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wandshogun09

UFC 205: Alvarez vs McGregor

Who wins and how?   

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Saturday 12th November (23 years to the day since UFC 1!) the UFC brings what must be the most ridiculously stacked card they've ever done to New York for their first show at Madison Square Garden.

 

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PPV MAIN CARD

Eddie Alvarez vs Conor McGregor - Lightweight Title

Tyron Woodley vs Stephen Thompson - Welterweight Title

Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Karolina Kowalkiewicz - Strawweight Title

Chris Weidman vs Yoel Romero

Miesha Tate vs Raquel Pennington

 

FOX SPORTS 1 PRELIMS

Frankie Edgar vs Jeremy Stephens

Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Michael Johnson

Tim Boetsch vs Rafael Natal

Belal Muhammad vs Vicente Luque

 

FIGHT PASS PRELIMS

Jim Miller vs Thiago Alves

Liz Carmouche vs Katlyn Chookagian

 

Just look at that shit, will you? The FS1 prelims alone could easily be a Big FOX main card, and that's no exaggeration. Amazing card top to bottom.

 

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Alvarez vs McGregor is an incredible fight on paper. Champion vs Champion. Philadelphia vs Dublin. Two guys who have been mostly finishers in their careers. And neither is afraid to speak their mind. The first press conference this week showed that. And while Alvarez isn't going to win the verbal battle with Mystic Motormouth Mac, he gave it probably a better go than any of McGregor's previous UFC opponents.

 

You've got McGregor holding the featherweight belt and if he wins this fight he'll make history, becoming the first fighter to ever hold two UFC titles at the same time. And when Dana White was asked about it his answer was very interesting...

 

“I battled this thing forever. Not only is it not fair to Jose Aldo, it’s not fair to Khabib, and Max Holloway. So believe me, I battled with this thing. But there are – how can I say this? There are other circumstances involved in this that will be played out after the fight.”

 

“I promise…It’s completely…It’s something completely out of left field. It’s Conor’s business, it’s not mine, and I’ll let Conor announce it when he’s ready to.”

 

“This fight’s coming up, and he wants to try to gain both belts. He will give up one of the titles after that fight in New York. He’s got some stuff going on right now. Some personal stuff that I’m sure he’ll announce when he’s ready, but this fight made sense.”

What in the fuck can it be?

 

The actual fight itself is something else. For Eddie Alvarez this has been a long road. He's fought everywhere from EliteXC to Bodog to DREAM to Bellator and developed a rep as one of MMA's most exciting fighters due to his absolute wars with Joachim Hansen, Tatsuya Kawajiri and Michael Chandler.

 

By 2013 he was ready to test himself in the big leagues but Bjorn Rebney (Bellator boss at the time) wrapped him up in contractual red tape and he was stuck in limbo for about a year. Not only was he watching the window on his fighting prime closing, he also lost out on potentially huge paydays because he was blocked from going to the UFC (they made him a strong offer with PPV points and were going to put him on the GSP vs Diaz card which did around a million buys). Basically Eddie would've cleaned up and Rebney's Bellator cockblocked him with contract fine print bollocks and matching clauses.

 

In 2014, Scott Coker took over Bellator. Rebney was gone and Coker decided to grant Alvarez his release and let him go to the UFC. Finally!

 

Since then, like I said, it's been a bumpy ride for Eddie. He made his UFC debut at UFC 178 in September 2014 and lost a decision to Donald Cerrone. He rebounded though with back-to-back decision wins over Gilbert Melendez and Anthony Pettis. But the Pettis fight was an unexpected dud and Alvarez didn't really gain as much momentum as he'd like with that win.

 

He was granted a title shot anyway and in July, he challenged Rafael Dos Anjos. It was a fight hardly any cunt gave Alvarez much hope in but he went back to his aggressive style which made him popular for this one and put RDA away in the first round...

 

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A right shocker. Not so much that he won, he's been a top lightweight forever, but the way he did it was spectacular.

 

McGregor's had his own rocky road to MSG. It's been a weird year or so in a way. He started off 2016 on top of the world. He'd just knocked out Jose Aldo (in 13 seconds!) in December. Then in March, Nate Diaz temporarily derailed the McGregor train when he submitted him at UFC 196. The rematch in August was epic though, probably my FOTY so far, and McGregor managed to even the score with a points win over Diaz.

