5 Conor McGregor pre-UFC fights you need to watch

  • Conor McGregor is one of the wildest fighters the UFC ever had
  • But he had a whole career before the UFC many fans have never seen
  • Here are five of the best pre-UFC fights starring McGregor
Jul 9, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Conor McGregor reacts during weigh ins for UFC 264 at T-Mobile
Jul 9, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Conor McGregor reacts during weigh ins for UFC 264 at T-Mobile / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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Conor McGregor vs. Gary Morris, professional MMA debut

A little over a year after his fight with Campbell, McGregor made his professional debut against Gary Morris, another fighter making his pro debut on the Irish regional scene. In this case, there was a raw energy that made him fearless. You can see it in the way he pushes forward. Once he gets a taste of his opponent's skill and power, he goes full throttle.

Raw is the perfect word to describe this fight. McGregor has zero fear and is fully confident in his abilities everywhere. He uses the jab to land the classic left hand and, when he does, you can see Morris buckle a few times and reach for a single-leg takedown.

This fight was also a little bit more impressive than his fight against Campbell because McGregor finds himself in different areas of danger, but still manages to stay dominant. With the first single-leg attempt, you can see McGregor not only defend the takedown, but maintain his balance to be able to land a whole bunch of head strikes before the end of the round. Without question, Morris knew that he was in a tough fight on the feet.

the second single-leg attempt is, technically speaking, one of McGregor's best moments. After defending the takedown, McGregor decides to stay on the ground to finish via ground-and-pound. He stayed defending, transitioned to take top control, and was able to land heavy shots in mount position before finishing Morris completely flattened out on his stomach.

One of the nice stories coming out of this is Morris talking about McGregor long after their fight. He talks about the fight, and how it may have been different under current rules, but he goes on to mention how respectful McGregor was after their fight. He also mentions that any time they have crossed paths, McGregor takes the time to catch up with him.