Conor McGregor is fast becoming the athlete that MMA has been looking for all along. He knows how to play the crowd, and when you look at MMA lines, it’s clear that his attitude drives his popularity.
McGregor appeared triumphant even before the fight begun. He raised his hands, playing to the crowds’ expectations even as he approached the ring. He even went so far as to do a victory lap before the first punch was thrown. No wonder people were touting him as the greatest champion the UFC has ever seen.
He wasn’t just confident and cocky; he actually delivered, overwhelming Eddie Alvarez before knocking him out in the second round. The self-Proclaimed King of New York took the UFC Lightweight title home on that Saturday.
And, as a two-class champion, the title ‘King of New York’ is definitely deserved. All anyone wants to know now is McGregor’s next destination. Where is he going next?
Of course, it will be difficult for anyone to stop him once he makes a decision, especially with his status today. McGregor had the match in the bag from the very beginning. In the biggest card in UFC history, McGregor himself had predicted that he would deliver a knockout in the fourth round.
UFC President Dana White has been fielding a lot of questions about the Champion, specifically whether he will be allowed to defend both championships. It would be an intensely difficult road, but Dana was certain that McGregor could handle the challenge.
McGregor didn’t give Alvarez many opportunities, going after him the moment the bell rung. Alvarez was dropped three times in the first round alone. McGregor, on the other hand, didn’t absorb a serious strike in the entire match.
By the second round, McGregor was toying with Alvarez, at one point putting his hands behind his back and daring Alvarez to take a shot. Alvarez was quite battered by the time the match end.
He admitted that he was definitely overwhelmed in the match. The first two-class champion in history didn’t waste any time pairing his two championship belts and finding a comfortable place to seat on top of the cage.
McGregor gave Alvarez some credit for holding his own; however, he suggested that, maybe, Alvarez wasn’t cut out for a match against him. The UFC set a number of records, this including the $17.7 million promotion and MSG gate record.
Tyron Woodley also had an opportunity to retain his welterweight title by going the distance with Stephen Thompson in an rare bout that ended with a draw, allowing the champion to keep his belt. And Joanna Jedrzejczyk successfully defended her UFC women’s strawweight title for the fourth time, against Karolina Kowalkiewicz.
Of course, as impressive as both those fights were, it was McGregor who was the shining star. And he clearly enjoyed the attention and adoration of all his fans. You could see it in the way he played the crowd before and after the match.
They loved him and he loved them. And now it looks like McGregor is ready to move on to bigger things. He told everyone who would listen that he wanted an equity stake in UFC. As he approaches his prime, McGregor now wants a slice of the pie.