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UFC 205 talking points: McGregor's dominance, Woodley and more

 
NEW YORK

While the rest of the mixed martial arts world was busy racking its collective brain to figure out how Conor McGregor could beat Eddie Alvarez, the Irish visionary already knew what was going to happen.

“(Eddie’s) claiming that it’s an easier contest,” McGregor said a week before UFC 205. “I look forward to when the eyes shift and the electric shock shoots through his whole body. And the panic sets in to his whole face.”

Boy, the new two-weight simultaneous world champ wasn’t kidding. “Mystic Mac” called his shot once again, knocking out Alvarez in devastating fashion three minutes into the second round to claim his second world title.

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On the most historic night in UFC history, McGregor -- arguably the company’s biggest star ever -- completed a mission he set forth three years ago when he first stepped foot into the Octagon. McGregor is a two-weight world champion and by becoming the first fighter to do it he has, in his own words, become immortalized.

“It feels great. It feels familiar,” he said. “I saw this so clearly and consistently, until it’s here in reality. I’m very confident in my abilities and what I predict I’m gonna do. I back it up with work ethic and I’m very satisfied, but not surprised.”

These are the UFC 205 Talking Points

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: Conor McGregor of Ireland celebrates his KO victory over Eddie Alvarez of the United States in their lightweight championship bout during the UFC 205 event at Madison Square Garden on November 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)McGregor dominates Alvarez in every phase of the game

When Alvarez had McGregor up against the fence and two arms draped all over him in pursuit of the dreaded takedown, “The Notorious” kept calm. It was as if McGregor knew Alvarez couldn’t take him down.

Anthony Pettis was in the same position against Alvarez in the third round of their matchup and it was his undoing, as Alvarez used his ground and pound to earn a decision win.

At a distance, McGregor was like something out of a video game, countering precisely like he had a cheat code and Alvarez was a first-time player. In the first round, McGregor rocked Alvarez with a left hand going backwards, almost exactly like the one he landed on Jose Aldo to win his first world title.

McGregor said he injured his right hand and his foot in the fight against Nate Diaz and that’s where he developed the hands-behind-the-back routine he employed momentarily against Alvarez.

“I’m comfortable with that style of opponent,” McGregor said. “I feel good. I feel like I’m only reaching my prime. I’m only 28 and not a long 28. I can fight in all ways and that’s how I am able to keep coming.”

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12:  Tyron Woodley of the United States (left) fights against Stephen Thompson of the United States in their welterweight championship bout during the UFC 205 event at Madison Square Garden on November 12, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)More puzzles await champ Woodley

The storyline going into his first title defense after KO’ing former king Robbie Lawler was how Tyron Woodley could solve the mystery of Wonderboy.

Stephen Thompson emerged as a contender on the strength of seven straight wins in one of the toughest divisions in the game. Woodley had to deal with Thompson’s awkward and fight-finishing striking, but he passed the test.

In the fourth round Woodley landed a right hook to the forehead of Thompson that rocked the challenger, who showed heart to survive the ensuing onslaught as well as a deep guillotine submission. Woodley was awarded a majority draw and next up could be an even more difficult code to crack.

Demian Maia is the unquestioned welterweight No. 1 contender. He has won six in a row and his absolute annihilation of Carlos Condit last time out was astonishing. Maia vs. Woodley could be next up or Wonderboy could get an immediate rematch.

Either way, Woodley still has some decryption ahead of him. But for now he’s happy with how he got past his first title defense.

“Who’s ever had a good time hitting Wonderboy? Who’s ever hit him like I did and almost finish him?” Woodley asked after his win. “I was overly prepared and I engrossed myself in his martial art (of karate). I just felt like I had to be patient.”

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: Karolina Kowalkiewicz of Poland (right) fights against Joanna Jedrzejczyk of Poland in their women's strawweight championship bout during the UFC 205 event at Madison Square Garden on November 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)Jedrzejczyk continues to follow Mighty Mouse blueprint

Strawweight ruler Joanna Jedrzejczyk added to her illustrious legacy with her fourth title defense, outlasting and out-striking Polish compatriot Karolina Kowalkiewicz.

Aside from flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson, Jedrzejczyk is the most dominant title holder in the UFC statistically. Sure, McGregor has two titles on his shoulders now but we’re talking about division dominance.

Jedrzejczyk tripled Kowalkiewicz with significant strikes and brushed off a small fourth-round surge from the challenger with ease. Jedrzejczyk is the best female fighter on the planet and she’ll continue to elevate her legacy with each dominant performance.

Kowalkiewiez showed toughness and skill, despite losing almost every round. UFC president Dana White was impressed with the heart of both Polish stars.

“That fight was awesome and both those girls wanted that fight bad,” White said. “Both girls had hematomas tonight and it was a stylistic, technical dog fight.”

Matt Parrino is a digital producer and writer for UFC.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MattParrinoUFC



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