Conor McGregor’s career is set to kick back into gear in Abu Dhabi on Jan. 23 when he takes on Dustin Poirier in the main event of UFC 257.
It’s the latest chapter of a remarkable fighting timeline that saw him make his name with a remarkable four-fight run with U.K.-based promotion Cage Warriors to earn himself a shot in the big time with the UFC.
McGregor’s Cage Warriors stint saw him claim four finishes, with three of them coming in the first round. He kicked off his Cage Warriors stint with a first-round TKO of Aron Jahnsen in September 2011, then followed up with another first-round finish, as he stopped Steve O’Keefe with elbows at Cage Warriors 45 in February 2012.
Those wins put him in line for a shot at the vacant Cage Warriors featherweight title, and the Dubliner finished Dave Hill via second-round submission to pick up his first major title. He then moved up to lightweight and spectacularly knocked out Ivan Buchinger at Cage Warriors 51 in Dublin to become a two-division champion and put himself firmly on the radar of Dana White, who subsequently signed him to the UFC.
The rest, as they say, is history. McGregor claimed interim featherweight gold at UFC 189 with a TKO of Chad Mendes, then knocked out Jose Aldo to become the undisputed 145-pound champion at UFC 194. He then went on to become the UFC’s first simultaneous two-division champion at UFC 205 when he finished Eddie Alvarez to win the lightweight belt at Madison Square Garden.
However, McGregor (22-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) hasn’t won a title fight since that night, and the Irishman plans to push himself one step closer to another shot at the lightweight title when he takes on old rival Poirier (26-6 MMA, 18-5 UFC) on “UFC Fight Island” later this month.
Ahead of his return to the octagon on Jan. 23, relive McGregor’s four-fight run in Cage Warriors via the video above.