Wednesday, February 28

Conor McGregor’s 10 Worst MMA Performances, Ranked

Highlights

  • Conor McGregor’s victory over Max Holloway was bittersweet due to a torn ACL that prevented him from showcasing his optimal performance.
  • McGregor’s victory against Nate Diaz at UFC 202 was closely contested, with varying opinions on social media about the scoring.
  • McGregor’s win over Dustin Poirier at UFC 178 was met with controversy, as some viewers raised concerns about illegal strikes to the back of Poirier’s head.


Conor McGregor, formerly on a remarkable 15-fight winning streak, secured the UFC featherweight championship with a swift 13-second victory over Jose Aldo. Despite his initial success, McGregor has faced setbacks and achieved some less-than-impressive wins.

Among his 22 victories, the Irish superstar boasts 19 knockouts but has experienced six losses, none of which went the distance. As of 2024, these less notable performances mark the less stellar moments in his career, spanning 28 fights.

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Conor McGregor vs. Max Holloway

He Failed To Secure The Finish

Event

Date

Results

UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen

August 17, 2013

Conor McGregor wins via unanimous decision

Scheduled to take on Andy Ogle at UFC Fight Night 26 on August 17, 2013, Conor McGregor faced an unexpected twist when Ogle withdrew from the bout due to injury. Max Holloway, who would later become the UFC Featherweight Champion, stepped in as a replacement. Despite McGregor’s dominant performance and a unanimous decision victory (30–27, 30–27, and 30–26), the victory was bittersweet as he battled through the bout with a torn ACL, preventing him from showcasing his optimal performance.

Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz 2

‘The Notorious’ Struggled To Avenge His Defeat

Event

Date

Results

UFC 202

August 20, 2016

Conor McGregor wins via majority decision

Conor McGregor secured a majority decision victory on Saturday night at UFC 202 against Nate Diaz. The closely contested bout, characterized by a hard-fought and back-and-forth struggle, drew varying opinions on social media, with some even favoring Diaz in the scoring. Two judges awarded McGregor Rounds 1, 2, and 4. In contrast, one judge scored it a draw, noting a 10-8 round for Diaz in the third.

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Conor McGregor vs. Chad Mendes

Chad Mendes Has Himself To Blame For Defeat

Event

Date

Results

UFC 189

July 11, 2015

Conor McGregor wins via technical knockout

Chad Mendes stepped into the UFC 189 main event on short notice after Jose Aldo withdrew due to a rib injury. In an intense battle at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, McGregor secured the UFC interim featherweight title with a second-round TKO. While it was an impressive finish, McGregor’s performance left fans worried about his ground game.

Mendes convincingly won the first round and was on his way to securing the second when he attempted a mounted guillotine. McGregor, however, swiftly regained his footing and unleashed a series of left-hand blows to Mendes’ head, ultimately concluding the fight in his favor.

Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier

Some Of His Strikes On Poirier Were Seen As Illegal

ufc-178-poirier-mcgregor
© Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Event

Date

Results

UFC 178

September 27, 2014

Conor McGregor wins via technical knockout

In a matchup against Dustin Poirier, McGregor connected with a left hook that caught Poirier, who was attempting to avoid the strike by ducking. Some viewers raised concerns, perceiving the subsequent strikes to the back of the head. McGregor continued with further strikes on the downed Poirier, prompting referee Herb Dean to intervene and halt the fight. Strikes to the back of the head violate unified MMA rules. Given the debate surrounding the legality of his finish, this victory stands out as one of McGregor’s less impressive performances.

Conor McGregor vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov

The Irish Star Is Submitted For The First Time In His UFC Career

Event

Date

Results

UFC 229

October 6, 2018

Khabib Nurmagomedov wins via submission

In their highly anticipated bout, McGregor had vowed to bring an end to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s undefeated streak in the UFC. However, Khabib utilized a rear-naked choke in the fourth round, compelling McGregor to submit. Although the judges awarded McGregor the third round, he faced defeats in the others, receiving a unanimous 10-8 score in the second round due to Khabib’s overwhelming dominance.

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Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz 1

He Lost Despite Being A Betting Favorite

Event

Date

Results

UFC 196

March 5, 2016

Nate Diaz wins via submission

In the first round, Conor McGregor landed some effective shots on Nate Diaz but visibly tired as the fight progressed. The turning point came in the second round when Diaz connected with a 1-2 combination, leaving McGregor visibly shaken. McGregor, in an attempt to regain control, circled the cage to buy time and recover, only to be rocked again.

McGregor resorted to a takedown, unwittingly entering the realm where Diaz excels—Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Diaz skillfully sprawled, securing a top-mount position over McGregor. Eventually, McGregor rolled over, presenting his back, and Diaz seized the opportunity. Applying a rear-naked choke, Diaz forced McGregor to tap out at 4:12 of the second round, sealing the victory.

Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier 2

‘The Notorious’ Suffers His First Defeat By Knockout

Event

Date

Results

UFC 257

January 24, 2021

Dustin Poirierwins wins via technical knockout

In their rematch, Poirier sought revenge by employing a strategic approach, predominantly targeting McGregor with calf kicks and incorporating takedowns and striking in the first round. McGregor, starting the second round with a powerful left hand, momentarily rattled Poirier. However, Poirier persisted in focusing on McGregor’s compromised calf, severely limiting his mobility.

Recognizing McGregor’s vulnerability, Poirier stunned him with a well-placed left hand, leading to a relentless assault that culminated in McGregor being dropped by a right hook. Poirier unleashed a series of follow-up shots, securing the most significant victory of his career.

Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier 3

The Irish Star Was Losing Before The Bizzare End

Event

Date

Results

UFC 264

July 10, 2021

Dustin Poirier wins via technical knockout

In their trilogy bout, McGregor initiated the action with kicks aimed at Poirier’s legs and body. Poirier responded with his own leg kicks and transitioned to punches, managing to knock McGregor off balance before engaging in a grappling exchange against the fence. In the final minute of the round, Poirier unleashed ground strikes, successfully avoiding an upkick from McGregor.

As the two fighters rose, they exchanged missed swings. However, a pivotal moment occurred as McGregor stepped back, resulting in him falling and seemingly breaking his left leg. Referee Herb Dean intervened, stopping the fight at the 5:00 mark of the first round.

Conor McGregor vs. Artemij Sitenkov

He Suffered His First Defeat

Event

Date

Results

Cage of Truth 3

June 28, 2008

Artemij Sitenkov wins via submission

At the age of 19, McGregor proved to be no match for Artemij Sitenkov, as the latter swiftly brought him to the ground at the start of the fight, ultimately securing a submission via kneebar. This marked the Irish superstar’s third bout and stands out as one of his least impressive performances.

Conor McGregor vs. Joe Duffy

McGregor Taps Out In Less Than 40 Seconds

Event

Date

Results

Cage Warriors 39: The Uprising

November 27, 2010

Joe Duffy wins via submission

McGregor successfully connected with a few solid punches, but his momentum was abruptly halted when Duffy effortlessly took him down and rendered him unconscious with a choke, all transpiring in a mere 38 seconds. The future UFC champ was 4-1 at the time and should have worked more on his takedown defense.

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