Conor McGregor announced the dawn of "the new era of the fighting Irish" after his patented left hook brought an end to his bout with Dustin Poirier in less than two minutes on Saturday night at UFC 178.
Following his Las Vegas debut the Irishman maintained that the quick stoppage would be enough to put him in line for a shot at Jose Aldo's featherweight title.
"The world title is next," said McGregor following his 'Performance of the Night' showcase. "I'm going to fly to Brazil if they (UFC) want and I'll eliminate Chad 'Mini' Mendes and step in and give the fans what they want, Aldo versus McGregor.
“You know we could come back (to Dublin) and do that stadium show. Bring the Brazilians over and we’ll whoop them on home soil or away soil, it’s no problem.”
Making up 10 per cent of the crowd, the MGM Grand Garden Arena was invaded by the Straight Blast Gym fighter's Irish support who made his American opponent feel like he was on enemy territory to the extent that a chorus of boos greeted him as he took to the Octagon.
‘The Notorious’ was as fluid as ever on his feet and opened the contest with spinning back kick to the body of Poirier. Peppering the American with jabs, McGregor was dynamic with his shot selection as he kept his counterpart on the back foot.
After a big left hook off his jab rattled Poirier, McGregor took his chance when the gap appeared for the combination again and landed the punch just above his opponent's ear to send him to canvas before he forced referee Herb Dean to stop the bout after delivering three unanswered strikes to his grounded rival.
“I would’ve liked to connect with the chin,” McGregor revealed in the post fight press conference. “I would’ve liked to connect cleaner but there’s so much soft, beautiful tissue there that if you crack that little soft area – there’s no coming back from that,” he said.
The Dubliner also revealed that he had suffered ligament damage to his thumb, which directly affected his preparation for the bout.
“Of course it affected preparation, my thumb was swollen, it was like a little football coming out of my thumb. I couldn’t grip and I certainly couldn’t punch. This was about four or five weeks before the fight. I just improvised, adapted and overcame.”
On the back of the impressive knockout win, UFC president Dana White confirmed he would be open to the idea of having the first ever UFC title shot on European soil after seeing the impact that McGregor has had on the Irish public.