McGregor needed only 40 seconds to defeat Cerrone in his eagerly anticipated UFC return in Las Vegas.
McGregor, fighting for the first time in 15 months at UFC 246 at the T-Mobile Arena, bloodied Cerrone’s nose in the opening few seconds of their welterweight bout with four unorthodox shoulder strikes.
McGregor then stepped back and a head kick high over the guard landed square on the jaw of Cerrone, who fell to the floor and was left covering up as the Irishman rained down punches, prompting an early stoppage.
After the fight, Cerrone said: “He got me with an elbow straight away and then he headkicked me.
“I have never seen anything like the shoulder shot he hit me with. I was disorientated. Then he stepped back, I was bleeding and he headkicked me.
“But I love this sport and I am not stopping yet.”
McGregor was meanwhile quick to inform those watching that, in stopping Cerrone, he had made a piece of UFC history.
“I made history here, I set another record: I’m the first fighter in UFC history to secure knockout victories at featherweight, at lightweight and now at welterweight, so I’m very, very proud of that,” McGregor said in the octagon.
“Donald holds the record for most head-kick knockouts, I’m so happy to get him down with a head kick myself. I’m very, very happy, very proud.
“Who’s going up and down divisions and stopping people like that?”