For the first time ever, the Octagon set up shop for UFC 205 in Madison Square Garden Saturday night.
Conor McGregor did exactly what he said he would do: take over.
“Notorious” floored Eddie Alvarez three times in the first round of their main event for the lightweight title. In the second, after dropping him a fourth time, that was all he could take, as the referee stepped in and ended it.
McGregor, the reigning featherweight champion entering the night, left with two titles. He became the first UFC fighter ever to hold multiple belts at the same time.
In the co-main event, Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson battled for 25 minutes over the welterweight championship, with Woodley retaining the title via majority draw. Two judges scored it even at 47-47, while a third gave it to the champion, 48-47.
The first title fight was a strong defense for Joanna Jedrzejczyk, as she turned back the challenge of fellow Polish fighter Karolina Kowalkiewicz. It marked the fourth title defense for the champion, which is second-most among active UFC champions.
With a flying knee to the forehead, Yoel Romero cemented his status as the top middleweight contender, finishing Chris Weidman in his home state. Romero, a former Olympic wrestler, connected in the third and proceeded to enjoy his victory by parading around the Octagon.
Raquel Pennington was selected by Miesha Tate on The Ultimate Fighter 18, but the student became the teacher this time around, as Pennington dominated and earned a decision. After the bout, Tate, a former UFC champion, announced her retirement from MMA.
Former UFC lightweight champion and featherweight contender Frankie Edgar concluded the prelims with a decision victory over Jeremy Stephens. “The Answer” survived a tough second round that included Stephens landing a switch-kick that floored him to pickup the win.
Top lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov flexed his might, submitting Michael Johnson in the third round and immediately calling for his shot at the UFC title. The win was the eighth for “The Eagle” inside the Octagon and pushed his overall record to 24-0.
Vicente Luque made quick work of Belal Muhammad, knocking him out in just 1:19, while Tim Boetsch stopped Rafael Natal via strikes – also in the opening round.
To kickoff the action, former title challenger Liz Carmouche earned a split decision, while Jim Miller bested Thiago Alves on UFC Fight Pass.
Complete results can be found on the next page:
Conor McGregor def. Eddie Alvarez via KO (strike) at 3:04 of Round 2 to become UFC lightweight champion
Tyron Woodley vs. Stephen Thompson ruled a majority draw (47-47, 47-47, 48-47) with Woodley remaining UFC welterweight champion
Joanna Jedrzecjzyk def. Karolina Kowalkiewicz via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46) to remain UFC strawweight champion
Yoel Romero def. Chris Weidman via KO (flying knee) at :24 of Round 3
Raquel Pennington def. Miesha Tate via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Frankie Edgar def. Jeremy Stephens via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Michael Johnson via submission (kimura) at 2:31 of Round 3
Tim Boetsch def. Rafael Natal via TKO (strikes) at 3:22 of Round 1
Vicente Luque def. Belal Muhammad via KO (left-hook) at 1:19 of Round 1
Jim Miller def. Thiago Alves via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
Liz Carmouche def. Katlyn Chookagian via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)