UFC 205 Marks Octagon's Return to NY with Historic Title Triple
UFC 205, headlined by a super fight between UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor and newly-crowned UFC Lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez, marks the first UFC event to take place in New York since 1995. Many UFC betting fans couldn't be more excited.
The bout, with Alvarez's title at stake, is at the top of six-bout Pay-Per-View slate. Of those six bouts, three are title fights. We'll go over each one in this article.
Eddie Alvarez Vs. Conor McGregor (UFC Lightweight title fight)
This is Eddie Alvarez's reward.
After years of exciting bouts outside the octagon, Alvarez had established himself as perhaps the best fighter the UFC hadn't signed. When pen went to paper, Alvarez was thrown to the wolves in his UFC debut against Donald Cerrone. He lost the decision but competed well, locking him in as a solid 155-lb contender.
Earning hard-fought victories over former Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez and former UFC champion Anthony Pettis, Alvarez put himself near the front of the line for a title shot against the methodical Brazilian Rafael Dos Anjos. The fight didn't go long enough for the Muay Thai striker to try to wear away at Alvarez, who caught him with a right hand and swarmed him for a first round finish.
McGregor, meanwhile, blazed through all opposition en route to a early blitz of long-reigning featherweight champion Jose Aldo to the delight of many Irish UFC betting fans.
With wins over Aldo, Chad Mendes, Dustin Poirier, and Max Holloway under his belt, the Irishman wanted to text the waters at lightweight with a bout against one of the sport's best, brashest, and toughest competitors in Nate Diaz, who overcame a first round beating to wobble McGregor and catch him in a rear-naked choke soon after.
The rematch, a 2016 Fight of the Year contender, was more of the same. McGregor entered prepared to go the distance and overcame many dramatic shifts in tide to earn a majority decision win, and, with that, a place as a top lightweight.
This match-up will be interesting. Alvarez has fine cardio and tons of heart, like Diaz, and a respectable ground game. McGregor has incredibly heavy hands and unmatched confidence in and out of the cage. This makes him a tall task for a new champion.
Alvarez will probably get bludgeon once and then again for good measure, but can he drive forward through the pain to push McGregor? Count on the Philly fighter to do just that; an exhausted McGregor will have to dig deep and stay off his back if he wants to join exclusive company in becoming a multiple weight UFC champion.
Tyron Woodley Vs. Stephen Thompson (UFC Welterweight title fight)
Tyron Woodley has complained about not receiving credit since destroying the normally-durable Robbie Lawler in the first round to win the welterweight title.
The champion stated to Sherdog that he received racist comments in the aftermath of his career-defining win, that the three weeks after he became champion were "the complete opposite of what you'd think it'd be." He has yet to have the reception fan-favorite Lawler, or UFC legend Georges St-Pierre had as champions in the 170-lb weight class.
Nonetheless, the Missouri native has won five of his last six bouts, including KO finishes of Lawler, Dong Hyun Kim, and Josh Koscheck, and has momentum on his side entering his first title defense.
Stephen Thompson is an elite kickboxer with a seven fight win streak on his hands. He defeated Jake Ellenberger and Johny Hendricks with early knockouts and followed up by dominating Rory MacDonald for five rounds to set up this title shot.
Thompson, a black belt in Kempo Karate, is relatively unweathered by a lifetime of fighting. His cardio is proven to be among the best in the game, as he is an athlete at his peak at age 33.
A win for him, and the cycle repeats itself. Woodley wins, and he deserves to be recognized as the undisputed champion.
I think it's a toss up early, with both having great finishing ability on the feet. If the bout goes five, Thompson tends to wear down his opponent and I'd have to lean his way to break Woodley into submission.
Joanna Jendrzejczyk Vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (UFC Women's Strawweight title fight)
The best narrative we have had since the creation of the UFC's strawweight class is finally here.
Two undefeated Polish Muay Thai strikers who are bitter rivals face off with legacy at stake. Each wants to be the one her country remembers in a decade's time, and, most of all, to be a UFC champion today.
Jendrzejczyk became the second 115-lb champion in March 2015, stopping Carla Esparza in the second round. She has since defended three times, including a second, definitive win over #1-ranked Claudia Gadelha, to improve to 12-0.
Her accuracy, speed, and reflexes are met by an energetic, aggressive Karolina Kowalkiewicz. She is a swarmer who works to push her opponents, but is not a finisher, with only three such results in ten wins. She is, however, both effective and suppressive with her strikes, and the best opponent available for the champion.
Jendrzejczyk enters as a clear favorite. She hits harder, more accurately, and gets hit less, but Kowalkiewicz is geared to engage her every step of the way. UFC 205 will be a great day for many UFC betting fans. Check the sportsbook for current odds.
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