By Joe Giordano || Sports Editor
“Can’t Wait!” This was the slogan for UFC 205 and it definitely lived up to the high expectations. After a long anticipated debut, the UFC finally had their first show in New York and hosted it at the historic Madison Square Garden. The UFC pulled out all the stops and put together an amazing card featuring 3 title fights, former world champions and all around great fights. The night, however, belonged to the UFC’s biggest star, Conor McGregor.
For the first time in UFC history, Conor McGregor looked to become the first person to ever simultaneously hold two championships. The person looking to derail those dreams was Lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez, who captured the title in July after beating Rafael dos Anjos. Many believed, even though McGregor fought in lighter weight classes previously, that McGregor would hold the advantage over Alvarez due to his reach and size advantage. McGregor put together an absolutely dazzling performance, knocking out Alvarez in the second round and, in the process, made history.
Conor McGregor will now hold both the Featherweight and Lightweight championships at the same time. While most would call for the coronation of McGregor as the greatest fighter of all time, I am hesitant to put that title on him just yet. What he accomplished this past weekend was nothing short of remarkable and the fact that he did it with such ease makes one marvel at the feats of brazen Irishman. However, throughout McGregor’s career he has fought the same types of opponents repeatedly, in which play to his strengths significantly. He has yet to a face high-level grappler who can take him away from his usual dominance on the feet. There is no doubting his greatness, but until the UFC matches him with either lightweight contenders Tony Ferguson or Khabib Nurmagomedov, one must be hesitant of calling him one of the best of all-time.
While the night will primarily be remembered for McGregor’s historic achievement, the other fights on the card delivered to the high expectations as well. Welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and challenger Stephen Thompson battled for five hard rounds until the judges scored the fight a draw. The two will more than likely have an immediate rematch to settle who the better fighter is sometime in the near future.
In addition, women’s Strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk successfully defended her title against Karolina Kowalkiewicz in what was a back and forth fight throughout.
Middleweight challenger Yoel Romero also impressed as he sliced through former champion Chris Weidman by knockout and secured a future Middleweight title shot.
The card top to bottom at UFC 205 delivered on very high expectations and gave fans many exciting future prospects to look forward to. McGregor was undoubtedly the star of the evening and helped usher in a new era of mixed martial arts in New York State. Future challenges lay ahead of the Irishman and both fans and detractors of McGregor are excited for what’s next for the two-weight world champion.
Junior Joe Giordano is the Sports Editor. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.