Friday, November 4, 2016— UFC continues to grow and grow and staging events at major venues is always a sign of how well they are progressing. The fact UFC 205 is being held at the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York is a big step forward for the company.
Does Size Really Matter?
UFC at Madison Square Garden is a big step forward but it means this impressive card isn’t going to be seen by as large a live audience as it would at other venues. A shame really but it certainly won’t do the PPV figures any harm.
The main event sees Eddie Alvarez defending his UFC Lightweight title against current UFC Featherweight champion Conor McGregor in what is being regarded as the biggest in UFC history. That gets said a fair bit but this fight really could live up to that massive billing. The UFC World Lightweight title is on the line as McGregor bids to become a double champion. While the featherweight title sits around doing nothing, the Irishman bids to extend his already large reputation (and not just for being outspoken) as a great MMA fighter by beating Alvarez. He may be at lightweight but McGregor seems to be fighting at every weight under the sun at present (apart from the one he’s champion in) after two titanic fights with Nate Diaz, losing the first and winning the second three months ago.
Alvarez won the Lightweight title in July from Rafael dos Anjos (who was due to fight McGregor earlier this year) and isn’t expecting his first defence to see the third round. He’s confident that this fight can be won inside two rounds. He believes that his opponents have been a higher class than those who have faced his Irish challenger and McGregor only poses problems for opponents for about seven minutes. For McGregor, it’s the latest big challenge and one he feels can result in his becoming a dual champion. At the time of writing he’s 5/9 to win at 32Red UK so perhaps he’s right to have that view. His dynamic left hand and superb reflexes could easily see this fight end early or is Alvarez really as tough as he says he is and will shut McGregor’s mouth?
Woodley Faces Tough Challenge
After his success in the welterweight division, Conor McGregor may also have one eye on the result of the UFC World Welterweight title fight as Tyron Woodley puts his belt on the line against five-time world kickboxing champion Stephen Thompson. Woodley has won five of his last six fights and won this belt in July knocking out Robbie Lawler in the first round. That was his first fight since January 2015 so just two and a half minutes in an Octagon in not far off two years. Could that count against him?
His title challenger hasn’t lost since 2012 and is on a seven-fight unbeaten run. Two of his last three fights have ended in the first round and last time out he won a unanimous five-round decision against Rory McDonald (the last man to beat Woodley) to clinch this title opportunity for which he’s odds-on to win at 32Red UK.. He’s certainly confident that Muhammad Ali style movement will win him the title against Woodley.
Kowalkiewicz Out for Revenge
The packed card has a third World title fight as Joanna Jedrzejczyk puts her UFC Women’s Strawweight title on the line against Karolina Kowalkiewicz. The pair have met before in their amateur days with Jedrzejczyk winning via submission. The champ is the highest ranked woman in the UFC at present, something Ronda Rousey might fancy an argument about as she prepares for her comeback next month.
The Polish champion is often known just as J.J which is a lot easier to spell that’s for sure. Her professional record is 12-0 and she won this title in March 2015 beating Carla Esparza in two rounds. This is her fourth title defence and the last two have gone the full five rounds and only a couple of her six UFC fights have ended inside the distance.
Her challenger is also unbeaten in her professional career winning all ten of her fights. This title chance was clinched by earning a split decision over Rose Namajunas in July at UFC 201. Her last five wins have all been on points and three were split decisions. Another tight contest looks likely here but she’ll have that amateur defeat on her mind as she bids to cause a major upset.
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