UFC 205: McGregor Runs NYC & UFC

On this day, 23 years ago, the UFC debuted with it’s pay-per-view event. And now tonight, the UFC finally made its long-awaited debut in Madison Square Garden with UFC 205. And history was made in more ways than one.

Conor McGregor defeated Eddie Alvarez in the main event to become the new UFC lightweight champion, meaning McGregor becomes the first UFC fighter to hold two divisions’ titles at the same time. He also becomes the third man to simply win titles in two different UFC divisions, joining the likes of Hall of Famers Randy Couture and B.J. Penn.

The bout felt all-McGregor from the start, as Alvarez was knocked down by a punch from the featherweight champ less than a minute into the round, nearly causing another Jose Aldo vs. McGregor moment. The defending champion did recover and get back up, but he ended up getting dropped to the canvas twice more in the round and ate a bunch of ground-and-pound shots.

During the second round, McGregor taunted Alvarez by placing his hands behind his back, yet he didn’t pay for it. Alvarez did fire off his own shots, but a counter-punch by McGregor sent Alvarez stumbling back into the fence. After a failed takedown attempt, Alvarez was dropped once more by McGregor, and referee John McCarthy had seen enough; the fight ending in a KO win for McGregor.

In the co-main event, Tyron Woodley defended the UFC welterweight championship against Stephen Thompson. While not a single punch was thrown for about a minute or so, Thompson did manage to get a takedown. Woodley, however, would gain control and keep the challenger in place for most of the round. Woodley looked to keep the distance, keeping an eye out on Thompson’s long legs. Thompson, however, forces Woodley towards the cage multiple times during the second round. In the third, Woodley continued to try and fire off shots while still backing towards the cage. His productivity, however, falls continously as the round progress until he and Thompson exchanged blows during the last minute.

In the fourth, Woodley landed a punch that rocked Thompson and forced him to cover up. The referee, however, never stepped in. Woodley then took Thompson and put him in a deep guillotine hold, but whatever reason, Thompson did not lose consciousness and managed to fight out of the hold and get through the round. Not much action in the final round, however, except for a big flurry from the challenger towards the end, giving him the round.

Then, a confusing ending occurred. Two judges scored the bout 47-47, while a third awarded the bout to Woodley by a score of 48-47. Bruce Buffer announced Woodley as the winner via split decision, but a correction was issued during the post-fight interviews, declaring the bout a majority draw. Either way, Woodley retained the title.

In the women’s strawweight title fight, neither Joanna Jedrzejczyk nor Karolina Kowalkiewicz were able to break away and carry the first round the whole way, as each fighter had small flashes. However, the round seemed to go in the favor of the champion, Jedrzejczyk. Jedrzejczyk continued her dominance in the striking and Octagon control. Kowalkiewicz did manage to earn two takedowns, but she was unable to take control the whole way and the fight was eventually brought back to the center. In the third, Jedrzejczyk continued her striking power and overwhelmed her challenger.

Kowalkiewicz managed to gain a round in the fourth, as a big right hand rocked the champ and sent all eyes to a possible finish. Kowalkiewicz tried to continue to poor it on, but Jedrzejczyk managed to survive. Jedrzejczyk landed a few shots to the chin, but nothing could go against Kowalkiewicz taking the fourth. The champion nailed a head kick and fired off some hard shots in the fifth, but Kowalkiewicz managed to weave her way out of the things. The two traded back-and-forth as the round concluded, and Jedrzejczyk retained the title.

Also on this card, Chris Weidman received a hero’s welcome into the second-ever UFC event in his home state. However, he would not be successful, as he was TKO’d by Yoel Romero. A hard knee from Romero resulted in a busted open head, and he was bleeding badly in the post-fight aftermath. Raquel Pennington defeated Miesha Tate in the opener, and Tate announced her retirement from MMA following the fight.

UFC 205 Main Card (PPV, 10 p.m. ET):
UFC lightweight championship (UFC featherweight champion) Conor McGregor def. (c.) Eddie Alvarez via KO (Rd. 2,  3:04)
UFC welterweight championship: (c.) Tyron Woodley vs. Stephen Thompson is declared a majority draw (47-47, 47-47, 48-46)
UFC women’s strawweight championship: (c.) Joanna Jedrzejczyk def. Karolina Kowalkiewicz via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
Yoel Romero def. Chris Weidman via TKO (Rd. 3, :24)
Raquel Pennington def. Miesha Tate via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

UFC 205 Preliminary Card (Fox Sports 1, 8 p.m.):
Frankie Edgar def. Jeremy Stephens via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Michael Johnson via submission (kimura) (Rd. 2, 2:31)
Tim Boetsch def. Rafael Natal via TKO (Rd 1, 3:22)
Vicente Luque def. Belel Muhammad via KO (Rd 1, 1:19)

UFC 205 Early Prelims (UFC Fight Pass, 7 p.m.):
Jim Miller def. Thiago Alves via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
Liz Carmouche def. Katlyn Chookagian via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

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