 

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And here we are.

 

McGregor is back on top of the game. Cockier and louder than ever.

 

"His style, I've been whooping that style a long time. He's a stocky wrestler with an overhand. That's it. His UFC career has been horrendous. He's very, very lucky to be in the position he's in. He understands that, that's why he took this fight for the same money he was on his last fight. That says it all.

 

He's chinny. He gets cracked, he gets dropped. It's happened throughout his career. He's a weathered fighter. He's on his way out. One round it will take me to knock him out." - Conor McGregor

 

And Alvarez has had his own things to say about McGregor...

 

"I'll do whatever the fuck I want in any aspect against him. The opponents he's fought allow him to look great. That's the issue. That's what these WWF fans who follow him don't see. They see a guy who's fighting or playing to his strengths so he can do what he wants and be good at it."

 

"If I want to stand, I'll stand. He don't move his head, he gets hit a ton. Chad Mendes has a tiny little reach and was popping him all over the place with overhand rights and left hooks before he took him down. His defense is atrocious."

 

"His offense is good. He's offensively a good fighter when it comes to boxing and things but his defense is fucking terrible. A guy like me, I can go wherever. I can kick, I can punch, I can takedown, I can submit, and I can do it all fucking night." - Eddie Alvarez

 

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I seriously can't wait for this fight. Whatever happens it's going to be must see. Because if Alvarez goes wrestler mode like he did against Pettis, that's arguably the worst and hardest style for McGregor to beat. And if Eddie goes berserker mode like in the Dos Anjos fight, well we're either getting a short fireworks display or another FOTY contender. So depending on Eddie's tactics, I think we either get some answers on Conor's wrestling at 155, or we're in for a barnburner

 

I love this Alvarez vs McGregor 'Rocky' style promo...

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&persist_app=1&v=KVz4tf6z8oI

 

This is going to be fantastic, isn't it? The fight itself is fascinating but I think the build-up is going to be a wild ride as well because Alvarez isn't going to be easily rattled and he'll be more than happy to engage in the shit talking. It's almost a shame this fight is so close in a way because if they had longer to promote this I think, with the personalities involved, it could maybe even top the Aldo-McGregor build-up last year.

 

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Woodley vs Wonderboy is the co-main. A battle between two complete polar opposite styles. Woodley's the powerhouse wrestler/boxer, Thompson is the slick and elusive Karate master striker. It's a fight I'd never have expected to see for the title but the 170 division has been mega competitive at the top since GSP stepped away back in 2013.

 

Tyron Woodley is the top dog at 170 now. Robbie Lawler had been the king of the division for the last 18 months or so, having FOTY war after FOTY war in the process. Woodley went and done him in a round...

 

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It was always the most likely way Woodley was going to win. He's a stupidly fast and explosive starter. He's basically Black Belfort. And Lawler's a bit of a slow starter. Woodley tagged him early doors and never let up.

 

After that Woodley lobbied for a big name fight as his first defence. He specifically name dropped GSP and Nick Diaz as opponents he wanted to face. But Stephen 'Wonderboy' Thompson had earned his shot with an impressive streak, including wins over Rory MacDonald and Johny Hendricks this year. With GSP not coming back until December at the earliest, and fuck knows when Diaz is returning, Thompson was the fight to make.

 

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I'm struggling to picture this one, to be honest. Thompson just seems so dialled in right now it's hard to pick against him. But I still think the jury's out on his grappling. He hasn't really faced many strong wrestlers, has he? There was Hendricks but Hendricks seems pretty fucked these days so I'm not sure that fight told us that much. Woodley's going to be looking to put that to the test. If he fancies himself KOing Wonderboy I could see him hitting nowt but air and running into counters all night though.

 

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Jedrzejczyk vs Kowalkiewicz is the third title fight on this one. To decide who is the true MMA Queen of Poland. It's the first all Polish UFC title fight as well. I really like this fight. Joanna Jedrzejczyk is easily one of my favourite fighters to watch at the moment. I don't give a shit about her supposed heel turn on TUF, she's fucking quality. She's probably my favourite striker to watch in MMA hands down as well. Not another man or woman in the game is as fun to watch in a standup fight for me. The way she systematically breaks her opponents down is a joy to behold.

