UFC 205 takes place on Saturday, November 12, 2016, at the Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. The card will be televised on pay-per-view following the FS1 prelims. Feature fights include welterweight champion Tyron Woodley vs. Stephen Thompson, Chris Weidman vs. Yoel Romero, Rashad Evans vs. Tim Kennedy and Donald Cerrone vs. Kelvin Gastelum.
The UFC is coming to New York for the first time in promotional history. More specifically, the world’s biggest MMA promotion is coming to the legendary Madison Square Garden. It took years for the state to sanction MMA as a sport, and Dana White and Company are making sure to put together a card worthy of one of greatest sporting venues in the world.
Let’s take a look at some of the most notable matchups so far.
Opening odds at BookMaker: McGregor -145, Alvarez +125
Odds Update: McGregor -150, Alvarez +130. Over/Under: o1.5-170
No marquee event would be complete without “Notorious” Conor McGregor, and the 145-pound champion has a chance to become the first man to simultaneously hold two titles in different weight classes. And whether you love or hate the Irishman, you cannot deny that every one of his nine UFC fights have been ridiculously entertaining. Eddie Alvarez is fresh off an upset knockout victory over Rafael dos Anjos, where he reminded us of his dangerous boxing abilities. However, it’s more likely that Alvarez will try to impose his wrestling on McGregor, whose power makes him a threat to end the fight at any time.
It just doesn’t get any bigger than Conor McGregor vs. Eddie Alvarez. This is more than a money fight. It’s champion vs. champion matchup. It has the biggest UFC superstar (PPV-wise) in history gunning to be the first man to simultaneously hold titles in two weight classes. And it’s all taking place in the UFC’s first trip to New York after years of failed negotiation. At the legendary Madison Square Garden, of all places. It’s the biggest fight on the best card in UFC history. Betting action is already through the roof for the entire card. If you haven’t already wagered on the main event, we’ve got an educated prediction for you. Continnue...
Opening odds: Thompson -175, Woodley +150.
Odds Update: Thompson -200, Woodley +170. Over/Under: o2.5-135
Woodley might be the champ, but Thompson is the guy everybody’s itching to see. The South Carolina native has taken the 170-pound division by storm with a flashy kickboxing style ripped straight from Tony Jaa movies. His first-round KO of former champion Johny Hendricks prompted middleweight champion Michael Bisping to proclaim that Thompson would be the titleholder before the year was over.
“Wonderboy” could make that prophecy come true, but it won’t be easy. Woodley is arguably the most explosive athlete in the welterweight division, and he’s fresh off a stunning one-punch knockout of the famously durable Robbie Lawler. What’s more, his NCAA wrestling background could pose serious problems for a kickboxer like Thompson.
People tend to forget how good welterweight champion Tyron Woodley is. But with his one-punch knockout of Robbie Lawler at UFC 201, T-Wood reminded everyone that he is the most explosive athlete in the division. But now, he’ll face the most dynamic striker in the weight class - Stephen Thompson - in his very first title defense. And it seems that oddsmakers are siding with Thompson flashy offense over Woodley’s unpredictable style. Continue...
Opening odds: Jedrzejczyk -350, Kowalkiewicz +270.
Odds Update: Jedrzejczyk -377, Kowalkiewicz +306. Over/Under: o4.5-185
In an all-Polish championship match, women’s strawweight titleholder Joanna Jedrzejczyk will defend her title against Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Joanna Champion has quickly risen to No. 2 women’s pound-for-pound fighter in the world behind Cris Cyborg. Her ascent has been meteoric, and her violent Muay Thai stylings has quickly gained her scores of fans who tune in to see her systematically break opponents.
Kowalkiewicz is coming of a gritty upset win over Rose Namajunas, but she’ll enter this matchup as a huge underdog. While an accomplished Muay Thai striker in her own right, she doesn’t have J-Check’s signature snap to her strikes, nor the textbook technique.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk will defend her strawweight title at UFC 205 on Saturday night in New York against Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Both fighters come into this bout unbeaten as Jedrzejczyk is 12-0 including 6-0 in the UFC while Kowalkiewicz is 10-0 including 3-0 in the UFC. These two fighters grew up 79 miles apart in Poland and they actually fought as amateurs in 2012 with Jedrzejczyk winning in the first round. Let’s look at the bout and UFC picks. Continue...
Opening odds: Weidman -170, Romero +145.
Odds Update: Weidman -165, Romero +140.
Former middleweight champion Chris Weidman will look to punch his ticket back into a title match against Cuban hulk Yoel Romero. Having grown up in nearby Long Island, Weidman had been pushing hard to get a spot on the New York card, citing the many family and friends he’d have in attendance.
This matchup could produce some of the highest level wrestling we’ve ever seen inside a cage. Weidman is a two-time Division I All-American, while Romero earned an Olympic silver medal in freestyle wrestling. And they both have knockout power in spades, meaning this fight is wide open to interpretation.
Long Island native and former middleweight champion Chris Weidman will get his long-awaited wish to fight in New York City at UFC 205 - the promotion’s first trip to the state. But his task won’t be an easy, as awaiting him across the octagon will be the hulking Yoel Romero, who has been biding his time while serving a suspension for PEDs. The winner of this matchup could very well be the next to challenge champion Michael Bisping, depending on how Rockhold vs. Souza plays out as well. Continue...
Opening odds: Kennedy -220, Evans +180.
It’s been awhile since we’ve seen former Army Ranger Tim Kennedy inside the octagon, but he’s set to welcome former light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans to the middleweight division. The weight class is already plenty crowded at the top, but the winner could force his way into title contention.
The question is how much Evans has left - will the drop in weight revive his struggling career? Major injuries have sidelined “Suga” for years, and he looks to have lost a step, which is a problem for a fighter who was defined by his speed and explosiveness.
Opening odds: Cerrrone -170, Gastelum +140
Cerrone has already proved that he’s one of the best lightweights in the world. Now he has the chance to show that he’s a contender at 170 pounds too. He’s one three straight in his new weight class, with his last victory coming against a criminally underrated Rick Story. Now, he’ll face a legitimate contender in No. 5 Kelvin Gastelum.
Few people put on a show better than “Cowboy”, and Gastelum is always a tough out. This fight projects to be a trench war - which should please the virgin New York crowd plenty.