The night the officials from and fans of the Ultimate Fighting Championship have been waiting for has finally arrived.
The foremost fight organization takes center stage at “The World’s Most Famous Arena,” Madison Square Garden, for UFC 205, with a trio of championship fights at the top of the card in its New York City debut.
“Madison Square Garden is probably the most famous arena on earth,” UFC president Dana White said at the pre-fight press conference. “To be here, to hold the first event here, and when this goes down and everybody starts walking in and the fights start to happen, it’s going to be awesome. I rarely look around and take it in because we’re going 100 miles an hour, but you better believe I will on Saturday, for sure.
“Obviously, this is not like any other fight. This is the massive, enormous show, but so far, it’s just like any other show. These guys are obviously ready to go and it’s going to be a special moment when they walk out into Madison Square Garden. It’s a big deal, but these guys are going to perform like any other night, I’m sure.”
After preliminary and undercard bouts that could have been placed on main cards of other shows very easily, the UFC will have its woman’s straw-weight champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, defend against fellow Polish sensation Karolina Kowalkiewicz, followed up by Tyron Woodley putting his welterweight crown on the line against Stephen Thompson.
In the main event of the evening, featherweight king Conor McGregor will challenge for the lightweight championship against Eddie Alvarez.
“We always try to put on the best events we can,” White said. “Every time we do an event, it’s always a matter of timing, ‘Who’s injured?’ ‘Who’s not?’ ‘Who’s next?’ There’s a lot of factors that go into a card, but this build-up’s been so long and so big and the first time at MSG, I just wanted to hit it out of the park for this one. Thank God, not only did everything stay together, we lost Rashad and Tim Kennedy, but most of the card stayed together, which lately is impressive for that to happen.”
Putting together the best card possible was of utmost importance to White, who fought politicians in New York for more than a decade trying to get the ban on mixed martial arts lifted in the state, a goal that was finally accomplished this summer.
“The fight was ridiculous to get here,” White said. “It should’ve never happened, but at the end of the day, it made it bigger. It made it a bigger event. It made it more special and I wouldn’t change it. I wouldn’t change it at all.
“I can’t thank you enough, New York. We’re finally here. Saturday night’s going to be awesome.”