Conor McGregor came to Madison Square Garden looking to make history and become the first simultaneous two-division champion in the history of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and that is exactly what he did.
Courtesy of a knockout of Eddie Alvarez in the main event of UFC 205 in New York City Saturday night, McGregor added the UFC lightweight championship to his trophy case, going along with the featherweight title he won last December.
“It feels great,” McGregor said. “It feels familiar. I saw it clear. I swear to God, I saw it so clearly, so consistently until it’s here in reality. I’ve been saying this a long time.”
While taking a right-handed punch from Alvarez, McGregor fired off a powerful left hand that landed on the side of the defending champion’s face. McGregor followed it up with a right hand to Alvarez’s jaw, a left to the ear and another right that eventually floored his opponent.
Once Alvarez was on the mat, McGregor landed two left-handed punches, and that forced referee “Big” John McCarthy to call a stop to the bout at the 1:52 mark of the second round.
McGregor landed 40 of his 93 strikes, 32 of which were significant, according to FightMetric. Conversely, Alvarez landed only 12 strikes. Also, he was unsuccessful in his three takedown attempts.
With the win over Alvarez, McGregor has now successfully fought in three weight classes over the last 11 months, posting a 3-1 record in four bouts at featherweight (145 pounds), welterweight (170) and lightweight (155).
He improved to 21-3 in his professional career, and has won nine of his 10 bouts in the UFC.
“I’m very confident in my abilities and what I’m predicting I’m going to do,” McGregor said. “I back it up. I back it up with work ethic. I back it up with hours upon hours and my time and dedication. I never sleep. I never take a second off this game, so I’m very satisfied, very grateful, very happy, but not surprised. I knew it. I knew it was going to happen for me.”
Following his victory over Alvarez, McGregor soaked up the love from his loyal legion of fans that packed inside Madison Square Garden to watch UFC history.
“I can’t wait to come back,” McGregor said. “I’m happy that I got to give back to the fans that have been showing me love. I wanted to come out here and put on a performance to the people that have been showing me love, that have literally been sprinting the streets, sprinting block, block, block following the cars to wherever I’m going next to get pictures and all. The love that they were showing me, I’m happy to come out and show that love right back to them.”