Freelance: UFC 205- MMA Wins Fight for History
The UFC billed their 205 pay-per-view card as the greatest card of all time. The most important stat from the night of the company’s 23rd birthday is simply the number two–as in the crowning of the first simultaneous two-weight world champion, “Notorious” Conor McGregor.
It took the UFC’s most successful loudmouth 13 seconds to cement his legacy the first time against Jose Aldo, a threat that went unbeaten for ten years. Even after his first UFC loss earlier this year and a debatable rematch with Nate Diaz, McGregor truly rebounded Saturday night in just 8:04 of fight time, dropping Eddie Alvarez three times over two rounds with his trademark left hand.
The dismantling of the first-ever fighter to be both a Bellator and UFC lightweight champion in that time then drew a $17.7 million total gate and a crowd of 20,427–topping the gate of Lennox Lewis vs. Evander Holyfield and breaking “every UFC record" in one night.
“Sitting here tonight we broke every record in UFC history tonight,” UFC President Dana White said at the post-fight press conference. “Every record. The only one I’m waiting on now is the FOX number, how did FOX Sports 1 do. It would be really, really weird and make no sense if we didn’t break that one too.”
While the pay-per-view number have yet to be released, the sales record that 205 broke was also set by the headlining Irishman in the previously mentioned Diaz rematch at UFC 202 (1.65 million buys) leading their first bout at UFC 196 and the historic UFC 100 (1.6 million buys.)
McGregor landed 20 of 60 total strikes (33 percent) and 18 of 57 significant (31 percent) in the first round. He increased to landing 61 percent of total strikes (20 of 33) 52 percent of significant strikes (14 of 27) before putting Alvarez to bed. Taking a look at the rest of the card, if judges had access to live stats Woodley vs. Thompson too might not even be up for discussion. The defending welterweight champion bested Thompson in each of the following aspects according to the stats on UFC’s website:
Total Control- 4:54 to 2:26 Total Landed Strikes-113 to 60 Landed Significant Strikes- 61 to 43 Knockdowns- 1 to 0 Takedowns- 1/1 to 0/1 Submission Attempts- 2 to 0
The numbers don’t lie. Before that Joanna Jedrzejczyk took 4 of 5 rounds over fellow Poland native Karolina Kowalkiewicz to defend her UFC strawweight championship for the fourth time and to kick off the show Miesha Tate retired as a former UFC women’s champion as well, ending her career at 18-7.
*For analysis of the Weidman-Romero fight, be on the lookout for a separate article.
So, what’s the biggest takeaway?
The UFC might still be able to put on its greatest card with both McGregor and the soon-to-retire Ronda Rousey, perhaps more than any put up by the pride of Dublin. However, the REAL most important number is 19– as in the 19-year legal battle it took to see the now leading combat sport touch down in the “world’s most famous arena” and the greatest in combat lore, Madison Square Garden, a battle the UFC finally won.