The official card for November 12’s awaited UFC 205 pay-per-view (PPV) event was finally released by the promotion with the confirmation of Conor McGregor vs. Eddie Alvarez in the main event late last night, and it’s safe to say that the UFC’s New York debut from historic sports venue Madison Square Garden is one of, if not the, most anticipated MMA moments of 2016 – and even all time.
However, that distinction may have once belonged to July’s UFC 200, the supposed “biggest, baddest event ever,” which was pegged as arguably the most stacked card of all time before a slew of problems, including last-minute changes and disappointing drug testing issues, lead to a wholly lackluster, uninspired event outside of the Fight Pass preliminaries.
Thankfully for the UFC – and the overall state of MMA as a whole – UFC 205 has a long list of high-profile bouts that could (should?) serve to quickly erase the bad memories of UFC 200 from their minds, if they haven’t been already.
Let’s break down five fights that will prove UFC 205 has the star power to decimate UFC 200 on paper.
5.) Donald Cerrone vs. Kelvin Gastelum:
This welterweight card-starter already trumps UFC 200’s welterweight offering between Gastelum and former champ Johny Hendricks, which Gastelum won via ho-hum unanimous decision. “Bigg Rigg” may be a former champion, but he’s also looked like a shell of his formerly dominant self this year, and it was hard for the much more spry Gastelum to put on a good show at UFC 200 without a willing dance partner.
It may not be the “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler vs. “Cowboy” bout we were all hoping for, yet it does provide a potentially exciting scrap to set the tone for the PPV card.
Cerrone has absolutely been on fire in his last three fights, finishing off Alex Oliveira, Patrick Cote, and most recently, Rick Story to reinvent himself at 170 pounds following a stoppage loss to Rafael dos Anjos for the lightweight strap late last year. Gastelum has quietly planted himself as a top five contender in arguably the UFC’s most talented division, making this bout a crucial one with pivotal title implications.
No matter who wins, the welterweight division will have a new contender towards the top; one who could contend for the title after Demian Maia gets his shot (or face Maia himself).
Either way, it would seem this fight is a can’t-miss bout that will get the UFC’s New York party started right.