September 28, 2016
In what could be the start of an explosive growth period for the sport of mixed martial arts, the Octagon will land in New York for the first time in UFC history on Saturday, November 12, as historic Madison Square Garden will host the highly-anticipated UFC 205, headlined by Eddie Alvarez versus charismatic Irish superstar Conor McGregor.
The card will wisely be stacked with talent, and will showcase three world titles bouts featuring four current champions, including Alvarez, McGregor, Tyron Woodley, and Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
Philadelphia’s Alvarez (28-4, fighting out of Philadelphia, Penn.) will make a short trip to the “Big Apple” for his first title defense against Irish phenom and featherweight champion McGregor (20-3, fighting out of Dublin, Ireland).
Coming off a first round knockout of Rafael Dos Anjos, coupled with his championship caliber wrestling, Alvarez is the complete package. The 32-year-old finisher has 17 wins by knockout and five by submission and is looking to prove that he is the best fighter in the world with a win over one of the most popular and talented athletes in the sport, while “The Notorious” one looks to become the first athlete in UFC history to hold belts simultaneously in two different weight classes.
Already sitting atop the featherweight division and the No. 4 ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the world, McGregor is no stranger to making history and he hopes to do so once again in New York City.
In the co-main event, the welterweight world title will be on the line as Woodley (16-3) clashes with No. 2 ranked Thompson (13-1).
Woodley possesses one-punch knockout power and is coming off a first round finish of former champion Robbie Lawler. A two-time NCAA Div. 1 All-American wrestler, Woodley is one of the most well-rounded athletes in MMA.
Thompson is riding a seven-fight winning streak that has seen him finish four of those bouts via knockout. “Wonderboy” is a world champion kickboxer with a perfect 57-0 record, including more than 40 knockouts. Not likely to go the distance, this bout is an early contender for Fight of the Night.
Polish pride will be overflowing when strawweight champion Jedrzejczyk (12-0, fighting out of Olsztyn, Poland) looks for her fourth consecutive title defense against fellow Poland native Kowalkiewicz (10-0, fighting out of Lodz, Poland).
Both women sport perfect records and look to leave The Garden with that “0” intact. Jedrzejczyk is widely considered to be amongst the top strikers in MMA, using her crisp, quick punches to keep her opponents at bay. Currently the No. 8-ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the world, the champion may have finally found her match in the striking department. Kowalkiewicz is also a Muay Thai champion and she uses that skillset to pick apart her opponents. With three first round finishes, Kowalkiewicz has finishing power in both her hands and in her jiu-jitsu attack.
Additional bouts will include former middleweight champion Chris Weidman (13-1, Baldwin, N.Y.) making his hometown debut against Olympic silver medalist Yoel Romero (11-1); top-ranked bantamweight Miesha Tate (18-6) facing No. 8 Raquel Pennington (8-6); former lightweight champion and current No. 2 ranked featherweight Frankie Edgar (19-5-1) colliding with knockout artist, No. 7 Jeremy Stephens (25-12); and New York native and former light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans (24-5-1) making his middleweight debut against No. 13 Tim Kennedy (18-5).
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services