UFC 205 – Madison Square Garden, NYC at 03:00 live on BT Sport 2
When it comes to UFC I normally just do one match-up, but seeing this is one of the biggest events in the sport’s history, and the first time it will be aired in New York, I will be covering all three title fights for my latest betting recommendation.
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Joanna Jedrzejczyk v. Karolina Kowalkiewicz
The night kicks off with the first title fight in the women’s Strawweight division as it is a clash of Poland. Champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk takes on 31-year-old Karolina Kowalkiewicz as one of these fighter’s unbeaten record will come to an end.
Jedrzejczyk’s last fight was against one of her fiercest opponents in Claudia Gadelha and it started off on the back foot with the Brazilian looking on top, yet as the fight went on the Polish scrapper grew into it and showed her experience.
Since winning the title back in March 2015, she has retained it three times and has put herself across as a fighter not to be messed with. Her victory against Jessica Penne was a perfect example of this. Domination at its best.
Karolina, meanwhile, looked very impressive against Rose Namajunas. When she clinched with the American we saw her really make a difference (her knee shots were brutal) and from there it was a different show. However, she seemed quite weak on the floor and that is a strong side of the current champ.
In their head to head at the UFC 205 Conference, Kowalkiewicz reacted to the headbutt by the current champ and I just don’t know whether this will get under her skin. It looked heated! Expect a quality fight (maybe fight of the night) but I don’t see this being a quick bout in the ring. Joanna for the win!
Betting Recommendation: Joanna Jedrzejczyk by Decision or Technical Deicsion at 1.91 with Betvictor
Tyron Woodley v Stephen Thompson
Next on the card is new Welterweight champion Tyron Woodley facing number two ranking Stephen Thompson, as Woodley will want to make it two wins on the bounce after spending a year and a half out of the Octagon.
Woodley’s last bout ended in an impressive KO against former champion Robbie Lawler. People were expecting the experience of Lawler to do the business, but a sharp right-hook tagged the champion and the 34-year-old followed up with a combo of hits in the first round ending the champion’s reign at the top.
To be fair I haven’t seen much of Stephen Thompson, but am hearing good things from this American kickboxer. The 33-year-old has only lost once in his professional career, while remaining unbeaten in his kickboxing career after 57 bouts.
Very effective fighter with his kicks and, like Woodley, a deadly striker in the Octagon. He has a few tricks up his sleeve and can really push Woodley into the corner and pick apart his opponent. Yet, the striking force of the current champ from a standing position into a full sprint is terrifying.
I reckon we may be hearing “and new…” this Sunday, mainly because I think Thompson has that experience and ability to pull this fight out of the bag and clinch the title.
Betting Recommendation: Stephen Thompson by KO, TKO, Submission or Disqualification at 2.10 with Bet365
Eddie Alvarez v Conor McGregor
Now, the main event! Lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez takes on the Notorious one Conor McGregor as the Irishman continues his climb up the UFC rankings and carry on his plan to dominate the division.
I saw the UFC 205 Press Conference on Thursday and I wasn’t impressed. Too much acting, weak insults and pretend chair throwing. Seemed to be getting a bit too big for its boots, but it did make me laugh.
Eddie Alvarez is the current lightweight champ and loves a slugger-fest. Pushing his opponent into the corner and laying punches to the head, and much like other fighters pushes off to hit a deadly combo. Just up to McGregor to defend against this and keep his distance from the 32-year-old.
The Jiu-jitsu fighter has won 28 of his 32 bouts, with 15 by KO. The American’s last bout was against former champions Rafael Dos Anjos who he destroyed through TKO in the first round, as Alvarez has won three on the bounce since his last defeat.
But where do you go when ‘Mystic Mac’ predicts a round one KO? Do I recommended that? One thing for sure is that this will be a great fight. Looking forward to seeing how McGregor advances from his five round bout with Nate Diaz and dropping back down a weight division for his next opponent.
Furthermore, his quick combos will be interesting against a slugger in Alvarez and whether he carries on with a kicking game and if McGregor keeps the champion at a distance.
Five of the Irishman’s last seven bouts have claimed ‘Fight of the Night’ with two claiming ‘Performance of the Night’, so expect something interesting for the main event in Madison Square Gardens.
I’m backing McGregor, and I want to say: “Have I been wrong yet?!” but I won’t get ahead of myself.
Betting Recommendation: Conor McGregor KO, TKO, Submission or Disqualification at 2.00 with Betfair
Prices correct at time of writing.