By Joseph Santoliquito
NEW YORK, NY (CBS) — Check all of the boxes under annoying when it comes to mixed martial arts and UFC superstar Conor McGregor. He struts and walks with an exaggerated swagger like an inflatable air dancer, prancing around as if the world is a globe and his bare feet are firmly balanced on top of it.
He’s bombastic, rude, charismatic, egomaniacal, condescending, grating, and delusional—still, with all of that, there’s no denying he’s awfully good.
McGregor, looking at least a weight class larger, maybe two, made easy work of Philly’s Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205, the first UFC contest ever held at Madison Square Garden, stopping the UFC lightweight champion at 3:04 of the second round to become the first fighter in UFC history to hold two titles, the featherweight and now the lightweight belts.
In fact, it’s something McGregor made the 20,000-plus crowd quickly know, proclaiming, “Where the (expletive) is my second belt?” McGregor said. “Where is the second belt? Cheap (expletive). $4.2 billion this company sold for and they want to take that one off me already.”
Alvarez was knocked down several times by McGregor’s straight left. It was if his jaw and face were a magnet for the punch, unable to steer clear of it. Alvarez was dropped twice in the opening round, and then another left led to the end, when Alvarez was floored again.
“They are not at my level,” McGregor said. “You’ve got to have some attributes. Eddie shouldn’t have been in here with me.”
Alvarez dropped to 28-5, while McGregor improved to 21-3.
It wasn’t much of a fight. McGregor dominated almost every second of the brief fight.
McGregor appeared to be the much larger fighter when the two stood next to each other. Something also seemed apparent: Alvarez was not in the same class as McGregor. A left by McGregor decked Alvarez in the first, and he floored Alvarez again with another left with around 3:00 left in the round.
From there, it seemed a matter of time. Within the first minute of the second, McGregor’s superior reach tapped Alvarez on the chin, but the Philadelphian backed away just in time. Alvarez couldn’t hurt McGregor with the strikes he did land. And when McGregor touched Alvarez it came with the shock of a bomb.
A left to the back of Alvarez’s head dropped him again. This time, referee “Big” John McCarthy stepped in and called the mismatch over.
Then McGregor once again when into his inflatable air dancer swagger, with his exaggerated arm waving, and wide-gait strut.
Yes, he’s annoying, but he’s awfully good.