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UFC 205: Alvarez vs. McGregor (11/12/2016) - New York, NY (Madison Square Garden)

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UFC 205: Alvarez vs. McGregor
November 12, 2016
New York, NY (Madison Square Garden)

UFC Lightweight Championship: Eddie Alvarez © (154.6) vs. Conor McGregor (154.4) (first defense) - McGregor, KO (punch), R2 (3:04)
UFC Welterweight Championship: Tyron Woodley © (169.8) vs. Stephen Thompson (169) (first defense) - DRAW (majority)
UFC Women's Strawweight Championship: Joanna Jędrzejczyk © (114.4) vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (114.4) (fourth defense) - Jędrzejczyk, DEC (unanimous)
Chris Weidman (185.8) vs. Yoel Romero (185.6) - Romero, KO (flying knee and punches), R3 (0:24)
Miesha Tate (135.6) vs. Raquel Pennington (135.8) - Pennington, DEC (unanimous)

Fox Sports 1 Preliminary Card:
Frankie Edgar (145.4)  vs. Jeremy Stephens (145.8) - Edgar, DEC (unanimous)
Khabib Nurmagomedov (155.8) vs. Michael Johnson (155.8) - Nurmagomedov, SUB (kimura), R3 (2:31)
Rafael Natal (185.4) vs. Tim Boetsch (185.4) - Boetsch, TKO (punches), R1 (3:22)
Vicente Luque (170.6) vs. Belal Muhammad (170) - Luque, KO (punches), R1 (1:19)

Fight Pass Preliminary Card:
Jim Miller (157.6) vs. Thiago Alves (162.6)* - Miller, DEC (unanimous)
Liz Carmouche (134.8) vs. Katlyn Chookagian (135) - Carmouche, DEC (split)

*Forfeits 20% of purse for missing weight; Cannot weigh more than 173 before fight

Event Bonuses ($50,000):
Performance of the Night: Yoel Romero
Performance of the Night: Conor McGregor
Fight of the Night: Tyron Woodley vs. Stephen Thompson

Attendance: 20,427
Gate: $17.7 million
Buyrate: 1.3 million

Cancelled Fights:
Robbie Lawler vs. Donald Cerrone - Lawler Withdrew From Bout
Al Iaquinta vs. Thiago Alves - Iaquinta Withdrew Due to Contract Dispute
Gian Villante vs. Marcos Rogério de Lima - Injury to Villante
Lyman Good vs. Belal Muhammad - Good Removed From Card After Being Flagged For Banned Substance
Rashad Evans vs. Tim Kennedy - Evans Removed By Commission for Medical Precaution
Kelvin Gastelum vs. Donald Cerrone - Gastelum Missed Weight Outside of Commission Policy

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FWIW Rashad was removed from the card for medical precaution even though he passed the followup tests.

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Sucks for Tim Kennedy.  Didn't look like Rashad Evans was going to make middleweight.  At light heavyweight he didn't really look like he had a lot of weight to cut down to make 185.  

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This weekend is UFC 205 and it may be the biggest UFC show ever. Reasoning? At long last MMA was made legal in New York this year, the show is at Madison Square Garden, the card is loaded/stacked and one of the UFC’s biggest ever draws, Conor McGregor is in the main event. Hopefully this event is more UFC 100 to UFC 200.

Four fights I’m most interested in are the UFC Lightweight Championship as Eddie Alvarez defends against Conor McGregor, the UFC Featherweight Champion who’s trying to become the first fighter to hold two UFC Titles at the same time. UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley vs. Stephen Thompson, Chris Weidman vs. Yoel Romero in my second most anticipated fight and a favourite fighter of mine in Donald Cerrone vs. Kevin Gastelum.

Main card predictions: McGregor by KO in round two, Thompson by decision, Joanna Jedrzejczyk retains her UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship against Karolina Kowalkiewicz by decision. Going into the fight both have perfect records. Weidman sub in two, Cerrone TKO in three but wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a submission and Miesha Tate takes a decision against Raquel Pennington.

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I'm picking Natal for the fight.  At the risk of having to eat a plate of crow, I'm picking Alvarez.  I just think he's going to give McGregor problems for a longer fight.  Also, I think McGregor fights with his chin way too much.  He could get away with that at featherweight but not at lightweight or higher.

