IT was billed as a historic night in the Big Apple and UFC 205 did not disappoint as superstar Conor McGregor added to his legacy with a dual-championship win in New York city.
The first ever UFC event in New York was a rousing success and broke attendance records, but it was the victory of McGregor over former lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez that had the entire world talking.
The featherweight champion dominated Alvarez for the opening round before knocking him out cold after landing a brutal three-punch combination that left the Philadelphia native seeing stars.
It was the only title to change hands on a night that had three belts on the line.
McGregor said in the aftermath of the victory that it takes a specific style of fighter to match him inside the octagon.
“Not one bit was surprising, they are not at my level.” McGregor said of his lightweight title victory.
“They have got to have size, reach, length, you have got to have some attributes. If you come in any way equal to me I am going to rip your head off, it happens every time.
“Eddie is a solid competitor, Eddie is a warrior, but he shouldn’t have been in here with me and that’s just the truth of it.”
The victory saw McGregor become the first man in UFC history to claim titles at two different weight divisions, and the 28-year-old said his next move will be gaining a share into the company that he helped turn into a multi-billion dollar product.
“Both belts. Money. I want the ownership now. If we’re going to keep doing this, let’s talk, but I want an equal share. I want what I’ve deserved, what I’ve earned.”
What’s next for Conor McGregor?
Justifiably Conor McGregor is considered the undisputed king of the UFC, but the Irishman is not content just dominating inside the octagon.
The 28-year-old announced in the post-fight press conference that he wants ‘his slice’ of the UFC ownership that he believes he has helped build if he is to continue working for the company.
“If you want to come at me, if you want me to stick around and help service that debt and continue to push the company, bring me on board, for real,” McGregor said.
“I need to be set for life for this. If you want me to be truly on on board, then I need to be all-in on this proper, as an owner, and have an equity stake in the company. That’s what I’m looking for.”
“They’ve got to come talk to me now.”
While the notion of having a share in a company that you fight for seems fanciful at best and a conflict of interest at worst, the main question on everyone’s minds is: who will McGregor fight next?
The Notorious One has stated in the past that the UFC will have to ‘gather an army to try and take’ one of his belts away, and given his maiden title win against Jose Aldo is almost a year ago, a featherweight defence could be the next mode of attack for McGregor.
We took a look at the markets for McGregor’s next potential fights and gave our take on what could be next for Conor.
Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz III
This is the fight that makes the most sense.
Impartial fans will want to see a conclusion, given each man has one victory to their name, and a bout at lightweight for the UFC title would be a money-generating machine for the company, given the last two match-ups broke pay per view records.
After his comprehensive thrashing of fellow contender Michael Johnson, undefeated Russian grappler Khabib Nurmagomedov looks to be the next opponent on merit, but if McGregor and the UFC are serious about breaking records and selling out arenas, Diaz III for the lightweight title will be the next fight for the Notorious.
Conor McGregor vs. Jose Aldo II
If McGregor is to retain both belts it’s inevitable that he would have to go back down to the 145 pound division and a re-match against interim featherweight champion Jose Aldo is the logical match up.
However, given how good Conor looked at the 155 weight class, it is difficult to fathom why he would elect to go back down to featherweight – a weight-cut that takes an enormous toll on his body.
We believe it is in McGregor’s best interests to vacate the featherweight belt and concentrate on the 155 division, but the threat of taking away his dual-championship credentials could sting him into going back down.