A huge fight night kicks off at 1am on Sunday, November 13th and you can watch all the action from New York on BT Sport 2, online at BTSport.com and via our stunning BT Sport app.
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It should be a night to remember as the UFC touches down in the Big Apple for the first time since 1995 and McGregor’s bid to make history will take centre stage at the iconic Madison Square Garden.
The Irishman is hoping to become the first man ever to hold championships at two different weights as he aims to add Alvarez’s lightweight belt to his featherweight crown.
McGregor has been in typically bullish form in the run-up to the fight, causing carnage at a midweek press conference by grabbing Alvarez’s strap and placing it next to his own, then threatening to throw a chair at his rival in the ensuing melee (watch in video below).
Some critics have suggested that the American could prove an equally tricky customer as Nate Diaz, who submitted McGregor at UFC 196 and then suffered a majority decision loss in a gruelling rematch at UFC 202.
Certainly there are plenty of similarities between the pair in terms of their mental toughness, command of the octagon, heart, conditioning and, perhaps most significantly, experience.
Alvarez’s 32-fight MMA career has taken him all over the world – Canada, Mexico, Japan, Russia and Costa Rica – and he is unlikely to be fazed by anything McGregor brings to their bout.
Those globe-trotting antics earned him the nickname ‘The Underground King’ but now he is set to headline a historic card after stunning Rafael dos Anjos to claim the lightweight crown in just his fourth UFC bout in July.
Speaking exclusively to BT Sport in the lead-up to UFC 205 (watch full interview below), McGregor hailed Alvarez’s toughness but insisted he has “no chance” of upsetting the odds again.
“I’m going to go out and put on a show,” he said.
“He is tough. He’s a tough guy. He’s been around the block. From the fights of his I’ve seen, he gets hurt badly then soldiers on – so you can do nothing but respect that.
“But it won’t be enough in there. He’s too easily hit – and I’m the hitman.”
McGregor has promised to make a major announcement in the aftermath of the fight, with speculation rife that he could be looking to take a year off.
Such a move would be a disappointment for those who want to see a trilogy match with Diaz in the near future.
The 28-year-old has also faced criticism for his failure to defend his featherweight crown in the past year, having fought Diaz at 170lbs and now Alvarez at lightweight.
In particular, there have been murmurings that he is ducking a potential rematch with Jose Aldo, who he beat with a stunning 13-second knock-out to originally claim the title at UFC 194.
However, McGregor swatted away those suggestions and refused to be drawn on his plans beyond the immediate challenge facing him.
“What’s really exciting me right now is having a gold belt here [gestures to right shoulder] and a gold belt here [gestures to left shoulder],” he said.
“We’re on the brink of history here. This is something really, really big. No-one’s ever come close to [being a two-weight champion]. No-one’s even attempted it.”
McGregor admitted that he’s been working on his wrestling – a traditional strong suit of Alvarez - more than he did for the fights with jiu-jitsu specialist Diaz.
But the American’s striking capabilities should not be underestimated – he is capable of putting together quick, damaging combinations and has an impressive 15 KOs on his record.
In an exclusive interview with BT Sport earlier this week (watch in full below), he explained how the UFC 205 bout is the culmination of a marathon 13-year journey to the top and one he is expecting to mark with a victory.
“I’ve dedicated myself to the sport like no other fighter has. Saturday will be on the biggest stage and I will dominate the opponent in front of me,” he said.
“When I watch him fight, I see things other people don’t see. There are a lot of holes that are there to be exploited and I’m going to exploit them.
“I’ll no longer be ‘The Underground King’… I’ll be ‘The King’.”
Alvarez wears the calm demeanour of a man who fully believes his claim that he had no hesitation in signing up to the fight with McGregor, viewing it as a “gimme” in comparison to some of the other challenges available in the lightweight division.
But as ever, the final word rests with McGregor. How does ‘Mystic Mac’ see the fight panning out?
“I can’t see him getting out of the first,” he said.
“He gets hit and dropped in too many contests.
“It’s going to be a devastating fight for him. He won’t leave it the same, that’s for sure.”
TYRON WOODLEY (c) v STEVE THOMPSON
Also strutting his stuff under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden on Saturday will be welterweight king Tyron Woodley, who has been mooted as a potential future opponent for McGregor.
‘The Chosen One’ made an incredible return to the octagon at UFC 201 after 18 months on the sidelines, producing a devastating striking display to unseat the legendary Robbie Lawler in round one of their title fight.
