Conor McGregor wins UFC bout in 40 seconds and fans are knocked out

The Irish MMA fighter beat Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone in less time than it takes to brush your teeth.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Expertise Breaking news, entertainment, lifestyle, travel, food, shopping and deals, product reviews, money and finance, video games, pets, history, books, technology history, generational studies. Credentials
  • Co-author of two Gen X pop-culture encyclopedia for Penguin Books. Won "Headline Writer of the Year"​ award for 2017, 2014 and 2013 from the American Copy Editors Society. Won first place in headline writing from the 2013 Society for Features Journalism.
Gael Cooper
2 min read

What can you do in 40 seconds? Make a sandwich? Post a Facebook status? Flick through Netflix? In just 40 seconds on Saturday night, Irish MMA fighter Conor McGregor made millions, earning a first-round TKO against Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone in the welterweight main event at UFC 246 in Las Vegas.

"Cerrone was never in the fight," reports CBS News, CNET's parent site. "After McGregor missed a wild left cross to open the fight, he used his shoulder in the clinch to draw blood from Cerrone's nose. A brutal head kick followed before McGregor dropped him and finished him off with punches on the ground as referee Herb Dean waved off the fight."

Fans on social media were as dazed as Cerrone. "McGregor is back and he's back with a bang," wrote CBS journalist Brian Campbell.

McGregor's shoulder strikes were especially impressive, and a novel move to many. "I've watched probably 100 fights and I've never seen shoulder strikes," wrote one Twitter user. "Swear to God I don't think I even knew that was legal."

Some were laughing at those who paid $65 to watch the fight on pay-per-view. "The real winners are the one who didn't pay for that fight," wrote one Twitter user.

And many marveled at actor and gambler Dan Bilzerian, who posted to Instagram before the fight showing the large amount of money (exact figure undisclosed) he apparently bet on Cerrone to win. "Anyone want to check on Dan Bilzerian?" wrote sports analyst Darren Rovell. "He lost all of this in 40 seconds tonight."

It's not exactly clear how much McGregor earned for those 40 seconds. Earlier this week, he projected an $80 million payday, CBS News reports. His disclosed pay was $3 million, but CBS points out that number does not include Reebok sponsorship bonuses, pay-per-view points or other undisclosed pay. But whatever the number, it was astonishing, especially when figured out by second.

"Conor predicted an 80 million dollar payout from this weekend," wrote one Twitter user. "He fought for 40 seconds. That man made 2 million dollars/second."

A touching moment came after the brief fight, when losing fighter Cerrone's grandmother hugged both men. She embraced her bloody grandson during his post-fight interview, and even hugged his opponent. Grandma makes everything better!

"Cowboy's grandma didn't have to look so cute like that," wrote a fan. "Almost brought a tear to my eye."

Another pointed out, "McGregor's hug with Cowboy's grandma was longer than the fight."

Holly Holm, Carlos Diego Ferreira, Aleksei Oleinik and Brian Kelleher also won on Saturday night.

Fan talk now turns to who McGregor will take on next. UFC president Dana White says a rematch against Khabib Nurmagomedov is the likely next fight. Remember how that went last time? Things got so chaotic even Mike Tyson called the night crazy. Stay tuned.