 

I like Kowalkiewicz but I wasn't amazed by her first couple of UFC fights really. She's clearly got skills but I always thought she'd get royally fucked up if she ever stepped in with Double J. She made a bit more of a believer out of me in her win over Rose Namajunas in August though. I thought she looked excellent in that fight. Rose isn't a world beater and she still has a long way to go, but I think she was Kowalkiewicz's toughest test to date and she put in her best performance yet. She seems the type to rise to a challenge.

 

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The smart money is still on Joanna though. She's just so fucking good. Her striking is on another level to the rest of the division and her defensive grappling is good enough, for now, to allow her to keep the fight where she wants it and do her thing. You never know with Kowalkiewicz though. She's undefeated as well and we don't know what her ceiling is yet. We mightn't have seen her best yet. But I like JJ to retain here. The only one I think possibly beats her of the current crop is Claudia Gadelha and JJ's already 2-0 over her.

 

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Weidman vs Romero is ***WAND'S ONE TO WATCH*** on this card for me. But it pretty much could've been any of about 7 or 8 other fights. This one is that stacked. I just fucking love this fight. Two animals with a point to prove. Weidman needs to impress coming off that brutal loss to Rockhold last December at UFC 194. That was also Weidman's first MMA defeat. Always interesting to see how a fighter responds to their first loss. And Romero has sat out all year on suspension due to a PED controversy after his win over Jacare, also at UFC 194.

 

These two will be coming in to wreck shop. Weidman wants to shine in front of his home crowd and remind everyone why he was the man at 185. And Romero wants to redeem himself and rekindle the momentum he had in 2015 by giving Weidman a good old fashioned Iron Sheik humbling.

 

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How do you not love this fight? Two beasts on a collision course. The crowd's going to be insane for Weidman's homecoming and something crazy always tends to happen when Yoel Romero is in the house.

 

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Cerrone vs Gastelum is another potential show stealer. Great piece of matchmaking here. I'll sound like a right spoiled prick here though but I'm gutted we're not getting that Lawler vs Cerrone fight instead. It's almost impossible to make this card any better but that would've sent it over the top for me. Oh well. This'll do nicely anyway.

 

Cowboy's been on a tear at 170. Rick Story was his hardest opponent yet at welterweight and Cerrone took him apart. If we do MMA maths though (I know, it's bollocks) then Gastelum beat Story so he should be an even tougher test. We'll see though. I really rate Gastelum but I can see him having a real issue with Cerrone's reach and range.

 

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Nurmagomedov vs Johnson could be a #1 contenders fight at lightweight. Well, more if Khabib wins, which I expect him to. Johnson is good but I don't really see him having the capability to stop Khabib's game. Khabib's like a runaway train when he gets going. Unless MJ can land a bomb on the feet, I see a long miserable night for him.

 

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"Who the fook is that guy?"

 

:laugh:

 

Nah seriously, Edgar vs Stephens should be fun. Skills wise I think Frankie leaves him in the dust. He's the better wrestler, the better boxer, quicker, he's more proven at the top level etc. But Stephens is a slugger with serious power in his hands. Edgar's tough as fuck but he still doesn't want to be eating too many of them. I see Frankie schooling him myself but Stephens will always be in the fight because he has that game changing power.

 

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Evans vs Kennedy is probably the result I'm most bothered about on the card, to be honest. In most of the fights on this card I want one guy/girl to win but I'm a fan of their opponent as well. None of that in this one though. I'm 100% firmly pulling for Rashad to put a monumental beatdown on Military Tim. Rashad hasn't looked good in ages (probably the Chael fight 3 years ago) but this is his debut at 185 so I'm hoping that will bring something out of him. It's most likely too late but I live in hope.

 

Just look at Kennedy's face and tell me you wouldn't enjoy shoving a screwdriver into it. I can't stand the tosser and I love Rashad so my arse will be twitching in this one. I don't think I want to live in a world where Tim Kennedy holds a win over Rashad Evans. It'll be like the 2016 version of Frank Mir beating Big Nog for me.

