DUBLIN, Ireland -- Irishman Conor McGregor promised his countrymen a first-round finish of fellow featherweight Diego Brandao, and he made good on that commitment.
McGregor outclassed the Brazilian slugger and scored a TKO win at the 4:05 mark of the headlining matchup of "UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs. Brandao" on Saturday.
McGregor was the quicker fighter from the start, using flashy kicks to the head and body to stifle his opponent's advances, but it was hands that ultimately sealed the deal. After Brandao tried unsuccessfully to bring the action to the canvas, McGregor unleashed a left hand that sent his opponent to the floor, and he followed to the ground with more strikes with 55 seconds left in the first round.
Afterward, McGregor said he would sip fine whiskey with UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta and convince him to return to Dublin with a soccer stadium as the venue.
"I said I was going to put him away in the first round, and I put him away in the first round," McGregor said. "There's not a man alive who can come on this soil and beat me.
"I'm going to go backstage with Mr. Lorenzo Fertitta, have a little whiskey, and talk about being in a stadium."
In the night's co-feature, Icelandic welterweight Gunnar Nelson (13-0-1) kept his undefeated professional record intact with an impressive second-round finish of Zak Cummings (17-4).
A crisp right hand landed flush several times on the feet before he grabbed Cummings head and drug him to the floor in the second round. Once there, Nelson showed off his vaunted grappling skills, spinning perfectly to his opponent's back and using punches to soften up Cummings' defence before locking in a rear-naked choke.
Nelson didn't take long once he got the hold, and Cummings was forced to tap with 12 seconds left in the round.
"This was a tough fight," Nelson admitted after the win. "Zak is a very tough opponent. He is strong everywhere and he knows what he is doing. The atmosphere out there was something else.
"I have never felt like that in the octagon. The crowd was so loud and so intense."
McGregor and Nelson were awarded $50,000 each for the evening's two "Performance of the. Night" bonuses.
In a key flyweight matchup, Ian McCall's speed and game-planning proved superior to Brad Pickett, as "Uncle Creepy" picked up a clearcut decision win over "One Punch."
McCall was the quicker fighter from the start, and he darted in and out of range to avoid Pickett's preferred brawling style. While Pickett did land the occasional big right hand, it was McCall who was generally quicker on the trigger, using a pinpoint jab and quick kicks to the body to rack up points.
At the end of 15 minutes, McCall was awarded a decision win with scores of 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28.
McCall admitted he was a little disappointed in his performance but happy with the result and now hopes for a third fight with current UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson.
"I was a little off -- I wasn't aggressive enough," McCall said. "But it was an intelligent fight, I think. I know Brad thinks I don't respect him as a fighter, but I really do. He's a strong guy -- he's fought a lot of people. Now, there is unfinished business with Demetrious Johnson. He has something that is mine."
In the night's first main-card matchup, Northern Ireland's Norman Parke (20-2-1) earned a one-sided TKO victory over Japanese lightweight Naoyuki Kotani (33-11-7).
Parke shut down his opponent's takedown attempts and punished him with strikes on the feet from the start. In the second, Parke threw his opponent to the floor and looked to take the back and lock in a rear-naked choke. When Kotani defended the move, Parke simply settled for blasting away with big punches and elbows until referee Marc Goddard put a stop to the drubbing at the 3:41 mark of the frame.
"I feel great," Parke said after the win. "Fighting in front of a home crowd is so special. It was just unbelievable. Even the weigh-ins last night were unbelievable with thousands of people making so much noise. It was great for me to be a part of it."