Conor McGregor secured a very clean 40-second dismantling of Donald Cerrone at UFC 246. The former two-division champion landed 20 strikes to get the TKO win, without a single strike landing on him.
That in itself is already incredibly impressive, but McGregor says he is more proud of a different accomplishment. By getting this finish in a welterweight bout, it now marks three divisions where the Irishman has secured a KO or TKO.
“I made history here tonight. I set another record,” McGregor boasted following his quick TKO over Cerrone. “I’m the first fighter in UFC history to secure knockout victories — at featherweight, at lightweight, and now welterweight — across three divisions.
“Who has gone up and down divisions, and stopping people like that, with knockout victories? I’m very proud of that accomplishment,” he exclaimed. “The UFC, they can strip fighters, and give other fighters make believe belts in order to replicate my champ-champ status. But they can’t give knockout victories across multiple weight divisions! So there we go again! Etch my name in history one more time!”
While definitely an incredible achievement, is it really the first time in UFC history? Is it a new record?
Well, I guess it depends on how you understood his statement.
If McGregor was very specific and meant first to score (T)KO wins at featherweight, lightweight, and welterweight, then yes he did set a new record. Very few fighters have competed across those three specific weight classes, all inside the UFC, and McGregor is indeed the first to score TKO wins.
Kenny Florian has wins at those three specific divisions, and also fought a fourth in the UFC at middleweight. He has TKO’s at both welterweight and lightweight, but his lone featherweight win was a decision in 2011. BJ Penn won two belts at welterweight and lightweight, but has yet to secure a win at featherweight.
On the other hand, if McGregor meant first in UFC history to get (T)KO victories across three weight divisions; if he’s really asking who has gone up or down three divisions to stop people in a similar manner, then no, there have been a couple to beat him to it.
Regardless of what he meant exactly, this seems like the perfect time to acknowledge some of the fighters who have found similar success carrying over their knockout power and/or finishing acumen across three divisions.
First KO wins per UFC division:
After knocking out Cerrone this past weekend, McGregor has now notched knockouts in three different weight divisions. He may not be the first one to do this, but what makes his accomplishment a little different from the other two, is that McGregor started his career at featherweight and went up in weight, not down.
McGregor has already held titles in two-divisions, but if he can manage to get a third undisputed belt, that would be a truly historical moment in the sport.