Fox Sports 1 Central Casting Gets Irish Fighter
The first day of Fox Sports 1 featured an Irishman traveling to Boston and dominating a fight for many viewers who had never seen him fight before. Conor McGregor may as well have been Tom Cruise in "Far and Away" as the crowd erupted. Later Michael McDonald said of a win over Brad Pickett, "I wasn't going to let an Englishman beat me, BOSTON STRONG."
The decision by Fox to feature UFC in Boston in the first primetime fight for Fox Sports 1 gave them the ethnic appeal of the bar crowd surrounding Cruise as he won bare knuckles battles to become an instant hero. McGregor could become an instant hero, just as Cruise was until he was distracted by Nicole Kidman during a fight and lost to the Italians favorite.
The Featherweight McGregor had only one previous UFC fight, but he was so dominant (see video here
) in a quick knockout that Fox pulled him for the top of the card. He did not disappoint anyone, except himself. The scoring is the same as the standard 10-point boxing system, with three judges giving the winner 10 points and the other fighter 10 or fewer. Most rounds are scored 10-9 or 10-10, but one judge gave McGregor one 10-8 round to give him an overall win of 30-27, 30-27, 30-26.
"I was unhappy I didn't get the finish," McGregor said, playfully draping an Irish flag over his interview after his opponent Max Holloway managed to survive three rounds against the lefty who never seemed to so much as turn his body while mixing in kicks with punches.
McDonald was even more punishing shortly thereafter in a battle of two of the top five Bantamweights, taking down Brad Pickett quickly and pummeling him on the ground in the opening minute. However, Pickett showed incredible endurance in recovering from the initial barrage, but never threatened.