(Photo courtesy of Reuters)
Mixed martial arts history was made on Saturday Nov. 12 at UFC 205, when Irish UFC fighter Conor McGregor became the first person to hold two UFC world championships simultaneously. The reigning featherweight champion won the lightweight championship from Eddie Alvarez three minutes into the second round by knockout.
“I’ve been saying this a long time. I’m very confident in my abilities and what I’m predicting I’m going to do and I back it up. I back it up with work ethic, I back it up with hours upon hours of time and dedication, I never slip, I never take a second off this game. I’m very satisfied, very grateful, very happy but not surprised, I knew it, I knew it was going to happen for me,” said McGregor at a press conference the day after the event.
UFC 205 was held at Madison Square Garden in New York City marking the first UFC event in more than 20 years due to an MMA ban in the city that was lifted in March 2016. UFC President Dana White confirmed the event broke the company’s pay-per-view records but has not yet given a final tally of viewers. The previous record was held for UFC 202: Diaz vs. McGregor 2 which was watched by 1.65 million people.
Ticket sale records were also broken on Saturday night when the event brought in $17.7 million. The previous record for fighting events was held in 1999 for a boxing card headlined by Lennox Lewis vs. Evander Holyfield bringing in $13.5 million. UFC 205 also broke the company’s previous sales record of roughly $12 million for UFC 129: St-Pierre vs. Shields.
McGregor believes he deserves a share of the company given he is a fan favorite and has been performing so well in multiple weight classes. “If you want me to stick around, you want me to keep doing what I’m doing, let’s talk but I want ownership now, I want equal share, I want what I deserve, what I’ve earned,” said McGregor.
McGregor was asked by reporters about potential lightweight title contender Khabib Nurmagomedov defeating Michael Johnson in a third-round submission early on Saturday’s card. McGregor didn’t show any lack of confidence when he said Nurmagomedov wasn’t active enough in the sport to be a challenge. “He doesn’t fight too frequently for my liking, for me to commit to something like that I need solid proof that people are going to show up and he’s a consistent pull-out merchant.”
McGregor has competed in not only the featherweight and lightweight divisions but also the welterweight division. He defeated Nate Diaz in their rematch in August and isn’t yet ruling out competing in all three weight classes. “I feel good at all of them. I mean I’m dominating, I own the featherweight division, now I’m dominating the 155lb (lightweight division) now, do you know what I mean? And 170lb (welterweight division), I’ve no problem going to 170,” said McGregor.