The biggest UFC card in history, in the most famous arena in America (Madison Square garden), and the biggest star in the sport (Conor McGregor) was all combined in one night on Saturday.
UFC’s biggest star, Conor McGregor, entered the octagon as the UFC featherweight champion, when he challenged UFC lightweight champion, Eddie Alvarez, looking to be make history, by winning the lightweight title too. No fighter in UFC history has held two titles at the same time, until now. McGregor dominated Alvarez, knocking him out in the second round.
McGregor established his long rang, keeping Alvarez at range, and beautifully countering Alvarez in every exchange. In the first round, McGregor dropped Alvarez three time, and finished the round by pounding a downed Alvarez from on top. In the second round, McGregor continued the same game plan, dropping Alvarez early in the round. He eventually finished off Alvarez with an insane combination, that dropped Alvarez, and forced referee Big John McCarthy to stop the fight.
The legend of McGregor grew to an all-time high.
In the most controversial fight of the night, welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley was announced as the winner by split decision, and even gave his post fight interview, before being corrected and announcing a majority draw.
The fight was a close battle, with several changes. In the first round, it was a bit of a feeling out process, until Woodley secured a takedown, and riding out the round. In the first and second round, the champion began to slow down, and Thompson began to land punch and kicks, and secure the round. The biggest moment of the fight was when Woodley landed a huge punch on Thompson that dropped and nearly knocked him out. Woodley followed up with big shots, and during a scramble, was able to secure a deep guillotine choke. However Thompson, eventually wiggled out of the choke and escaping defeat. The final round looked very similar to the second and third round, where Thompson picked apart Woodley from range. However at the end of the fight, the judges scored the fight a draw, which many agreed with.
In the third title fight, Joanna Jedrzejczyk successfully defended her UFC strawweight title for the fourth time, when she soared to a one sided decision over challenger, Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Jedrzejczy was able to take all the damage that challenger gave out, and responded with a constant series of punch and kick combinations. The best moment of the fight for Kowalkiewicz was when she landed a shot on the champion, that buckled Jedrzejcyk’s legs. However Jedrzejczyk reovered from the punch, and was able take the lopsided decision.
The scariest moment of the night, was when Olympic silver medalist, Yoel Romero landed a flying knee in the third round, that caught former UFC middleweight champion, Chris Weidman skull, sending Weidman dropping to the ground, and blood to quickly pour out of large cut on his head. The blood left two large stain on the mat, that could be seen for the remainder of the card.
Weidman wasn’t the only former champion to fail on Saturday night. Former women’s bantamweight and former Ultimate Fighter coach dropped a decision, to Raquel Pennington to kick off the Pay Per View. Pennington come off the reality show, and was actually coached by Tate, while on the show. The student battered the teacher for three round, beating the former champion in many exchanges by behind sharp jabs and right hands.
Following the decision, Tate announced in the post fight interview with Joe Rogan that she was retiring from the sport.
Results from the Prelims:
- Frankie Edgar over Jeremy Stephens by unanimous decision
- Khabib Nurmagomedov over Michael Johnson by 3rd round submission (Kimura)
- Tim Boetsch over Rafael Natal by 1st round TKO
- Vicente Luque over Belal Muhammad by 1st round KO
- Jim Miller over Thiago Alves by unanimous decision
- Liz Carmouche over Katlyn Chookagain by split decision