UFC 205 is set to take the fight world by storm on Saturday, Nov. 12 in New York City. It is the first ever MMA pay-per-view event to take place in Madison Square Garden and will be headlined by UFC’s biggest superstar: Conor McGregor.
The Irishman and featherweight champion is the favorite in his first ever fight at 155 pounds against champion Eddie Alvarez. The card will also include three championship fights for the first time ever, including women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk against Karolina Kowalkiewicz and welterweight champ Tyron Woodley against Stephen Thompson.
The action begins in New York City at 8 p.m. ET with a four-fight prelim card. Then, at 10 p.m. ET begins the six-bout main card.
McGregor and Alvarez will top this fight card and likely hit the octagon around 12:30 or 1 a.m. ET.
What’s Hot: You’ve heard it time and time again: Conor McGregor has a chance to make history by becoming the first man in UFC history to hold two titles in as many divisions at the same time. I mean, you hear it, but can you really fathom the monumental effect that could have on the promotion, himself and the sport, especially if he sticks to his guns and defends both belts? Aside from great publicity for the promotion, McGregor can go on and shatter the history books if he competes this feat. Looking ahead, if he does indeed fight at both weight classes and defends the titles on more than one occasion, knocking off the best each division has to offer, his legend will only continue to grow, his legacy cemented forever and his bank account … just forget about it.
Granted, McGregor has yet to defend his 145-pound strap since winning it almost one year ago, but, perhaps this was all a part of his master plan: Hold on to it and do what he did during his time in Cage Warriors. If he does, he will make Randy Couture and B.J. Penn’s feats of being multi-division champions pale in comparison and will join Dan Henderson as the two biggest stars to hold two titles at once in two of the biggest promotions in the history of the sport, as “Hendo” did it in Pride FC.
Tune in folks, history could be made.
What’s Not: Yeah, I’m going to go ahead and skip this. It does not get any better than UFC 205, from bottom to top — it’s an incredible line up throughout unlike anything we have ever seen.
Original Card vs. Actual Card: One can’t really complain that the deck was shuffled somewhat, as the card is still stacked. That said, an intriguing Welterweight showdown between Donald Cerrone and Robbie Lawler was announced and then subsequently canceled after “Ruthless” stated he needed more time before he stepped back into the cage. Also, Al Iaquinta was pegged to face Thiago Alves, but a contract dispute scratched the bout. Jim Miller, however, stepped in to face “The Pitbull” on the “Prelims” portion of the event. Gian Villante was set to face Marcos Rogerio de Lima, but an injury to Villante forced a cancelation.
Lyman Good was set to face Belal Muhammed, but after Good was popped by United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA) for a possible doping violation, he was taken off the card and replaced by Vicente Luque. And just earlier this week, Rashad Evans was pulled from his Middleweight debut against Tim Kennedy after New York State Athletic Commission ( NYSAC) denied him a license to fight — he was deemed physically incapable of competing even though he looks like Hercules. Evans and Kennedy were subsequently booked to tango one month later at UFC 206.
Then, one day before the event, Kelvin Gastelum was pulled from the card after he failed to hit the 170-pound weight limit, leaving “Cowboy” Cerrone out in the cold, again.
Injuries: Only the aforementioned Villante was a victim of the injury bug. While unfortunate for the New Yorker, fight fans can count their blessings that none of the main card bouts were canceled because of injury.
New Blood: Sorry, but no newbies here, as a fight card of this magnitude is reserved for UFC veterans only.
How UFC 205’s “Prelims” Look: When you have former champion Frankie Edgar, as well as Lightweight title hopeful Khabib Nurmagomedov on the undercard, you know you have a special card on your hands. Edgar will have a tough fight on deck, taking on one of the hardest-hitting fighters in MMA today, Jeremy Stephens. As for Nurmagomedov, he will look to cement his place at the front of the 155-pound title race when he faces a resurgent Michael Johnson. And he’ll have to do it in spectacular fashion, as Tony Ferguson made a case for his own shot at the strap by taking out Rafael dos Anjos (though he may have blown his shot). Fight Pass is also looking good, as Thiago Alves and Jim Miller are sure to swing heavy leather in their Lightweight scrap.
Who Needs A Win Badly At UFC 205: Nurmagomedov is undefeated (22-0), including seven wins inside the Octagon. So why is he listed in this category? Well, “The Eagle” has long been dubbed the rightful contender to the title shot at 155 pounds. But, after several injuries forced him out of action, his only win in the last two years came against newcomer Darrell Horcher. He was then rumored to be next in line to face Alvarez before McGregor swooped in and stole his fight. Rightfully upset, Nurmagomedov demanded he get a fight on the New York card against anyone who is willing to scrap. In came Johnson, a dangerous fighter who only has one win in his last three outings. That means it’s a high risk, low reward bout for Nurmagomedov. Sure, he may be in line for a shot at the strap should he defeat “The Menace,” but taking out Johnson isn’t exactly an easy feat. So accepting a fight against someone who isn’t close to a championship fight was indeed a big roll of the dice.
UFC 205 Interest Level: 10/10 When am I going to have the chance to rate a fight card a 10? It will probably be a long time from now, so this one undoubtedly deserves the perfect score for obvious reasons. UFC 200 was billed to be the best card of all time, but once New York was approved, the promotion pulled out all the stops to deliver a gem. And deliver it did — UFC 205’s fight card will not be topped in the foreseeable future. And, it’s not often we have three title fights on one card.