Conor McGregor to face Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 in historic New York fight

UFC superstar Conor McGregor was noticeably absent from the organization’s historic UFC 200 card in July.

He won’t miss another chance to be a part of another monumental event as he has been tabbed to headline UFC 205 on Nov. 12, the first time the octagon will be in Madison Square Garden.

McGregor, the featherweight champion, will challenge Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight title in the main event of the organization’s first event in New York since state officials earlier this year lifted a ban on professional mixed martial arts events that was enacted in 1997.

UFC president Dana White announced the bout late Monday night on ESPN.

“This 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 told ESPN. “This card has three world title fights and is the best card in UFC history.”

Tyron Woodley will defend the welterweight belt against Stephen Thompson and women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk will defend her title against Karolina Kowalkiewicz.

McGregor could become the first fighter in UFC history to simultaneously hold belts in two different weight classes. BJ Penn and Randy Couture have held UFC titles in two separate weight classes, but at different times.

The Irish star was previously scheduled to challenge Rafael dos Anjos for the lightweight belt in March before dos Anjos was forced to withdraw less than two weeks before the fight due to an injury. McGregor instead fought Nate Diaz and suffered his first UFC loss.

A rematch between McGregor and Diaz was scheduled for July 9 in the main event of UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena, but McGregor was pulled from what was supposed to be the organization’s biggest event ever over a disagreement about media obligations.

The show went on without him and after a public spat with White, McGregor was once again booked for the rematch against Diaz at UFC 202 on Aug. 20. That event did massive numbers at the box office and on pay per view as McGregor avenged the loss and set himself up for a shot at the belt Alvarez won from dos Anjos in May.

Jose Aldo, who lost the featherweight belt to McGregor in December 2015, now holds the interim featherweight title. He is theoretically next in line to fight McGregor at featherweight, but that rematch will have to wait.

A press conference is scheduled for 3 p.m. Tuesday to unveil the full UFC 205 card.

Contact reporter Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-224-5509. Follow on Twitter: @adamhilllvrj

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