It’s the arena where legends of the fight game are made, a who’s who of boxing royalty has fought there; Ali, Frazier, Ray Leonard, Holmes, Holyfield, Duran, and now on November 19th a new dawn rises for combat sports as the legendary Madison Square Garden welcomes the UFC for the promotion’s first ever visit to New York City.
UFC205 is expected to smash the company’s PPV records as Dana White and his match makers give fans the greatest card ever assembled in UFC history. Fans will get to see three titles up for grabs, eight current or former UFC champions compete, an Olympic silver medalist compete, four undefeated fighters risk their perfect records, and in the main event we get to see champion vs. champion for only the second time in UFC history as current lightweight champion, Eddie Alvarez, puts his title on the line against the greatest showman in MMA – current featherweight champion, Conor ‘The Notorious’ McGregor.
The first title on the line is an all Polish affair as strawweight sensation Joanna Jędrzejczyk (12-0) looks to defend her title for the fourth time against Karolina Kowalkiewicz (10-0). The pair fought previously as amateurs back in 2012, when Jędrzejczyk defeated Kowalkiewicz via rear naked choke, but will history repeat itself or will Karolina become the first fighter to stop the Jędrzejczyk juggernaut.
In the co-main event Tyron Woodly will make his first defence of his welterweight crown against Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson in a classic ‘wrestler’ vs. ‘striker’ match-up. Woodly caused quite the upset when he stopped Robbie Lawler in the first round to win the welterweight belt earlier this summer but the ‘All American’ wrestler will have his hands full against one of the brightest prospects in MMA. Thompson is on a seven fight win streak and is easily one of the most outstanding strikers on the UFC roster. Many have tipped ‘Wonderboy’ to go on and win UFC gold and now now the multiple time world kick-boxing champion will finally get the chance to prove that he is worthy of the hype.
Top of the bill is the fight that the MMA world is waiting for. Conor McGregor will finally get the chance to realise what he believes to be his destiny and become the first fighter ever to hold two UFC belts simultaneously – emulating the Irishman’s achievement with European based MMA promotion, Cage Warriors.
So what makes the Alvarez vs McGregor fight so special and worthy of headlining such a prestigious event? The answer is simple, Conor McGregor.
In just over three years in the UFC the Irishman has launched himself into the MMA stratosphere with an unparalleled personality and skill set that has truly captivated the fight world. McGregor continually tells us he ‘owns the game’ so the pressure to prove his doubters wrong against the number one lightweight fighter in the world is enormous.
So who wins? Eddie Alvarez has amassed a professional record of 28 wins with only four losses. Alvarez is considered one of the most well rounded and exciting fighters on the UFC roster, he is the current UFC lightweight champion and the former Bellator lightweight champion. He has fought and defeated some of the best lightweights on the planet.
However, across the Octagon will stand one of the greatest sports entertainers of our ages; the current featherweight champion Conor McGregor. The Irishman also boasts a very impressive professional record with 20 wins and 3 losses, 17 of those victories coming by way of knockout. Conor held the Cage Warriors featherweight and lightweight world titles before moving to the UFC where he has racked up eight wins in nine fights – scooping eight performance bonuses along the way.
There is no denying McGregor is dangerous unlike any opponent Alvarez has ever faced before; his understanding of a fighter’s strengths and weaknesses is incredible and his ability to quickly find a way to “adapt and overcome” during a fight is extraordinary. Furthermore, Conor’s style is unorthodox, powerful, lightning fast and deadly accurate. His obsession to understand how the human body moves is fascinating. Then there is his self belief, which is absolute. McGregor hypes up a fight like no other, he is a master of getting under an opponents skin and as such strikes the first blow before the contest even begins. Alvarez has fought many a dangerous man, but none that bring the level of mind games to a fight that McGregor does.
If the Irishman’s self fulfilling prophecy should ever come true and UFC history is to be made, then surely Madison Square Garden is where is must happen.
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