Sport MMA

Saturday 21 October 2017

'Saturday night I become immortal': McGregor ready to make history in New York

Conor McGregor, right, works out ahead of his UFC 205 mixed martial arts bout against Eddie Alvarez during an open workout, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, at Madison Square Garden in New York. McGregor will square off against Alvarez during their match on Saturday. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Conor McGregor, right, works out ahead of his UFC 205 mixed martial arts bout against Eddie Alvarez during an open workout, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, at Madison Square Garden in New York. McGregor will square off against Alvarez during their match on Saturday. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Joe Callaghan in New York City

In an arena that has made more than its share or sporting legends, Conor McGregor insisted that he will achieve his own immortality at UFC 205 on Saturday night.

The Dubliner prowled the boards at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, working out on the basketball court of the New York Knicks in his first public appearance of fight week in New York. This is the UFC's first ever card in the state after being barred from here for so long. But that's not the only history that could be made this weekend with McGregor chasing a second simultaneous divisional title - something that had never been done in the organisation's run.

With lightweight title holder Eddie Alvarez standing in the featherweight champion's way, McGregor faces no small task in the headline fight of a stacked card. Yet the 28-year-old is adamant his "life's work" is about to come to spectacular fruition in the Big Apple. 

"Saturday night I become immortal," said McGregor. "I'm immortalised when I get the second belt and raise it up. It's never been done before. It means absolutely everything to me, it's my life's work. I'm ready I've done everything, I've come in here prepared. We're ready.

"It means the world to me. That's why I kept pushing on it. I couldn't miss this event no way. I built this event and here I am."

Having clearing out much of the featherweight journey on his remarkable rise in the sport, McGregor has long craved a move up to lightweight - the 155-lb division in which he turned in his most impressive performances in his earlier pre-UFC career - and after the diversion up to welterweight for two fights with Nate Diaz, cut a more defined figure as he went through a series of routines with strike coach Owen Roddy. When asked by host Megan Olivi how he felt, he responded with a smirk "How do I look? And I'm feeling better than I look."

When pushed for 'Mystic Mac' prediction, McGregor promised a first-round KO of a rival who has only been knocked out once in a distinguished career. Alvarez is a doughty fighter who former opponents have all heralded for his resilience inside the octagon but McGregor insists he has myriad routes to claiming that second strap.

"I feel like I can do it in many ways," he added. "I can paint many pictures inside that octagon. I can come out with many styles. Every fight is different, every shot is different, every approach is different. That's why they can't figure me out. Be in for a treat."

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