Conor McGregor knocks out Alvarez to make UFC history

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Featherweight champion Conor McGregor capped the UFC's triumphant return to New York by knocking out Eddie Alvarez to claim the lightweight crown and become the first fighter in the history of the promotion to hold two UFC belts simultaneously.

Southpaw McGregor downed Alvarez three times in the opening round, leaving the champion stunned and on the back foot for the entire five minutes, and it didn't get any better for the Philadelphia native.

Alvarez's attempts to take the fight to the mat were thwarted by the 28-year-old, who continued to dictate the pace in the second in front of a packed house, most of whom were cheering for the Irishman.

See images from the history-making fight:

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Conor McGregor makes UFC history
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Conor McGregor makes UFC history
Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) fights Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) fights Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) celebrates with his two championship belts after defeating Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) celebrates with his two championship belts after defeating Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) celebrates with his two championship belts after defeating Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) fights Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: UFC featherweight and lightweight champion Conor McGregor of Ireland poses for a picture during the UFC 205 post fight press conference at Madison Square Garden on November 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: Conor McGregor of Ireland sits in his locker room prior to his lightweight title fight against Eddie Alvarez during the UFC 205 event at Madison Square Garden on November 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Ed Mulholland/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Conor McGregor, right, fights Eddie Alvarez during a lightweight title mixed martial arts bout at UFC 205, early Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Conor McGregor leaves the octagon with his title belts after knocking out Eddie Alvarez during a lightweight mixed martial arts bout at UFC 205, early Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
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Midway through the second round McGregor unleashed another combination and this time there was no way back for Alvarez as McGregor pounced to finish the fight.

"Eddie is a warrior but he shouldn't be in here with me. You've got to have size, reach, length, you've got to have attributes," he told ring announcer Joe Rogan following the bout.

"I'd lake to take this chance to apologize ... to absolutely nobody," he roared before taking his two belts and scaling the side of the octagon to celebrate.

The 32-year-old Alvarez had won the title from Rafael Dos Anjos back in July and after McGregor was done avenging his only UFC defeat to Nate Diaz, he immediately set his sights on taking that second belt.

With the ban on mixed martial arts in the state lifted in March of this year, the UFC returned to New York after an absence of over two decades, staging a card stacked with fights and backed up by a ton of hype.

While others on the bill failed to live up to it, McGregor once again proved his value to the UFC by putting on a spectacular show with another superb knockout win to go with his 13-second defeat of Jose Aldo for the featherweight crown.

Earlier in the evening women's strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk weathered a late storm from her Polish compatriot Karolina Kowalkiewicz, holding on to win a unanimous decision after an epic five-round battle.

In the other title fight on the card, welterweight champ Tyrone Woodley thought he had seen off the challenge of Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson to claim a narrow split decision, but the result initially announced in the octagon was corrected after several minutes and changed to a majority draw.

(Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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