For Conor McGregor, this was, as Floyd Mayweather would often say, easy work.
McGregor won the UFC lightweight championship Saturday before a sold-out Madison Square Garden crowd with a second-round finish, becoming the first man in the 23-year history of the UFC to hold two weight class belts simultaneously.
He entered the bout holding the featherweight title.
“Where’s my second belt?” McGregor shouted after UFC president Dana White wrapped the belt around his waist.
McGregor’s hands were far too fast for Alvarez’s, and he dropped him three times in the first round alone with the left.
In the second, he dropped him early in the round, before finishing it off later with a combination.
He dropped Alvarez with a four-punch combination, then landed several hard shots on the ground, before referee “Big” John McCarthy stopped it at 3:04 of the second.
It was no contest beginning to end. Alvarez was stuffed on two takedown attempts and never really landed a clean punch.
“He’s not on my level,” McGregor said.
He clearly wasn’t, and there few are. It’s not certain what his next challenge will be, but a rubber match with Nate Diaz at UFC 209 in Brooklyn next year would make sense.
Diaz submitted McGregor at 170 pounds at UFC 196 in March, but McGregor avenged that with a great performance at UFC 202 in which he won a decision.
After he was handed his second belt, he climbed atop the cage with one belt over each shoulder and raised his arms in triumph to his fans, who cheered lustily.
He was cool and in control from the beginning to the end. And he had the crowd in the palm of his hands, as he spoke in the cage after the bout.
At one point, he took the microphone and said “I want to take this opportunity to apologize.” After a dramatic pause, he added, “To absolutely nobody!”
The crowd, which roared its approval at his work in the cage, similarly erupted at the line.
He’s made himself into the biggest star in the sport with a brashness fueled by confidence in his fast hands, incredibly accurate punches and devastating kicks.
He didn’t have to do much other than throw punches, Saturday. He had such a clear hand-speed edge that the outcome was a foregone conclusion after only a few moments.
Alvarez clearly needed to take the fight to the mat or at least get him up against the cage. But he was able to do neither and paid for that failure by losing the belt he won from Rafael dos Anjos in July.
He’d long been one of the best fighters in the world and had defeated a ‘who’s who’ of top lightweights, but he simply couldn’t match up with McGregor.
On the UFC’s biggest night, when it finally put on a show in New York City after successfully lobbying to end a 19-year ban on the sport in the state, McGregor made himself into a mega-star.
Nobody in combat sports shines like he does right now.
SOURCE: Yahoo Sports