Conor McGregor made an emphatic statement on his UFC return as he needed just 40 seconds to overpower veteran American Donald Cerrone at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The Irishman had been out of action for 15 months but exploded into life from the first bell of the welterweight bout at UFC 246, charging at his opponent before bloodying his nose with several unorthodox shoulder strikes in the clinch.
McGregor then stepped back and a precision head kick high over the guard landed square on the jaw of Cerrone, who was also caught by a flying knee and crumpled to the mat as the Dubliner went for an early finish.
The former two-weight UFC champion had been out of action since losing to bitter rival Khabib Nurmagomedov at the same venue in October 2018, while this was his first win inside the octagon in more than three years.
On that occasion, he stopped Eddie Alvarez to add the lightweight title to his featherweight crown, becoming the first fighter in the company to hold two belts simultaneously.