A key part of the aura of Conor McGregor that helped him shoot to UFC stardom was the incredible accuracy of his predictions.
Earning the moniker, ‘Mystic Mac’, the Irishman made a habit of calling when and how he would finish different opponents in the octagon.
Now he’s back with a bold prediction for the UFC 257 rematch with Dustin Poirier, declaring: ‘I will knock Dustin out inside 60 seconds.
‘I love Dustin, I think he’s a good fighter. He’s even a great fighter, you know? But great is still levels below me.’
So here’s a reminder of how McGregor has fared with his previous prophecies, building his reputation as a visionary.
Conor McGregor is known for his remarkably accurate predictions of his own fights
Donald Cerrone, UFC 246 – January 2020
The last time McGregor stepped into the cage was a year ago.
He was coming back from a prolonged absence and while he didn’t offer a round and was respectful towards Donald Cerrone, ‘Mystic Mac’ did anticipate the finish.
‘Donald predicted I wouldn’t get through Aldo. I got through Aldo,’ he said.
‘He predicted I was too small for the 155-pound division. I conquered that division. We’ve had a good back-and-forth myself and Donald.
‘As time has gone on, it’s hard not to respect Donald at this stage. Although there will be blood spilled, it will not be bad blood but the Mystic Mac prediction, it will be a KO.’
Result – McGregor wins by first round TKO
McGregor predicted a finish of Donald Cerrone last year and duly obliged in round one
Eddie Alvarez, UFC 205 – December 2016
Not all of ‘Mystic Mac’s’ predictions were about the fight itself.
Two years before he took on Eddie Alvarez in New York for the lightweight title, he tweeted that he would have ‘two belts and shares in the company’.
He duly went on to become a two-weight champion that night with one of his best performances.
As for the fight itself, the Dubliner did say he’d finish it inside the first five minutes, roaring: ‘Shut your f****** mouth. I run New York. I run this whole ship. And “Mystic Mac” predicts; I am going to KO you inside one round.’
And it almost looked as though he’d got it bang on, flooring Alvarez twice inside the first round but the American survived to see the second.
McGregor predicted he’d become a two-weight champion and did just that at UFC 205
From there though, another picture perfect combination put him down and brought the stoppage.
Although he narrowly missed picking the round, afterwards McGregor said: ‘I see these shots. I see these sequences.
‘If you truly believe in it, if you become vocal with it, you are creating that law of attraction and it will become reality. Mystic Mac strikes again.’
Result – McGregor wins by second round TKO
Jose Aldo, UFC 194 – December 2015
This is now one of the most famous moments in UFC history and McGregor knew it would happen before anyone else did.
Leading up to the fight, he said: ‘I will KO him in one round.
‘Every single movement I make will get an overreaction from him because he’s too emotionally invested in it.
‘I see him overeating, overextending and then being KO’d unconscious.’
It was uncanny. Cameras captured footage of McGregor hitting pads in the dressing room in exactly the manner in which he would knock out all-time great Aldo to win the featherweight title.
It took just 13 seconds for the Brazilian to do just what McGregor said he would, overreacting, overextending and ending up unconscious.
Result – McGregor wins by round one KO
Chad Mendes, UFC 189 – July 2015
McGregor took Mendes on at short notice to win the interim featherweight title five-and-a-half years ago.
And he was so supremely confident in his ability to foresee what would happen, that he offered a massive wager to Dana White and the then owner of the UFC Lorenzo Fertitta.
On an American talk show, White revealed: ‘You want to know how confident this kid is?
‘I can’t even believe I’m going to say this, but, he told Lorenzo and I the other day ‘I’ll bet you $3 million I knock him out in the second round.’
‘I like to bet, I don’t know if I’m that willing to take that bet. When I tell you how extremely confident this guy is in himself, it’s fascinating. He is a very unique, fascinating person to listen to. Fun to listen to, and fun to watch.’
Result – McGregor wins by round two TKO
Dustin Poirier, UFC 178 – September 2014
It was in a pre-fight Q&A that McGregor outlined how he thought his first fight with Poirier would go.
He said the Louisiana native’s chin was deteriorating and that he went on one knee every fight he gets in.
McGregor added: ‘I’m going to crack him with a jab, he’s going to wobble and I’m going to put him away early.
‘It’s going to be a first round KO mark my words.’
Conor McGregor made short work of Dustin Poirier in their first meeting back in 2014
If McGregor’s prediction for the first fight is anything to go by, Poirier should be concerned ahead of January 23.
The Irishman connected with a jab 90 seconds in, wobbled his opponent and then put him down before making good on his words and ending it in the first.
Result – McGregor wins by round one TKO
Diego Brandao, UFC Fight Night 46 – July 2014
This one must have been satisfying. McGregor fought Diego Brandao in Ireland in front of thousands of his supporters who will follow him anywhere.
Ahead of the homecoming encounter, he said: ‘People say he (Brandao) starts well and fades, I don’t think he’s even going to start well.
‘I’m going to be straight at him off the gate and he’ll feel pressure like he’s never felt before.
‘Then, ultimately he will crumble and I don’t think he’ll get out of the first round.’
He was bang on the money, With a minute to go in the first round, the referee waved it off after McGregor had floored Brandao with some huge left hands and followed it up with ground and pound.
Result – McGregor wins by round one TKO
But he’s not always on the money
Of course, even though McGregor’s reputation for accurate predictions is well deserved, there are times he’s been wide of the mark.
Khabib Nurmagomedov, UFC 229 – October 2018
A fight for the ages, the most infamous and lucrative in UFC history but McGregor suffered defeat at the hands of the undefeated wrestling sensation.
Before the fight he’d predicted: ‘I think I’m going to turn him into a bobblehead, to be honest.
‘I mean it’s personal, but it’s the same. It’s always a little personal, but in there it’s just a blank face and a new body. I see him turning into a bobblehead when I hit him.
‘I feel his brain is going to rattle when he gets a clatter off me. That’s what I’m keeping in my head.’
Result – Khabib wins by fourth round submission
Khabib submitted the Irishman at UFC 229 in 2018 but their rivalry has continued to bubble
Floyd Mayweather – August 2017
McGregor stepped into the boxing world as MMA’s biggest star and took on the best the sweet science had to offer.
Realistically, there were few who thought he could pull it off and Mayweather had too much for him in the end.
But that didn’t stop a bold prediction from McGregor. He said: ‘I’m going to go straight forward and put him away, inside four rounds. I have dominated the UFC and I will dominate boxing also.’
Result – Mayweather wins by 10th round TKO
McGregor was very confident ahead of his fight with Floyd Mayweather but came up short
Nate Diaz, UFC 196 – March 2016
Plenty of hype and a phenomenal build-up but McGregor missed the mark with this one.
Stepping up to 170-pounds was a stretch too far even though he managed to exact revenge in the rematch.
Before the first Diaz clash, he said: ‘His repetitive foot patterns are too predictable, too readable.
‘He will be too slow in there. My speed will stifle him. He has a soft body and lack of preparation.
‘He will not be able to handle the ferocity. End of the first round I feel he will be put away. I respect Nate, don’t get me wrong but business is business, he will get knocked out.’
Result – Diaz wins by round two submission
McGregor was submitted by Nate Diaz in their first fight at UFC 196 in Las Vegas