McGregor Trailblazes UFC
By Olivia O’Mahony, Editorial Assistant
December / January 2017
Ultimate Fighting Championship featherweight champion Conor McGregor (below) became the only mixed martial artist in history to hold two UFC titles simultaneously in November, when the Dubliner took down hitherto lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez at Madison Square Garden.
Alvarez’s loss came as a second-round technical knockout, with the referee calling the fight off when McGregor landed the finishing blow. “To be honest with you, that first shot, I had no clue what it was,” Alvarez, who is half Puerto Rican and half Irish American and grew up in the heavily Irish neighborhood of Kensington in Philadelphia, said in a subsequent appearance on podcast You’re Welcome with Chael Sonnen. “I had no clue, and my butt was on the ground, and I remember in my head going ‘what the fuck was that?’”
In the lead-up to trading blows in the ring, McGregor and Alvarez had traded barbs on various public platforms. Alvarez downplayed his opponent’s abilities, claiming that “his defense is terrible” and that he would “give him some humility.” McGregor, known for his offensive strategies in the ring and the press alike, asserted that he would “really, truly rearrange [Alvarez’s] facial structure. His wife and kids will never recognize him again.”
UFC 205 was the Championship’s debut in New York City, and McGregor’s record has made the occasion all the more historic, according to organization president Dana White. “I don’t think that record will ever be broken,” he said in the post-fight press conference. “Jesus is going to have to fight the devil to break that record.” ♦