 

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Tate vs Pennington is yet another potential show stealer. Tate is very rarely in a shit fight and Pennington is the kind of fighter who will meet her head on. This feels very much like an attempt to rebuild Miesha after her crushing loss to Amanda Nunes at UFC 200. But Pennington's a tough scrapper so there's banana skin potential here. Tate should win though and it should be exciting to watch if they both bring their A games.

 

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Boetsch vs Natal is, I hope, going to be a showcase for Boetsch. Always liked him and never been much of a fan of Natal. He's always been one of those undercard guys who's 'just there' to me. He's got an awkward style but I think Boetsch should batter him.

 

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Miller vs Alves is a fight that never even crossed my mind before. And that's because Thiago Alves was ever a guy I envisioned dropping to lightweight. This is a guy who used to struggle making 170 a few years ago. I absolutely love this pairing. Always been a big fan of both so it'll be pretty cool to see them square off on one of the biggest shows ever. Haven't a clue how it goes, Alves' weight cut is the x-factor. But I can't see any way it isn't entertaining to watch.

 

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Good vs Muhammad is a fight I quite like the sound of. Lyman Good was the first ever Bellator welterweight champion. He's 19-3-1 in MMA and 1-0 in the UFC. He's also a New Yawker so he should get a good response. And I've really enjoyed what I've seen of Belal Muhammad so far. He's been a nice addition to the undercards this year and his fight with Alan Jouban in July is one of 2016's forgotten gems IMO.

 

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Carmouche vs Chookagian is your 205 curtain jerker. Decent fight actually. Carmouche hasn't fought since April 2015 when she beat Lauren Murphy. She was one half of the first ever UFC women's fight in 2013 when she challenged Ronda Rousey. She's also the first openly gay UFC fighter. Now she makes history again as she'll be one half of the first ever UFC fight in MSG. She's in with Katlyn Chookagian who is a 27 year old fighter who's unbeaten at 8-0. She also beat Lauren Murphy in her last fight. She's primarily a striker but she's also a Renzo Gracie BJJ brown-belt.

 

That's all folks. Has there ever been a deeper card than that, not just in the UFC but in MMA as a whole? I can't recall one. Pride had some ridiculous lineups but this one beats them all IMO. The UFC have killed it this year.

 

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UFC. NYC. MSG. Talk about it.

Edited by wandshogun09

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Conor has to have something up with him that means he can't cut weight at the minute. It's as if he's fishing for a reason to not have to go back to featherweight, but wants to stay a champion.

 

Injury is the obvious answer but Dana is chatting shit about 'leftfield' so who knows? Maybe it's dietary.

 

Maybe has has diabetes and has to eat a snickers everyday.

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They really needed McGregor to headline this, and not just for obvious reasons. This is going to be an all-night job. If they had a weak Main Event, or even a modest one, the viewers would be burnt out before it came on. 

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Best card of all time, easily.

 

Bummer I'm going to be in Orlando for this, so can't watch with my mates live. Will still be watching live, but I guess at a more reasonable hour in our hotel room with the kids fast asleep. Better be good wifi. Gotta watch it through the UFC app on my Roku. Already checked with the FightPass support staff, and once my IP is in the US, I can order it online as a PPV.

 

Can't fucking wait. McGregor fights are just huge events. And people always doubt him because he chases the hardest fights, so the outcome always makes for great discussion in the lead-up.

 

I hope Yoel smashes Weidman and Wonderboy smashes Woodley.

Edited by herbie747

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Conor has to have something up with him that means he can't cut weight at the minute. It's as if he's fishing for a reason to not have to go back to featherweight, but wants to stay a champion.

 

Injury is the obvious answer but Dana is chatting shit about 'leftfield' so who knows? Maybe it's dietary.

 

 

I don't think it's that at all Daz. Mcgregor has now transcended the sport and it's either now about the biggest fight or achievements for him.

 

With Alvarez, the fight is huge for the possibility of a simultaneous 2 weight champion. It's money and accomplishments that drive Mcgregor and he's got nothing left to achieve going back dowm there.

 

Until someone makes a real statement there's no point.

 

Outside of Alvarez I think all that's left for Mcgregor is a trilogy fight with Diaz and then eventually a fight with GSP.

 

Anything else, whilst still a money maker, probably doesn't motivate Mcgregor.

