New York City: And we find ourselves in uncharted territory.
As UFC 205 drew to a close on Saturday evening – in what was the biggest event in the sports history – the charismatic Irish man, Conor McGregor, took to the mic for his post fight speech. Victorious, and now for the first time, a two weight World Champion.
McGregor said, “I’ve spent a lot of time slating everybody in the company. Backstage I’m starting fights over everybody.”
“I’ve ridiculed everyone on the roster, I just want to say from the bottom of my heart, I’d like to take this chance to apologise to absolutely nobody. The double champ does what the f*** he wants.”
And why should he apologise? His two round dismantling of ‘The Underground King’ Eddie Alvarez was nothing short of flawless. The tough Philadelphian was always going to ask a number of questions of Dublin’s finest, but from the outset those questions were answered.
Answered and then some.
Could Conor defend the takedowns and grinding style of Alvarez against the cage? Would his powerful left hand remain as effective in the higher weight classes? Both were an emphatic yes.
But these weren’t the only impressive things about McGregor’s performance, on what was a historical evening at Madison Square Garden. His ability to remain calm under pressure and pick accurate shots, allowed him to drop Alvarez three times in the first round alone. Added to a marked improvement in his Wrestling and Jiu Jitsu, it was only a matter of time before Alvarez, unable to secure the takedown, was put down for good in the second.
It was possibly his greatest performance, on the biggest stage in UFC history.
But where the ‘The Notorious’ one goes from here is anyone’s guess. As both a Featherweight and lightweight Champion there are several possible super-fights on the horizon, and a murderers row of fighters looking to get a shot.
The most likely scenario seems to be the defence of his lightweight title against undefeated Russian Khabib Nurmagomedov. Fresh off a win over Michael Johnson on the same card, the Combat Sambo Champion seems a shoe in for a title fight right now. Or could Tony Ferguson get the nod after an impressive decision win over former champion RDA?
Maybe the answer lies further left field, with a rumoured boxing/ MMA super fight with Floyd Mayweather still lingering. This seems unlikely given the difficulties that could arise during negotiations, though it could be the only way to top what was the biggest card in history at UFC 205. (Cough) Did someone say McGregor Vs Diaz 3? (Cough)
When asked of future plans at the post fight press conference, the 28 year old seemed unusually coy, committing to nothing, and even demanding a stake in the company before he fights again. A move that could reverberate throughout the whole roster of fighters if anything comes of it. With that being said, it would seem sometimes with the UFC, answers only lead to more questions. Maybe thats the nature of the sport. One thing however was made blatantly clear on Saturday evening. The unapologetic Irish man is currently the biggest star in combat sports, he holds all the cards at the moment, and he’s not sorry.
By Lewis Smith.