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The women's strawweight is the only one I really feel comfortable about in terms of a prediction out of the title fights, and even then I'm a bit skeptical if that's the right word. I have no problem thinking that ATT and Katel Kubis can make Joanna a better fighter. In a fight where you have two people who get better as the fight goes along, I think that strength still favors Joanna. However, I still think Karolina can still land good shots and be active for the entirety of the round. I think if we get a back and forth fight, it may be closer on the scorecards than we imagine.  I think part of me feeling that way is that Karolina can fight like a more craftier version of Joanna sometimes. I think in certain points in fights, Joanna can sit back and wait to land that perfect strike or combo. I think Karolina, if she ever gets going, can make fill that void up with meaningful offense. That's why I wouldn't be surprised if we saw scorecards all over the place, and then people talking about a robbery.

I'm so looking forward to seeing Weidman vs. Romero just because I felt for awhile that due to injuries and layoff that Weidman was on the other side of the middleweight bracket. We thought that because he was champ that those fights with Jacare and Romero automatically happen ASAP. IMO If Weidman isn't back 100% (or maybe even 90%), I think this may be a really difficult matchup. I think Romero is a very flawed fighter for all his raw athleticism, but in the higher weight class, that can prevail if you have enough skill behind that raw athleticism. I think if we looked at this matchup 2-3 years ago, people would definitely think Weidman would put Romero's wig on backwards. Now, I think that's very much in the air because he hasn't really had to respond to a long layoff and a loss at the same time. He fought a fighter who was still in his prime, and it didn't go his way. Romero is old, but it's not like he can be called damaged goods. I think if Weidman wins this one, I can comfortably say that Weidman legitimately earned a title shot because this is far from a favorable matchup.

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I think the major difference between Karolina and Joanna is defensive movement and allusiveness. Karolina's head is far too often on the centre line with her chin up when throwing combinations and her footwork, which is good for the division, is mostly used for getting in and out of range rather than avoiding opponents closing her down. Relative to the rest of the division, Kowalkiewicz is great but I don't like her chances.

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1 hour ago, Oyaji said:

I think the major difference between Karolina and Joanna is defensive movement and allusiveness. Karolina's head is far too often on the centre line with her chin up when throwing combinations and her footwork, which is good for the division, is mostly used for getting in and out of range rather than avoiding opponents closing her down. Relative to the rest of the division, Kowalkiewicz is great but I don't like her chances.

Outside of Heather Jo Clark, I think her opponents have been able to have some success because of that. This is her first UFC fight where she can't takeover from the second round and beyond. That's what gives me pause.

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That Roller is ridiculous.

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I'm guessing this will probably start around 3:30 or 3:45 EST (or 3 p.m. Conor McGregor Time).

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For someone who is a fairweather fan - what is the feeling with regards to the main event?

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That it wouldn't be a bad idea to put down some money on Eddie if you have spare cash. I don't get how McGregor is the favourite. I was wrong about McGregor in the Diaz rematch but Alvarez has a lot of ways to beat Conor and he isn't going to just stand there and slug it out with him. He'll likely look to his huge grappling advantage and grind him down.

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14 minutes ago, Liam said:

For someone who is a fairweather fan - what is the feeling with regards to the main event?

Outside of this board, I'm surprised that people are picking Conor. After Dos Anjos beat Cerrone, people kinda made RDA out to be this unstoppable machine. You would think the dude who beat this "unstoppable" machine, in round one no less, would get unanimous support to beat someone who isn't a lightweight.

Personally, I just believe it depends on the fight Eddie chooses to take on. Can he execute the same gameplan Mendes went with in round one his fight with McGregor fight? Probably so. However, how much confidence does Eddie have just giving McGregor an avenue to victory? Is he overconfident because he was able to get Dos Anjos out there quickly on the feet? Does he shy away from that and try to make it an ugly fight against the cage? He can go back and try to be the Eddie Alvarez of pre-UFC fame, but it's not like Eddie cannot be dropped in a fight. I mean McGregor might have featherweight power, but go back and look at some of the dudes who have dropped Alvarez. Not exactly a murderers' row. I don't expect Alvarez to retreat within himself, but it might matter when you have a pro-Irish crowd there who would perhaps sway the judges if Conor lands anything significant.

I think the fight McGregor doesn't want is the GSP/Penn II type fight where he can't get any offense in and his opponent is changing levels constantly. I think Eddie's strategy might revolve around him moving a lot more. Giving Conor a steady, stationary target would be a big detriment to Alvarez. 

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1 hour ago, Elsalvajeloco said:

Outside of this board, I'm surprised that people are picking Conor. After Dos Anjos beat Cerrone, people kinda made RDA out to be this unstoppable machine. You would think the dude who beat this "unstoppable" machine, in round one no less, would get unanimous support to beat someone who isn't a lightweight.

 

Didn't we say the same thing about Luke Rockhold?  And he got beat in his next fight against Bisping.  

I think Alvarez has more of a chance that people think and I hope he wins but I am not just sure about the consistency of him that he can pull off two or three dominating fights in a row

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