2016 has been a big year for MMA fans, particularly those who like UFC. We saw the end of Ronda Rousey’s unbeaten streak and Bantamweight title reign. We saw the return of Jon Jones (following a suspension, before another suspension) and Brock Lesnar (on a special guest appearance from WWE. Speaking of WWE, we also finally got to see the long awaited UFC debut of CM Punk, as brief as it was.
After Rousey, the biggest name in MMA today is Conor McGregor, and fans from all over the world are expected to invade New York City to see the Notorious one compete. If you’re one of the thousands of UFC fans heading to the Big Apple, make sure you complete your ESTA registration to ensure you’ll be entitled to enter the country.
Madison Square Garden
Perhaps the most historic arena in the entire world, it has played host to some of the biggest events in sports and entertainment. John Lennon, Elton John and Elvis Presley have all headlined shows here and it was also the venue for The Concert For New York City to honour the people who lose their lives in the September 11th attacks. MSG hosts around 320 sporting events every single year where it is the home to the New York Rangers hockey team and the New York Knicks basketball team. The first ever Wrestlemania event was hosted here in 1985, as was Wrestlemania X and XX in 1994 and 2004, respectively.
UFC 205 will be a historic event because it is the first time they’ve held an event at MSG. This is mainly due to the fact that MMA was banned in the state of New York ever since 1997 and only recently lifted in 2014.
Alvarez vs. McGregor
The main event of the evening has had fans salivating for a number of months. McGregor won the UFC Featherweight Championship back in December 2015, when he knocked out José Aldo within 13 seconds of the first round (the fastest finish in UFC title history). Following that, the Irishman moved up a weight class to compete in the Lightweight division. He was scheduled to challenge Rafael dos Anjos (Lightweight Champion at the time) at UFC 196 in an attempt to become the first ever double champion. However, Alvarez pulled out of the fight due to a foot injury.
In the meantime, Eddie Alvarez ended up winning the Lightweight Championship from dos Anjos while McGregor was locked into a feud with Nate Diaz. But following a brief detour, McGregor is back on track to becoming a double champion, and his Featherweight Championship will not be on the line.