UFC 205 – November 12, 2016
Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
After years of lobbying for the ability to hold MMA fights in New York State after a nearly 20-year ban, Dana White delivers on his promise for one of the most stacked cards in UFC history.
With seven current or former UFC champions, a plethora of title contenders and just the second time in UFC history it has had two current champions vying for the same title, UFC 205 is simply—stacked.
In the card’s main event, current UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez and current UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor face off for the lightweight title. Alvarez earned the lightweight title just four months ago at UFC Fight Night 90 where he defeated Rafael dos Anjos via first round TKO. McGregor, on the other hand, claimed the featherweight title nearly a year ago at UFC 194 by defeating then-champion Jose Aldo a mere 13 seconds into the first round.
The fight will mark the first defense of his UFC lightweight title, whereas McGregor has yet to defend his UFC featherweight crown. Following UFC 194, McGregor debuted in the welterweight division at UFC 196 where he was defeated for the first time in his UFC career via second-round submission at the hands of his opponent Nate Diaz. Rather than re-focusing on defending the featherweight crown following the loss, McGregor focused on redeeming himself against Diaz at welterweight. When the two met again at UFC 202, it was McGregor who pulled out a majority decision in the five-round contest. Now McGregor looks to drop to lightweight to focus on defeating Alvarez, to become the MMA anomaly to hold two titles in two different weight classes simultaneously.
Some say that given McGregor’s unexpected loss to Nate Diaz at UFC 196 and his subsequent follow-up fight against Diaz at UFC 202 and now another main event fight may be too much pressure for even someone as talented and seasoned as McGregor. There are opinions that he should focus on defending his featherweight title before moving into another hyped-draw fight. Nonetheless, McGregor will face Alvarez at UFC 205.
Current betting lines at 5dimes.eu have McGregor at -200 and Alvarez at +200. Both men have impressive KO/TKO victory stats at 61% for Alvarez and 85% for McGregor. While Alvarez lands 3.64 strikes per minute, McGregor tops that at 6.02% making for some excitement in the stand-up. Both fighters are fairly even and accurate with their striking with Alvarez at 43.4% and McGregor at 48.51. Striking defense is pretty even as well with 59.02% for Alvarez and 56.24% for McGregor. The advantage for McGregor in the striking could simply come down to his five-inch reach advantage.
Where Alvarez has the slight advantage could be on the ground, where he averages 3.9 takedowns landed compared to McGregor at 1.02. McGregor’s takedown accuracy is better (62.5%) as compared to Alvarez (41.07%) but Alvarez has a huge advantage with a takedown defense rate of 92.31% compared to McGregor at 70%. The good news for Alvarez is that McGregor has been defeated via submission in the recent past and if taken there, he may struggle in the defense.
There’s nothing more coveted to a fighter than a championship belt and this main event ensures two fighters who will stop at nothing for the title belt that’s on the line.
The main event nonwithstanding, nearly every fight on the card gives the potential for a brawl. Newly-minted welterweight champion Tyron Woodly (who knocked out then-champion Robbie Lawler at UFC 201 in the first round) comes in, surprisingly, as the underdog against No. 2-ranked Stephen Thompson. It is rare for a sitting champion to be ranked as the underdog but it does happen. Woodly is looking to silence his critics and put an exclamation point on this championship.
In the third championship fight at UFC 205, current UFC women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk faces fellow Polish fighter Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Both women have similar fight records and statistics and met once before as amateur fighters four years ago in Poland. In that fight, Jedrzejczyk won via rear-naked choke inside the first round.
The number of high-profile fighters on the UFC’s historic first showing in New York City is almost criminally insane and the buzz and fervor surrounding this event it is unprecedented in MMA. If there’s one to watch this year that will be worth the price, it’s UFC 205 in New York City. It’s been a long time coming.
Main Card Betting Odds:
Conor McGregor (FW C) (20-3-0) -150
Eddie Alvarez (LW C) (28-4-0) +130
Lightweight title fight
Stephen Thompson (13-1-0) (#2) -200
Tyron Woodley (16-3-0) (C) +170
Welterweight title fight
Joanna Jedrzejczyk (12-0-0) (C) -370
Karolina Kowalkiewicz (10-0-0) (#2) +310
Women’s strawweight title fight
Chris Weidman (13-1-0) (#2) -165
Yoel Romero (11-1-0) (#4) +145
Donald Cerrone (31-7-0, 1 NC) (#6) -160
Kelvin Gastelum (13-2-0) (#5) +140
Miesha Tate (18-6-0) (#1) -185
Raquel Pennington (8-6-0) +160
Women’s bantamweight fight
Preliminary Card Betting Odds:
Frankie Edgar (19-5-1) (#2) -335
Jeremy Stephens (25-12-0) +275
Khabib Nurmagomedov (23-0-0) (#1) -280
Michael Johnson (18-10-0) (#6) +240
Tim Kennedy 18-5-0) (#12) -240
Rashad Evans (24-5-1) #8) +200
Rafael Natal (21-7-1) (#14) -160
Tim Boetsch (19-10-0) +140
Thiago Alves (26-10-0) -165
Jim Miller (27-8-0, 1 NC) +145
Belal Muhammad (10-1-0)
Vicente Luque * (10-5-1)
*Luque replaces Lyman Good, who was pulled from the fight after being notified by USADA due to a potential anti-doping violation as a result of an out-of-competition sample collected 10 days prior. Odds will be posted as they become available.
Kaitlyn Chookagian (8-0-0) -190
Liz Carmouche (9-5-0) +165
Women’s bantamweight fight
DISCLAIMER: Betting lines documented in this post may be taken from more than one source and may change prior to the fight. As always, know your local, state and national laws before placing any type of bet. MixFighter.com makes no specific recommendations or endorsements toward betting or sites which offer betting or real money fantasy style betting that are mentioned in this article or otherwise. MixFighter.com assumes no legal responsibility for a reader’s interpretation of odds or bets placed as a result of this article. Fighter averages per UFC.com as of 10/23/16. Betting lines per 5dimes.eu as of 11/05/16.