Irishman Conor McGregor has spoken of his confidence in the octagon after defeating Marcus Brimage on his UFC debut at the weekend with a KO after just 67 seconds.
The win has made McGregor a worldwide sensation and catapulted him into the mixed martial arts limelight, with further high-profile fights in the sport now a certainty.
McGregor told RTÉ Sport: "I was confident going in; I wasn’t going in to take part.
“I was going in looking to dominate. I’m bringing in a new era of Irish sport, not looking to just take part, we’re looking to dominate.
“Even when I was walking out and everything it felt like I was playing the UFC videogame. It was a weird feeling, I felt at home in there, I really did.”
“I knew I was going to be calm in there”, continued McGregor. “It is only competition at the end of the day, it really makes no difference where or what competition you are in.
“You could be fighting in front of one person or a big arena, it makes no difference: competition is competition.
“It’s still the same kind of emotions. I was feeling comfortable in there. I had that vision in my head and that’s what happened when I went out there.
“I did think I was going to be comfortable in there alright.”
"I still don’t know what’s going on here. I’m just going to have to sit down and chill out for a bit"
Asked if the win was life changing - as he won $60k for the knock out as well as the appearance fee - McGregor agreed, but emphasised that he needs to take stock following the fine victory.
He said: “Yeah, I’m in a bubble here. I still don’t know what’s going on here. I’m just going to have to sit down and chill out for a bit.
“In the press conference I was like ‘I’m gonna get a car, a suit, I’m gonna get this, I’ll get that’. I’ll be broke before I know it. I’ll be broke within a week. I’m just going to have to sit down and think things out.”
McGregor also emphasised how he will be straight back to the gym now to prepare for his next battle.
“I’m just going to get straight back into training,” he said. “That’s the main thing. I don’t really do anything else. I don’t go out too much; I don’t go anywhere. I get up, I go to the gym and I come home, and then I repeat that, and that’s all I do 24/7.”
The up-and-coming UFC star also praised his coach John Kavanagh: “John is the man, he stood by me when not many others would. He would help me out all the time.
“I’m forever grateful to John and when I cash this cheque I’m going to look after John.
“I always said to him a couple of years back ‘When I get here, I’m going do this. When I get here, I’m gonna have an extra floor put on that gym. I’ll look forward to doing that.’
“I’m going to open the doors for all the other Irish mixed martial artists in the UFC.
"The training can get emotional. It’s high-level competition and it’s very intense, so to kick in the door and bring my team with me really is the stuff dreams are made of.”