Conor McGregor showed off his slick submission skills on this day in 2012

Conor McGregor

ON THIS DAY in 2012, a 23-year-old Conor McGregor, campaigning as a featherweight at the time, faced fellow top prospect David Hill for the vacant Cage Warriors featherweight title.

What followed would then go down as one of McGregor's finest performances to date, according to some experts, though few would actually get the chance to see it live. 

The Notorious is known as one of the most deadly strikers in UFC history - so much so that he has won 19 of his 22 wins in total by way of knockout. However, don't allow yourself to be fooled so easily; McGregor's jiu-jitsu skills on the ground should not be underestimated. 

The highly-anticipated title fight took place in the co-main event of Cage Warriors: 47 in Dublin, Ireland, with McGregor, or 'Notorious' as he was known at the time, challenging Team Renegade's Hill, a teammate of Tom Breese and Marc Goddard, for the vacant Cage Warriors featherweight strap. 

The then-23-year-old from Crumlin, a former amateur boxer, produced a near punch-perfect performance to beat the technically sound Steve O'Keefe prior to the bout but he was expected to have a tougher time of it against the 9-2 Hill. 

Sporting an impressive record of 10-2, McGregor rose to the occasion. The ever dangerous Hill was coming off an impressive performance against David Lee in the now-defunct Olympian MMA Championships, and the surging Englishman had won four of his last six.

The former OMMAC featherweight champion was widely expected to put the flashy, potty-mouthed McGregor to the test. Instead, however, fans were treated to something totally out of the ordinary. 

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What we saw that day was merely a taste of what was to come in the UFC. Hill repeatedly shot for takedown after takedown in a desperate attempt to drag McGregor to the mat - only for McGregor to either get back up and fight back, or start to find a home for his piston of a left hand, on each occasion. 

Hill hardly won a minute of the fight, let alone a round, all night, and in the end McGregor felled Hill with a powerful head kick, then showed off his slick submission skills in a rare moment to put him away. 

In reality, it never really looked like a close contest. On that night, Hill was never going to beat McGregor - that much is obvious. Of course, McGregor wasn't unbeaten at the time, but back when he managed to make a very good fighter look incredibly ordinary, McGregor showed he was more than capable of rising to the occasion. 

Since 2012, McGregor has gone on to claim UFC titles in two different weight categories, improving his professional record to a respectable 22-5 inside the cage.

As for Hill, he stuck around on the regional circuit for a while, and would go on to engage in some memorable battles; his 2013 epic with Brian Moore is one that immediately springs to mind. 

However, after losing to Martin Svensson in 2014, the fan favourite would then call it a day.   

Read more: UFC 264: Dustin Poirier has 'big-time advantage' over Conor McGregor

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