled and returned to his feet and, interestingly, McGregor didn’t chase the finish.

Alvarez was downed again before two minutes had elapsed and McGregor was comfortable playing around in Alvarez’s guard, confident on the mat against the stronger man.

Having felt the most dangerous weapon in McGregor’s arsenal, Alvarez tried desperately to drag the bout into his wheelhouse by diving on a shot but it was brushed off by the confident SBG fighter, who delivered an added elbow for Alvarez’s troubles.

There was an irrepressible sense of the inevitable coming early in the second round when, with the timing and spring of an offbeat cobra, McGregor again laced his left hand through his opponent’s guard and sent shockwaves down his body.

Completely unconcerned with Alvarez’s output on the feet, McGregor flung his hands behind his back and dared the Philadelphia lightweight to even attempt to land flush.

A wild flurry came McGregor’s way but he displayed typically brilliant head movement and countered with, you guessed it, the left hand.

Alvarez must have known it wasn’t his night when he couldn’t even threaten to take McGregor down from the clinch against the fence and the end was just around the corner.

Left hand.

Lights dimmed.

Right hand, left hand, right hand.

Lights out.

And all of a sudden, McGregor did something that no fighter in UFC history had managed to do.

He now holds a belt in two different weight divisions simultaneously.

And, whisper it, but a young man from Crumlin has now entered the pantheon of all time greats.

Anderson Silva… Georges St-Pierre… Conor McGregor.

Can you believe it?
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