UFC 205: Alvarez vs. McGregor and Woodley vs. Thompson
Chock full of bite, tonight’s card in New York City has been billed as the best yet, rivaling UFC 200 and the bonafide blockbuster that was UFC 100 back in 2009. Taking center stage, as usual, is featherweight champion Conor McGregor, who remains on his crusade to become the first multi-division champion when he faces current lightweight champion, Eddie Alvarez.
This will be Alvarez’s first title defense since wresting it from Raphael dos Anjos in July. Some fighters were up in arms over the decision to give McGregor the first crack at the new champion instead of other deserving lightweight contenders like Tony Ferguson.
Current interim UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo has been the most vocal, seeking a unification of his belts and expressing a want to be released from the promotion when he found out that Alvarez would get the next shot at McGregor.
Aldo has expressed his vehement desire to unify the titles, but has since rescinded his statements about fighting to be released from his UFC contract.
However, McGregor is the new poster boy of the UFC and with Alvarez being from Philadelphia and training out of New Jersey, it is a match made in heaven for a Manhattan crowd. Alvarez is the most successful fighter to transfer from Bellator to the UFC and if he beats McGregor, it will solidify him as one of the best fighters in the game.
Co-main event notables are UFC welterweight champion, Tyron “The Chosen One” Woodley vs. Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson in a match clamored for by the fans. Woodley is the standout Division I wrestler that rose up the ranks from defunct promotion Strikeforce to viciously defeat his teammate Robbie Lawler for the title.
The St. Louis native was looking to fight a returning Georges St. Pierre for his first title defense, however, the UFC brass heard the fans and granted him Thompson instead.
Thompson is on a seven-fight win streak and with wins over Jake Ellenberger, Patrick Cote, Johny Hendricks and recently Rory MacDonald, the guy has all the tools for greatness. Now a fan favorite, Thompson steps up for his biggest challenge to date on the biggest stage in mixed martial arts history.
Watch all the action live on pay-per-view from Madison Square Garden tonight at 10pm EST/7pm PST.
Boxing: Danny Garcia vs. Samuel Vargas
Current WBA welterweight champion, Danny “Swift” Garcia returns to the ring for a non-title tune up fight against Samuel Vargas.
As one of the brightest young stars of the sport, Garcia is a part of the new breed of welterweights that are dominating the headlines since the departure of Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Garcia’s last opponent was the multi-time champion, Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero. Garcia, in a thrilling 12-round exchange back in January, won via unanimous decision, extending his unbeaten streak to 32-0.
With the world abuzz over the announcement of Garcia vs. current WBC welterweight champion Keith “One Time” Thurman slated for early 2017, this fight is a warm up for the North Philadelphian.
Samuel Vargas is a Canadian-Colombian journeyman making his third appearance in the States. After losing via TKO to Errol Spence in April 2015, Vargas has been on a five-fight win streak en route to Garcia.
Although there are no title implications in this bout, a win against Garcia, Vargas’ biggest opponent to date, would change his career trajectory.
Catch all the action from the Liacouras Center in North Philadelphia tonight at 9pm EST/6pm PST on Spike.