Woodley, widely viewed as one of the most dangerous fighters currently tied to the promotion, will make his first defence against Stephen Thompson in the second of an unprecedented three title fights on the night.
The man known as ‘Wonderboy’ sealed his crack at the champion with an impressive seven-fight win streak that took in notable victories over Robert Whittaker, Johny Hendricks, Jake Ellenberger and, most recently, Rory MacDonald in June.
Thompson is rated as many observers’ favourite to wrest the title from Woodley's grasp due to his uncanny ability to control the distance and terms of the stand-up exchanges.
The lifelong karateka has also proved himself proficient at blocking attempted takedowns – a tactic which Woodley, with his wrestling pedigree, could well turn to if his speed does not produce a potential avenue for a KO/TKO triumph.
However, the 34-year-old believes the challenger is one-dimensional and views him as a mere stepping stone in his journey to legendary UFC status.
“I’m faster [than Thompson],” he said in an exclusive interview with BT Sport earlier this week (watch in full below).
“I hit harder – I can turn your lights out with one punch. I’m a better grappler, a better grinder and I’ve been in more wars.
“I’m the greatest welterweight in the world and now I’m on the path to be the greatest welterweight ever in the history of the sport.”
JOANNA JEDRZEJCZYK (c) v KAROLINA KOWALKIEWICZ
Completing the trio of title fights at UFC 205 is the clash between strawweight queen Joanna Jedrzejczyk and fellow Pole Karolina Kowalkiewicz.
The duo locked horns as amateurs four years ago, with Jedrzejczyk coming out on top on that occasion, and she is well fancied to repeat the trick in New York.
The build-up to the fight has lacked the venom and personal abuse that characterised her previous outing against The Ultimate Fighter rival Claudia Gadelha.
But the champion knows she must stay focused if she is to extend her unbeaten 12-fight MMA career and make a fifth successful title defence at a time when holding on to a belt is proving elusive for fighters in almost every other weight class.
“I keep my eyes open because Karolina wants to take my dreams, my goals and the belt away from me,” she said in an exclusive chat with BT Sport ahead of UFC 205 (watch in full below).
“I can’t let her do this. Two Polish fighters are fighting for the UFC strawweight title and it’s amazing.
“But on the day of the fight I’ll be the same Joanna from my previous fights. Mentally, I’ll be the same: cold, like a killer. I’ll just go for the win.”
THE BEST OF THE REST...
Before those three bouts, Miesha Tate will make her eagerly awaited comeback against Raquel Pennington after losing her bantamweight crown in devastating fashion to Amanda Nunes at UFC 200.
The main card is completed by Chris Weidman and Yoel Romero aiming to put themselves firmly back in the middleweight title picture, with champion Michael Bisping presumably set to be an interested observer.
There’s also plenty of talent on the undercard, with Frankie Edgar taking on Jeremy Stephens, Michael Johnson facing Khabib Nurmagomedov, Rafael Natal meeting Tom Boetsch and Vicente Luque tackling Belal Muhammad.
The early prelims see Jim Miller take on Thiago Alves at a catchweight of 163lbs, with another women’s bantamweight clash, between Liz Carmouche and Kaitlyn Chookagian, opening the night’s action.
UFC 205: McGREGOR v ALVAREZ: FULL TV AND LIVE STREAM INFORMATION
All the titles listed below are available on TV, right here on BTSport.com and on the BT Sport app.
Saturday, November 12th
9pm-11pm: Cage Warriors Unplugged - BT Sport 1
Whet your appetite for UFC 205 with some Cage Warriors action live from the BT Sport studios as lightweight champion Chris Fishgold faces ex-Ultimate Fighter contender Nic Herron-Webb and Paddy Pimblett tackles Julian Erosa.
11pm-11.30pm: UFC 205 Preview Show - BT Sport 1
Paul Dempsey is joined by ex-middleweight Luke Barnatt to preview the action.
Sunday, November 13th
1am-7.30am: UFC 205 - BT Sport 2
The undercard and main card exclusively live from Madison Square Garden.
Vicente Luque v Belal Muhammad
Rafael Natal v Tim Boetsch
Khabib Nurmagomedov v Michael Johnson
Frankie Edgar v Jeremy Stephens
Miesha Tate v Raquel Pennington
Chris Weidman v Yoel Romero
Joanna Jedrzejczyk v Karolina Kowalkiewicz
Tyron Woodley v Stephen Thompson
EDDIE ALVAREZ v CONOR McGREGOR
7.30am-8.30am: UFC Post Fight Show - BT Sport 2
Live reaction and analysis to the events of UFC 205.
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