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.
“Conor’s special,” UFC President Dana White said. “Everybody’s been saying, ‘Wait till he faces a wrestler? Wait till he faces a wrestler?’ He throws that left hand with no effort, but boy, when it touches people, they go. It’s unbelievable.”
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, much to the delight of McGregor’s raucous supporters.
“There’s a lot of Irish in this town,” White said. “There’s a lot of Irish history, and he wanted to fight here so bad. This was like a huge dream of his. He was made for this event.”
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. But as for the future of the two-division champion, White is unclear about what direction the UFC will go, especially after McGregor demanded ownership stake in the world’s preeminent MMA organization.
“I’ve never dealt with anybody like this kid on so many different levels,” White said. “Normally, he walks out of The Octagon and says, ‘I want to fight this guy next!’ Nobody does that. Nobody has ever done that. Nobody has ever walked out of The Octagon and told me that they want to turn right around and fight again. He does. Who knows? I’m going to let him enjoy this and talk business later.”