The UFC’s biggest star will fight in America’s biggest city at the World’s Most Famous Arena.
And to hear Ireland’s Conor McGregor tell it at Tuesday’s UFC 205 news conference at the MSG Theater, the Big Apple is his turf.
“I run New York,” said McGregor, the featherweight champion who will look to become the UFC’s first simultaneous two-division titleholder against lightweight kingpin Eddie Alvarez on Nov. 12 at the Garden.
“The Irish, we built this damn town,” McGregor said. “Now, we’re coming to claim what’s ours. It’s an honor to be here.”
Alvarez, a Philadelphia native, has been calling for a fight against McGregor, the top pay-per-view draw in the company, since winning the lightweight crown in July, labeling the Irishman “the easiest dude in this division.”
McGregor belittled Alvarez over not seeking more money for this fight, while Alvarez mocked McGregor’s “stupid” sunglasses and demanded he take them off. McGregor’s response: “Make me.”
Two more championship bouts are scheduled for the event. New welterweight champion Tyron Woodley will defend his crown against karate specialist Stephen Thompson, plus Joanna Jedrzejczyk puts her women’s strawweight title on the line against Karolina Kowalkiewicz in a battle of top Polish fighters.
UFC president Dana White said the promotion wanted to make a big impression in its NYC debut after New York became the final state to sanction mixed martial arts earlier this year.
“When we finally got New York done and were coming into Madison Square Garden, I wanted to bring the best card possible,” White said. “... This is the biggest card that we’ve ever done.”
Several other stars are set to compete on the undercard including former champs Chris Weidman, Miesha Tate, Frankie Edgar and Rashad Evans.
UFC 205 tickets go on sale to the general public Friday.