Conor McGregor defeated Eddie Alvarez in their UFC lightweight bout in Madison Square Garden to become the first fighter in UFC history to hold two belts simultaneously.
McGregor, who was the featherweight champion coming into the fight, floored Alvarez three times in the opening round.
Alvarez barely connected with a blow in the first round.
Alvarez attempted to wrestle McGregor to the mat in the second round but this proved too difficult and McGregor dictated the pace and the range of the fight before midway through the round, McGregor unleashed a furious combination of blows which finished the bout.
“Eddie is a warrior but he shouldn’t be in here with me. You’ve got to have size, reach, length, you’ve got to have attributes.” He said in the octagon.
“I’d like to take this chance to apologise … to absolutely nobody.” He roared.
It was an historic night for the UFC, with it being their first ever promotion in New York as the ban was finally lifted on mixed martial arts in the state last March.
McGregor stole the show ahead of the other championship bouts on the card, and his fight was the only one which was won by knockout.
Women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk weathered a late storm from her Polish compatriot Karolina Kowalkiewicz, holding on to win a unanimous decision after an epic five-round battle.
Welterweight champ Tyrone Woodley thought he had seen off the challenge of Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson to claim a narrow split decision, but the result initially announced in the octagon was corrected after several minutes and changed to a majority draw.
However, the big story from the night was what McGregor had to say at the post fight press conference.
Firstly, he announced that he was going to be a father with his partner – Dee Devlin:
“Im gonna be a Daddy early next year.” He said.
“Im crapping me jocks, I don’t know what way im going to take it.” He added.
It is expected that he is likely to take time off after this fight for the birth of his child. After that, however, it could be a long time off from MMA depending on how his discussions go with his new employers – WME IMG;
“They’ve got to come talk to me now because nobody has come talk to me since the sale.”
McGregor has proven time and again, that he is the face of the company and the numbers back this up;
Live gate: $17.7 million — new UFC record and new Madison Square Garden record.
The previous record was UFC 129, which had a $12 million live gate with over 55,000 in attendance for Georges St-Pierre vs. Jake Shields in Toronto.
Attendance: 20,247 — new domestic UFC record for the United States.
Previous record was UFC 171 in Dallas, TX with a reported 19,324 in attendance.
Weigh-in Attendance: 15,480 — new global UFC record
Social media: 14 billion impressions — most in UFC history
Closed circuit (commercial pay-per-view) — highest performing in UFC history in both locations and gross revenue.
No figures reported as of yet.
The UFC was sold this year for over $4 billion.
“Ive earned something. Where is my share? Where is my equity?” He said.
“Ive got both belts, a chunk of money, a little family on the way. If you want me to stick around … I want equal share … I want ownership, I want what I deserve.” He added.
Hollywood actor Mark Walhberg has equity in the UFC and he was asked would he be willing to sell his stake to McGregor.
“Absolutely! As a matter of fact, I’ll give him a piece of mine because he is the face of the UFC right now. He deserves that. He’s a hustler like me, so there’s probably a lot of opportunities for us to go out and make money together,” he told a TMZ reporter.
McGregor, in what seems like a strategic decision, chose to make his move by calling out the new owners in the post fight press conference and upping the ante in what could be a tense and long stand off between the star fighter and the company.
He may have the power, popularity and, numbers to up the ante, it is unsure how the UFC are going to react to his latest words but Dana White said McGregor will not return to the Octagon until May 2017.
“He won’t fight before May. His girl gets super stressed out when he fights. He doesn’t want her having any of that stress while she’s pregnant..
“He’s good. He should take time off. He’s been fighting nonstop. Nothing wrong with him taking time off. It’s good for him and her and it’s good for the baby.” He told the LA Times.