Conor McGregor has made history by becoming the first ever Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter to hold two belts at the same time.
Madison Square Garden, a venue renowned in the past for boxing, in the world’s best known city truly was an unforgettable night that will be jotted down in the UFC’s history books, smashing records for both MSG and the UFC with ticket revenues totalling over $17 million.
Fighting at 155lbs for the lightweight belt at Madison Square Garden, McGregor dismantled opponent Eddie Alvarez inside two rounds.
Knocking Alvarez down early in the first round the feeling that you were witnessing something memorable was tantalising and with each subsequent knockdown fate seemed to be set.
Alvarez was badly hurt and his speed suffered, he shot for several different take downs but McGregor proved to be able to defend well and showed off his supreme balance staying on his feet.
The victory displayed a stellar example of what makes McGregor great; accurate punches with lots of power in them, a large reach with fantastic distance management, excellent balance and a confidence that lets him stare past oncoming punches and counter which is exactly how we ended tonight.
Alvarez missed with a right and McGregor countered bringing his left hand over and following it up with a right, left and final right that saw Alvarez hit the floor.
McGregor landed two more punches while he was laid out on the ground and the referee stepped in. The four punch barrage, that all landed on Alvarez’s already rattled head, were each examples of McGregor’s accuracy and power and testament to his deserving of two world championship belts.
More than just the McGregor we’ve grown used to, we saw a changed fighter who was patient, paced himself and seemed even more relaxed in the ring.
So relaxed, he let his arms hang back and held them behind his body taunting Alvarez. He looked calm and collected and it seems he’s learnt much from his two bouts with Nate Diaz.
The crowd too were staggering. You could hear Irish fans throughout the night with them getting progressively louder singing chants and cheering on as their patriotic hero’s performance grew ever closer.
Alvarez, who lives an hour away from the venue, was booed and the international personality of McGregor was welcomed by more than just his own loyal Irish fans but by the overwhelming majority of the crowd.
His charisma and his Irish charm can’t be denied and after tonight neither can his success as a fighter. He is one of only 3 men to have held two belts, the legend Randy Couture and BJ Penn neither of whom have held them simultaneously.