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Conor McGregor will fight Eddie Alvarez for the UFC lightweight title in the UFC 205 main event in November, attempting to become the sport’s first fighter to simultaneously hold titles in two weight classes.
McGregor, the popular Irish fighter who also holds the featherweight title, and Alvarez will fight Nov. 12 in New York’s Madison Square Garden, UFC President Dana White announced Monday night on ESPN.
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In his first try at holding two belts at once, McGregor (20-3) was originally scheduled to fight Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 196, but dos Anjos injured himself in training. Nate Diaz stepped in for a non-title welterweight fight and won. McGregor avenged that loss with a victory by majority decision over Diaz in August at UFC 202. Alvarez (28-4) won the title with a first-round knockout of dos Anjos in July.
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McGregor won the featherweight title in December with a 13-second knockout of Jose Aldo. According to White, McGregor will retain that title through UFC 205, also giving him the chance to join B.J. Penn and Randy Couture as the only UFC fighters to win titles in multiple weight classes.On Tuesday, White told ESPN’s “SportsCenter” that McGregor won’t be a dual title-holder for long should he win.
“He wants to try to gain both belts and he will give up one of the titles after that fight in New York,” White said (via MMA Fighting).
White answered “good question” when asked which title the Irishman would give up.
He then added this, sparking online intrigue: “[McGregor’s] got some stuff going on right now, some personal stuff that I’m sure he’ll announce when he’s ready. But this fight made sense.”
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The McGregor bout with Alvarez (28-4) will headline the UFC’s first event in New York since the state lifted a ban on pro mixed martial arts that had stood since 1997. The card will feature two other title fights: welterweight champ Tyron Woodley vs. Stephen Thompson and women’s strawweight champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz.
In another big surprise for fight fans, former middleweight champion Chris Weidman will face Yoel Romero in a non-title fight. Weidman last fought at UFC 194 in December, when he lost his belt to Luke Rockhold in the fourth round of a controversial blood-soaked bout. Rockhold has since lost the title to Michael Bisping.
“[McGregor-Alvarez] is the fight the fans wanted, and I’m excited that our very first event at Madison Square Garden will be headlined by Eddie Alvarez defending the lightweight title against Conor McGregor,” White said. “This card has three world title fights and is the best card in UFC history.”
A press conference featuring all UFC 205 Live headliners is scheduled for 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday at the theater at Madison Square Garden.