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December 21, 2015 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Conor McGregor wins UFC Featherweight title, Roman Reigns WWE Champion


It was the week of new eras, with Conor McGregor officially taking over as the face of UFC as its featherweight champion on 12/12, and two days later, Roman Reigns long planned spot as the face of WWE was solidified with his title win over Sheamus on the 12/14 Raw in Philadelphia.

The two situations are as different as different can be, but the coronations took place in the dominant MMA company and dominant pro wrestling company within days of each other.

McGregor knocked out Jose Aldo in 13 seconds, the same Aldo who had dominated the featherweight division for six years, and was the only featherweight champion in UFC history. McGregor beat Aldo to the punch with a left hook as both were throwing, and kept repeating the catch phrase about how precision beats power and timing beats speed. The time broke, by one second, the all-time record for the fastest finish in a championship fight, set by Ronda Rousey in her 2/28 win over Cat Zingano.

McGregor, who nicknamed himself Mystic Mack for his Muhammad Ali like predictions of how matches would end, had done an interview the day before the fight and predicted the exact scenario of how it would end, although also said that the finish would come late in the first round. He claimed that he had seen the tendency in Aldo’s game that he knew he could take advantage of, but didn’t think it would come that early.

But his goal is to become Floyd Mayweather in the financial department. A crazy spender with a head for business numbers, McGregor, when told that the gate for UFC 194 was $10.1 million ($10,123,000 is the number we were given, the official number should be out next week), the all-time U.S. record and second biggest (behind the $12,075,000 for UFC 129 in Rogers Centre in Toronto for Georges St-Pierre vs. Jake Shields) in UFC history, brought up that Mayweather did more than $70 million as a live gate for the Manny Pacquiao fight, and noted he’s at this level now and he’s only 27 years old, noting that Mayweather wasn’t drawing what he’s drawing when he was the same age.

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