Second-round KO of Alvarez gives McGregor second belt
Paul Guenther, a former Western Maryland assistant, will coach the Bengals defense against the Giants tonight
NEW YORK — Count the knockdowns: five. Count the titles: two.
Conor McGregor became the first UFC fighter to wear two belts at once when he picked apart lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez with punches to the head and rolled to a second-round knockout victory at UFC 205 before adoring masses at Madison Square Garden early Sunday morning.
“Where’s my second belt?” Ireland’s personable McGregor asked in the octagon; it wasn’t immediately available.
McGregor (21-3) sized up Alvarez (28-5) immediately and dropped him with blows from his left hand three times in the first round.
Alvarez failed to produce an effective response, missing kicks and failing to find a reversing McGregor with punches until the featherweight champion surged forward and looked for openings again.
“You’ve got to have size, length, some attribute. If you don’t I’ll rip your head off,” McGregor said, and after fighting his two fights before Sunday’s at the welterweight limit of 170 pounds he boasted, “I’ll slay everybody in the company.”
McGregor finished the assault at the 3:04 mark of the second round. He’d knocked down Alvarez earlier in the second before planting a hard punch on the jaw and following that with a blast to the right ear to send the former champion to the canvas.
McGregor pounced and referee John McCarthy waved the bout off.
“I’d like to apologize…to absolutely nobody,” McGregor said, a nod to Alvarez’s Thursday news conference warning that he needed one from McGregor or he’d make him pay for it.
Alvarez was instead the one who paid dearly, as his title reign is over after one defense.
On Saturday night, Tyron Woodley’s big punches won him the best round of his title defense against Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson and allowed him to retain his welterweight belt — by the thinnest of margins.
Woodley (16-3-1) keeps the title by virtue of a majority draw as judges scored the fight 47-47, 47-47, 48-47 in the co-main event.
“We will do it again,” said Thompson (13-1-1), who landed the more effective punches of the fifth round.
In the first of three title fights on the card, Poland’s Joanna Jedrzejczyk defeated countrywoman Karolina Kowalkiewicz on three scores of 49-46 to defend her women’s strawweight belt for the fourth time.