With UFC 205 rapidly approaching, fight fans are gearing up for the biggest show in UFC history. Madison Square Garden will play host to history with three title fights, and massive star attraction. The UFC brought it for New York City like they promised. Heres my preview and prediction.
Conor McGregor (20-3) vs. Eddie Alvarez (28-4): Lightweight Title Fight
One of the toughest fights to pick on the card is an understatement in this fight. McGregor comes into all his fights boasting high fight IQ and outstanding striking centred around timing and impeccable technique. Alvarez on the other note is a solid wrestle boxer who’s as durable as they come in the fight game. McGregor will look to stay on the outside and pick Alvarez apart, circling and making Alvarez pay as he attempts to close the distance. Long straight lefts and push kicks will be need to be in use early and often for McGregor if he wants to keep this fight standing, similar to the way “Cowboy” Cerrone did in his win over Alvarez. Taking away Alvarez’s main weapons of dirty boxing and wrestling and shying away from standing and trading as he did in the later rounds of his win over Nate Diaz is a must. McGregor has clear ways to victory with technique and fight IQ but Alvarez is not one to be taken lightly. Having only lost since coming to the UFC, Alvarez is flying high after his knockout win for the title. Always the underdog, Alvarez loves to use offensive wrestling to control where a fight takes place and is not afraid to be a grinder. In his win over Anthony Pettis, Alvarez showed just that and grinded out the better technical striker and made the fight an uncomfortable matter. In his win over Dos Anjos, Alvarez boasting good hand speed and fluent hands, rocking the champ bad as he stood in front of him. This fight is very close with many ways for both men to win.
Lean Alvarez, but could see a McGregor victory.
Tyron Woodley (16-3) vs. Stephen Thompson (13-1): Welterweight Title Fight
One of the best strikers to ever compete in the sport, Stephen Thompson comes into this fight with a load of confidence, having come off a systematic beating of Rory MacDonald. Being a striking specialist, Thompson’s way to victory is a simple one; Stay on the outside, work the body and stay off his back. In his win over Johny Hendricks, Stephen used a front leg side kick and question mark kick to keep Hendricks on the outside and kept him guessing on his way to a first round stoppage victory. Look for Thompson to use great footwork and great technique to out strike Woodley. Tyron Woodley couldn’t be more of a different fighter than Thompson. Woodley is a power house wrestler with a powerful right hand, and is his best in the first round. This was never more clear than in his win over Robbie Lawler as Woodley blasted Lawler with his massive right hand. Woodley’s best chance for victory is in the first round as he is known to fade in the later rounds, and would need to keep Thompson down for five rounds.
Thompson via 3rd round knockout.
Joanna Jędrzejczyk (12-0) vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (10-0)
Two undefeated strawweight fighters will clash at UFC 205. Joanna and Karolina come into this fight with plenty of history, having competed before in an amateur bout with Joanna coming out on top via rear naked choke. Both women come into this fight boasting impressive Muay Thai resumes and elite striking skills. Joanna is at her best when she is coming forward and must push the pace against Karolina, punishing with elbows from the clinch position and backing her up and cutting off the cage like she did in her win against Jessica Penne. Karolina will be forced with the issue of timing Joanna to counter with fast hands and using her impeccable footwork to move out of range. Over coming more adversity in her career and a better overall skill set, Joanna should be a safe bet to retain her title.
Jędrzejczyk via Unanimous Decision
Full Card Predictions:
Chris Weidman > Yoel Romero
Kelvin Gastelum < Donald Cerrone
Miesha Tate > Raquel Pennington
Frankie Edgar > Jeremy Stephens
Khabib Nurmagomedov > Michael Johnson
Tim Boetsch > Rafael Natal
Vincente Luque < Belal Muhammad
Jim Miller < Thiago Alves
Liz Carmouche > Katlyn Chookagian