Historic UFC 205 takes place on November 12th in Madison Square Garden. This is the first time ever the UFC will hold an event in the state of New York, as MMA was just recently legalized in the big apple. The card is headlined by UFC superstar and current featherweight champ, Conor McGregor, as he looks to become the first ever two-weight world champion in the promotion against freshly crowned lightweight champion, Eddie Alvarez. In the co-main event of the evening, Tyron Woodley looks to make his first title defense against crafty prospect, Steven Thompson.
Ah, the stud of the UFC, the Irish sensation himself, “The Notorious” Conor McGregor back again in another thrilling fight. However, this time he finds himself against one of the toughest matchups in his career in Eddie Alvarez.
If this fight would have been made about 10 months ago, it’d be near impossible not to pick the Irish brass in this bout, however that’s not the case. In 2016, we learned a few things about McGregor, but most importantly, he can lose. With somewhat of a reality check to everyone, this fight seems rather tough for Conor on paper…but that’s on paper.
Alvarez has had somewhat of a mediocre run in the UFC. His first two wins came via split decision and his debut in the organization came with a loss to “Cowboy” Cerrone, who also competes on the UFC 205 card, by unanimous decision. His only real “impressive” win was when he captured the title against Rafael Dos Anjos via TKO in the first round.
Conor on the other hand has had some spectacular performances in the past year, including a stunning 13 second KO of then pound-for-pound #1, Jose Aldo. After getting revenge on Diaz just a couple months back at UFC 202, you have to feel a sense that McGregor’s confidence is building back up.
This is an interesting fight, mainly concerning the wrestling ability of Alvarez and if he plans to utilize it. However, I think McGregor is just to slick in his movements for the American and I think the Irishman shocks the world by finishing the freshly crowned champ. His overall speed, power, and accuracy is far more superior of that than Alvarez’s, and I believe that is the deciding factor in this fight.
Pick: Conor McGregor def. Eddie Alvarez via TKO round 2
Tyron Woodley vs. Stephen Thompson
After a long, patient wait, “Wonderboy” Thompson finally gets his first crack at UFC gold. However, it is against probably the toughest matchup he could have currently in the welterweight division, the NCAA wrestler turned KO artist, Tyron Woodley.
This is a fight honestly everyone is assuming Thompson will win by some spectacular KO/TKO fashion using his wide variety of karate techniques. However, I just have to disagree here. Woodley is coming off of a devastating knockout of an absolute monster in Robbie Lawler to capture the title at UFC 202. Granted, Wonderboy has been on an absolute tear, including a first round TKO of former champ, Johny Hendricks, and a 5 round domination of former challenger, Rory Macdonald.
Not to any surprise, many people are comparing this fight to Hendricks vs. Thompson, noticeably for both Tyron and Johny’s wrestling credentials, but Woodley is a completely different animal. He is by far much quicker and dynamic, and can close the range in the blink of an eye. I think if Woodley comes out hesitant and isn’t the aggressor early, this is Thompson’s fight to win. However, I just don’t see that being the case. I see Tyron coming out and putting the pressure on early, possibly getting the early finish.
Pick: Tyron Woodley def. Stephen Thompson via TKO Round 2
Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz
Jeez, say that 10 times fast. In an attempt to make it her fourth consecutive title defense, Joanna Jedrzejczyk will take on arguably her toughest opponent to date in Karolina Kowalkiewicz.
What is interesting about this fight is that, the two have actually competed against one another before, with Joanna getting the win. However, that fight took place many moons ago and both fighters game has improved drastically. Both are quick, athletic strikers who love to pour the pressure onto their opponents.
Joanna carries such a relentless pace about her however, that I don’t see anyone in the straweight divison matching for some time. On top of her stamina comes power in her strikes, enough to rearrange the face of any woman on the planet, giving at least to me, the clear advantage in the fight.
Pick: Joanna Jedrzejczyk def. Karolina Kowalkiewicz via Unanimous Decision.
Chris Weidman vs. Yoel Romero
Talk about an interesting fight for the middleweight division. This fight is really being overlooked, but to me, is do or die for both fighters. With a loss for Romero at his age, it really is a setback that may spell the final chapter in his book. For Weidman, he gets put in a similar situation to Johny Hendricks, where he has to reevaluate where he wants to be compared to the rest of the division and if he can even still compete with the highest level.
This is also the hardest fight to pick in terms of who will come out victorious, as it is a toss up. Both men are decorated wrestlers, with Romero having the striking advantage, but cardio has to go to Weidman. Also, Chris has a solid chin, but his striking technique is a bit sub-par compared to that on Romero, who is an absolute animal. I see this fight going one of two ways, Yoel cracking Weidman with big shots early, or Weidman closing the distance well and securing a decision win. The biggest factor to me though is Romero coming off a suspension, and Weidman having the hometown advantage, I think Chris comes out hungry for a win and gets the job done.
Pick: Chris Weidman def. Yoel Romero via Unanimous Decision
Donald Cerrone vs. Kelvin Gastelum
“Cowboy” rides into town again, this time in the big apple against another tough, scrappy grappler, which the type he defeated twice in a row now. Granted Gastelum is coming off an impressive performance over Johny Hendricks, but Cerrone is the opposite. He is fast, agile, and carries some serious power in his strikes. Something I think Gastelum will be flustered with, though I don’t Cerrone can crack his chin. I see Gastelum getting the fight to the mat, but “Cowboy” has great BJJ skills and I see it being finished on the floor.
Pick: Donald Cerrone def. Kelvin Gastelum via triangle choke, round 3.
Miesha Tate vs. Raquel Pennington
Coming off a first round TKO loss, former champion Miesha Tate is looking to bounce back against tough vet, Raquel Pennington, who is riding a three fight win streak. However, the level of completion is not really all too close to that of Tate’s recently and overall, she is much more mature fighter. I see Miesha outsmarting Pennington and being dominant for fifteen minutes of action.
Pick: Miesha Tate def. Raquel Pennington via Unanimous Decision.