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I was just responding to Dana's statement.

 

If I was looking at it having not heard that, I'd agree with you..

Apologies Daz.

 

I did read the post and didn't think much of it at first, but you're right it does sound odd.

 

It maybe something simple like he's getting married or even his girlfriend is pregnant and wants a break?

Edited by lambyUK

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McGregor said at the presser he's going to sit with both belts and it'll take an army to get them off him which is a direct contradiction of what Dana has said there.

 

You never know with Conor though, he is a mad bastard.

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If he had both belts, I'd be up for him keeping both and bouncing between 145 and 155 defending them. But it's not really going to work and I can see why the UFC wouldn't want to do that. I know McGregor is pretty active but it'd slow down both divisions title pictures. Especially if say, McGregor defended the 155 belt and there was a controversy or something which resulted in an immediate rematch. That'd put 145 in limbo for ages while the rematch played out. It's a nice idea but it'd be a mess in reality. You'd have a clusterfuck of contenders and interim titles all over the shop. If you could guarantee McGregor would be fighting every 3 months, taking turns between defending the 2 belts, it might be doable. But the unpredictability of MMA wouldn't allow for that. Injuries, controversial decisions, bad stoppages, plus the possibility of other money fights (GSP?) derailing things...it'd be a right ballache.

 

Doesn't matter anyway. If McGregor beats Alvarez he's done it anyway. He'd hold 2 titles at once officially and presumably would them choose which one to vacate and defend the other one. He'd always be in the record books as the first double champion in UFC history regardless.

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outstanding opening post wand.

 

what are the odds on the 3 fights in the poll? any ideas?

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Great write up. Is that Stephens photo a prison mug shot? Is there a story behind that at all?

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Is that Stephens photo a prison mug shot? Is there a story behind that at all?

It is indeed.

 

Him and his mate nearly beat some bloke to death outside a bar in 2011. There was a big controversy about it when the story came out publicly in 2012 because Stephens was arrested on the very day he was supposed to fight Yves Edwards on a UFC Fight Night. He got nicked and obviously the fight got binned but Dana White was defending him to the media as if it was all a misunderstanding. The details of the assault paint a different picture though.

 

According to police reports, the victim and his wife were at Fat Tony's, 1500 SE 1st St., with Stephens and Dustin James Bachman, 27.

 

The victim had reportedly been asked to leave the bar and was still in the parking lot when Stephens and Bachman emerged soon after.

 

According to the victim's wife, Stephens punched the victim in the left eye. The victim leaned against the building and Bachman punched him on the head and face several times, police said.

 

The victim's wife helped him get into their car and was trying to lock the doors when Bachman reportedly pulled the victim out of the vehicle by his feet. Stephens and Bachman then allegedly punched and kicked the victim on his head and body for about a minute, authorities said.

 

The suspects fled. The victim was unconscious and stopped breathing twice, police reports show. He was intubated and taken to the hospital in critical condition.

Basically, Stephens is a cunt. Or at least he was in 2011. I've always enjoyed watching him fight but I've never been a fan and he's always come off as a bit of a cock to me. This story obviously backs that up and then some. I'm glad McGregor made a prat of him at the press conference and I hope Frankie spanks him.

 

Oh I've updated the OP as well to change the bout order. Seems we're getting a 6 fight main card. That's the lineup they gave on last night's Fight Night for the PPV and FS1 portions anyway.

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outstanding opening post wand.

 

what are the odds on the 3 fights in the poll? any ideas?

Only been able to find these so far

 

Alvarez 11/8 McGregor 4/7

Woodley 11/8. Thompson 4/7

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So is the PPV scheduled until 7am or 2am New York time? Seems a little late for most of the Eastern Americans watching, always late for us over here.

 

I know they try and please the West Coast but most normal fight nights end at 6am besides the ones on Fox, that end at 3am ish.

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I'm not sure why this is relevant but you mentioned it so I'll comment.

 

There can't be that much time difference in Carmouche and Pennington announcing their sexuality. I would have thought Raquel was the more high profile of the two. Carmouche pretty much got forgotten after the Rousey fight and dumped at the bottom of the prelims a few times while Rocky was consistently on Fox cards or PPV's.

 

Amanda Nunes surpasses both now she's champ.

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