If there’s one thing for certain that can be said about UFC 205, it’s that it will be remembered by fans of the sport as one of, if not the most historic events in the sport of MMA.
It was just about everything UFC 200 should have been, and possibly more.
Despite losing Cerrone vs. Gastelum and Evans vs. Kennedy on short notice, UFC 205 still delivered on big-name attractions and hype, the latter of which was built and nurtured into a slow burn that began in March when MMA was legalized in NYC.
Emanating from Madison Square Garden, the event drew a record-breaking gate for the UFC of $17.7 million, and provided the 20,000+ fans in attendance with a show full of the HOLY &$%! moments that they, nor we will soon forget.
It was a card with many highlights, so before you roll over in bed and go back to sleep, let’s take a leisurely look back at some of UFC 205’s best moments.
The King Claims a New Throne
Above all others, one name will be associated with the UFC’s first event in Madison Square Garden.
His name is Conor McGregor, King of Pay-Per-View and Silencer of Critics.
If you were unaware, he is also the first man in history to hold UFC titles in two weight divisions at the same time.
Seeing McGregor hoist both belts into the air as he celebrated atop the Octagon is one of those moments that we should all take a second to appreciate.
The win against Alvarez will give McGregor an unprecedented amount of sway within the organization, and given the revenue he brings in, it’s easy to see why he’s demanding equity in the company that he’s willing to spill his own blood for.
McGregor’s victory raises questions about title defenses and time off, but for now, let’s relish in what “The Notorious” was able to accomplish last night.
“Cupcake” Calls it Quits
Apart from another fight with Ronda Rousey, there really isn’t anything left for Miesha Tate to do as an in-ring competitor. She became a champion in the world’s premiere mixed martial arts organization and (like many of her fights) did so after many thought she had already been defeated.
When you add her wins in Strikeforce and overall impact on women’s MMA, it was a good time for Tate to hang up the gloves and continue life without getting punched in the face for a living.
“Soldier of God” Brutalizes Weidman
For the first ten minutes of this fight, it looked as if Chris Weidman was going to leave MSG a winner. Then, less than 30 seconds into the third round, Romero launched himself at Weidman like a flying pickup truck and connected with an incredible flying knee that crumpled the former champ and left him lying on the canvas in a bloody heap.
The victory for Romero sets up a fight for the middleweight strap against Michael Bisping, who by all accounts wants to fight Romero, though that may change once he enters the cage against hulking Cuban wrestler.
A Night of Firsts
In addition to Conor McGregor’s history-making win, UFC 205 gave fans a few other “first-time ever” moments to enjoy.
Liz Carmouche, a former Marine and veteran of women’s MMA, fought in the UFC’s first championship fight involving women, opposite Ronda Rousey. On Saturday, she became the first woman in UFC history to fight in Madison Square Garden. Carmouche pulled off the win, and while it wasn’t the most exciting fight, the achievement is noteworthy.
I’ve got to add Bruce Buffer to this entry – who does a fantastic job 99% of the time – for botching the result of the welterweight title fight between Stephen Thompson and Tyron Woodley. It may not be a “first-ever” moment for him, but it definitely was for some fans on social media, who had never seen Buffer be anything but smooth and professional on the microphone.
Thankfully Joe Rogan was there to help clarify things.
Lastly, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a human being survive a choke as deep as the one that Tyron Woodley had on Stephen Thompson during the spectacle that was their 5-round title fight. Not only was it deep, Woodley had it secured for what seemed like half of the round before “Wonderboy” was able to escape, a feat most folks couldn’t do without the assistance of paramedics.
Photo Credit- Al Bello/Zuffa LLC