According to a July 19 report from MMA Fighting, the results are in from UFC Fight Night 46. The event, which went down at The O2 in Dublin, Ireland, featured a headliner of Conor McGregor vs. Diego Brandao, plus an exciting co-main tilt pitting Gunnar Nelson against Zak Cummings. Elsewhere on the UFC Fight Night 46 main card, Brad Pickett takes on Ian McCall.
UFC Fight Night 46 got off to a rollicking start, as the preliminary card featured several explosive finishes. Patrick Holohan opened the card with a win over Josh Sampo via submission, as he earned the stoppage with a rear-naked choke at the 3:06-mark of the opening frame. Nikita Krylov kept the good times rolling by finishing Cody Donovan via first-round TKO.
Later on the UFC Fight Night 46 preliminary card, Trevor Smith defeated Tor Troeng via unanimous decision and Neil Seery also picked up a decision victory over Phil Harris. In other action, Cathal Pendred routed Mike King. For Pendred, the end came at the 3:33-mark of the second frame. Capping off the UFC Fight Night 46 preliminary card, Ilir Latifi knocked out Chris Dempsey at the 2:07-mark of the opening round.
Here's the thing: The UFC Fight Night 46 card featured plenty of intriguing fights, but most of the crowd on hand came to see McGregor. The 26-year-old is a huge star in Ireland, despite having won just two fights in the UFC. His popularity seems to be growing by the day, and the UFC would love nothing more than to see him keep winning.
Should fans hop on the McGregor bandwagon so soon into his career? Probably not. Sure he holds explosive one-punch knockout power and he always comes to fight, but he hasn't yet beaten anyone ranked in the top 30 in the world. If McGregor is able to slip past Brandao, it wouldn't gain him much momentum at featherweight.
McGregor still needs to beat someone ranked in the upper echelon of the division before being considered for a title shot. A win over Brandao would be a step in the right direction, but this fight is mostly just a check to test his drawing power. Obviously, McGregor passed with flying colors since the arena sold out in a matter of hours. If McGregor notches a win at UFC Fight Night 46, he'll likely earn a pay-per-view fight for his next appearance.