UFC 205: Aftermath and Implications

At UFC 205 history was made as Conor McGregor became the first fighter to ever hold titles at two different weights simultaneously as he knocked out Eddie Alvarez in the 2nd round to add the UFC Lightweight title to his featherweight crown.

However, it wasn’t just inside the octagon that history was being made as the UFC held their first ever event in New York with the most famous combat arena Madison Square Garden hosting the event.

One man, two titles

Following the events of UFC 205 it looks like Dana White and his UFC backroom staff will need to assemble their army as they now have the difficult task of prising one of Conor McGregor’s UFC titles away from the first fighter to ever hold two titles at different weights simultaneously.

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McGregor celebrates winning the UFC Lightweight title

 

White, and the UFC, made it clear in the build-up to UFC 205 that if McGregor won the UFC Lightweight title that he would need to relinquish his new title immediately or vacate his UFC Featherweight title which he won back at UFC 194 with his thirteen second knockout of Jose Aldo.

With a difference of opinions on the title situation following UFC 205 discussions between both parties are obviously needed but the overriding issue is can McGregor defend two titles at the same time? The Irish fighter is adamant he can often referring to himself as the most active fighter in the UFC.

McGregor has helped the company climb to new heights with UFC 205 smashing multiple records for the company with UFC President White going as far as saying “Jesus would have to fight the Devil to beat that.”

It’s hard to see the UFC carrying out their threats of removing one of McGregor’s titles with him being their most valuable asset at the moment but only time will tell whether we will get the notorious one defending his crowns at both weight divisions.

What’s next for McGregor?

Even with the issue of McGregor defending two titles still being discussed there are still several options for McGregor’s next bout.

At UFC 200, Jose Aldo came away with the Interim Featherweight Championship after going the distance with Frankie Edgar which means if McGregor was to defend his Featherweight title a rematch with Aldo to unify the titles would be the first, and most logical, option. Aldo has recently voiced his displeasure at the power and sway that McGregor holds within the UFC and has made it clear he will leave the company if he doesn’t get his match for the Featherweight title.

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McGregor knocks out Aldo after 13 seconds at UFC 194

 

But it’s McGregor’s newest title which brings more options. Former champion Alvarez will want a rematch but given the convincing fashion in which McGregor took the title from him it is unlikely to see Alvarez being gifted the opportunity to regain the championship.

Khabib Nurmagomedov extended his unbeaten record to 24-0 at on the preliminary card at UFC 205 with a dominant victory over Michael Johnson which saw the Russian utilise his devastating ground game to his advantage once again. The result meant that Nurmagomedov overtook Tony Ferguson as the #1 contender in the Lightweight division despite Ferguson overcoming former champion Rafael Dos Anjos a fortnight ago.

Both Ferguson and Nurmagomedov would offer tough first title defences for the Irishman. While Ferguson will think, he has earned a shot by knocking off former champ Dos Anjos a McGregor vs Khabib fight is more likely with the Russian still being unbeaten. Nurmagomedov will cause McGregor serious issues on the ground but he must take the Irishman to the floor something that Alvarez couldn’t manage.

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Khabib Nurmagomedov put in a dominant display against Michael Johnson

 

Finally, McGregor’s little detour between each of his titles saw his face-off with Nate Diaz at UFC 196 and UFC 202 and currently Diaz is ranked #5 contender in the Lightweight division and with both men teasing the trilogy match in their press conferences following UFC 202 we could see them do battle once again this time for the Lightweight title.

 

Currently, the Lightweight division is more stacked and hotly contested than the Featherweight division which is why, if McGregor does need to vacate a title, he may choose to relinquish his Featherweight crown and make the move up to Lightweight permanently as champion.

Rematch on the cards?

Tyrone Woodley was successful in his first welterweight title defence against Stephen Thompson but it wasn’t as convincing as he would have liked as he retained his title following a majority draw. Two judges had the tie scored level at 47-47 while the third adjudged that Woodley had edged the bout 48-47.

With the fight being judged so closely there is no doubting the UFC will consider the possibility of a rematch with White even saying in the post-fight press conference that a rematch will be made. It would be silly for the UFC not to put these two men in the cage together again after their fight of the night performance.

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Woodley and Thompson battle it out for the UFC Welterweight title

 

Former champion Robbie Lawler has yet to sign for another fight since he was knocked out by Woodley at UFC 201 and will expect a chance to regain his crown after two successful title defences while champion including the 2015 Fight of the Year against Rory MacDonald back at UFC 189.

Brazilian Demian Maia could be given the opportunity at main eventing the next time the Welterweight title is defended after racking up six consecutive victories including wins over Matt Brown and Carlos Condit.

In the build-up to UFC 205 Woodley had a few verbal spars with UFC Featherweight and Lightweight champion McGregor which has led to people ponder whether the UFC would let McGregor challenge for an unprecedented third title. McGregor has fought in the UFC at Welterweight in his two bouts with Diaz and while the bout would undoubtedly generate huge amounts of money for the company it is extremely unlikely that they will allow him to challenge for another title without defending either the Featherweight or Lightweight title first.

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