No one in the history of the Ultimate Fighting Championship has held title belts in two weight classes at the same time, but that is exactly what Conor McGregor plans on doing when he takes on Eddie Alvarez in the main event of UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden Saturday night.
Already the UFC featherweight champion, McGregor is focused on knocking out Alvarez in the first round and claiming the lightweight title for the first time in his career.
“I’m going to wrap one on one shoulder and I’m going to wrap the other on the other shoulder, and they’re going to need a (freaking) army to come take them belts off me,” McGregor said in the UFC 205 press conference last month.
“They’re going to have to gather an army to try and take one of them off me, and that’s out straight. One’s going to be there. One’s going to be there, and I’m going to be picking and choosing who I want to destroy next, and that’s it.”
Originally, after fighting Nate Diaz for a second time at UFC 202 in August, McGregor was told by UFC officials that he had to defend his featherweight (145-pound) championship or face being stripped of the title due to inactivity.
McGregor won the UFC featherweight championship from Jose Aldo with a knockout in a record-setting 13 seconds at UFC 194 in December of 2015. However, since that bout, McGregor has fought twice at the welterweight limit of 170 pounds, 25 pounds heavier than the class he represents as a champion.
“I’m very happy with the 155-pound weight limit,” McGregor said of the fight with Alvarez. “I feel of all the divisions I’ve run around and run through, 155 is where I will take over the most, so I look forward to that.”
Fighting in the main event of UFC 205 means McGregor is headlining the UFC’s first-ever show in New York City.
After years of regulations battles over mixed martial arts in the state of New York, the world’s leading fight organization finally gets to debut at Madison Square Garden. And McGregor plans on sending home the Irish fans happy.
“Listen, the Irish, we built this damn town,” McGregor said. “I’m saying it serious. We built this city. Now, we’re back. Now, we’re coming to claim what’s ours, so it’s an honor to be here.
“Coming in here, listening to all these fans, it truly is a dream come true. I cannot wait to perform for you. I’m going to take out one of your own, I’m going to cash your own money, but no mistake, it’s all love. The Irish love New York, and I’m honored to be here.”