UFC 205 was going to be one of the most historic evenings in the history of mixed martial arts one way or another.
The event was the UFC’s first at Manhattan’s Madison Square Garden after the lifting of a nearly two-decade ban on the sport of mixed martial arts in New York State.
But Saturday night, Conor McGregor made sure to end a momentous evening with a major historical accomplishment all of his own.
The Dublin native picked apart Eddie Alvarez to claim the UFC lightweight title. That made the reigning featherweight champion the first competitor in the company’s 23-year history to simultaneously hold two weight class titles.
“My dream has become a reality,” McGregor said after receiving both title belts. “God bless.”
McGregor set the tone early by picking Alvarez apart with his powerful and accurate left hand. Twice McGregor dropped Alvarez over the course of the opening round.
Alvarez survived until the end of the round, but McGregor mentally broke him early in the second. McGregor dropped both hands and put his chin forward, but Alvarez still couldn’t hit him. McGregor also easily defended desperation takedown attempts.
A wicked four-punch combo mixing lefts and rights finally ended things, as the bout was waved off and McGregor declared the knockout victor at 3:04 of the round.
McGregor (21-3) now has 18 career knockouts and has won 17 of his past 18 fights.
He also was not in a particularly apologetic mood as the bombastic Irishman addressed the fighters he’s insulted over the years.
“I spend a lot of time slinging everyone in the company, I’ve ridiculed everyone on the roster, I’d like to take time to apologize to absolutely nobody,” McGregor said. “A double champ does whatever the f*ck he wants.”
Alvarez dropped to 28-5 and had a three-fight win streak snapped.