ByJosh Molina, writer at
Covers mixed martial arts and professional wrestling and the convergence of the two industries.
Josh Molina

Step aside Dana White, Madison Square Garden is Vince McMahon territory.

The biggest, baddest and best UFC event of all time is upon us: is about to hit The Garden with the force of small earthquake. It's a historic show because it will be the first time the promotion will take place in the fabled arena after New York finally legalized MMA earlier this year.

The magnitude of the first MSG show, coupled with the fact that is headlining the event, means history will be made.

Nobody knows what to expect, although this is arguably the best card on paper the UFC has ever offered. The show could match the hype, or the matches could turn out to be duds.

What if Vince McMahon himself, the master of mayhem, and the man responsible for the incredible success of the WWE, could step into MSG and book the finishes? What if he got some help from Triple H, the king of NXT, and his billion-dollar princess daughter Stephanie? We'd be guaranteed PPV bliss. Let's imagine for a second . . .

Conor McGregor vs. Eddie Alvarez

This is easy. McGregor must go over. He's on fire. The UFC has only just begun to tap into how much money they could make off this guy. Movies. T-Shirts. Ice cream bars. McGregor needs to win the lightweight belt in quick, devastating fashion. Sure, let Eddie get an early take down, so the MSG crowd comes unglued when McGregor reverses it on Alvarez and ends up on top, pummeling him with a vicious ground and pound. Give the fight about two minutes.

McGregor wins by TKO, straps both belts on his shoulders and in the post-fight interview calls out Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson, telling him that he's next. "I am going to hold three belts at once and not even Donald Fookin' Trump can stop me!" The show ends with confetti dropped from the ceiling, and McGregor atop the Octagon soaking it all in. Then, out of nowhere, Nate and Nick Diaz storm the cage and pull McGregor down to the mat. They lay the boots to McGregor, then take his belts, with each brother strapping one on each shoulder. They each grab microphones and scream in unison, "I am not surprised, motherf-ckers" and walk out. The MSG crowd chants "HOLY SH-T, HOLY SH-T, HOLY SH-T" to end the show.

McGregorMania running wild. As for Alvarez, he gets rewarded with being able to coach the next season of The Ultimate Fighter, for putting McGregor over.

Winner: McGregor by TKO, Round 1. Then all hell breaks loose.

Tyron Woodley vs. Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson

Let's be real. Woodley is boring and Thompson is a white meat babyface. Woodley can't draw as this tweener; he's not quite a heel nor is he a babyface. He's in no man's land. He's a transitional champion. He's Jack Swagger.

Thompson is a better all-around fighter with more of a marketing upside. He's a striker and excellent kickboxer. Kickboxing sells. Thompson is coming off some great wins and he needs to win here, too. Thompson is going to kick Woodley so hard Woodley's gonna think he's back in the Strikeforce hexagon staring at Nate Marquardt. This is the Garden so Thompson needs to impress. Woodley is absolutely dejected by the loss, sitting on the mat, refusing to get up. Then, all of a sudden, who walks into the cage but Sage Northcutt. Northcutt extends a hand to his friend Woodley, pulls him up to his feet and they hug. The crowd erupts and we have a magical moment inside the Garden.

Winner: Thompson by KO, Round 2

Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz

Polish power! Where's Ivan Putski when you need him? Joanna is a born heel -- the kind of heel we like. There's a history of females doing great things in the Garden. It's where Wendi Richter defeated The Fabulous Moolah and where Moolah as "The Spider Lady" took the title back. So these two leaders of the UFC women's revolution need to put on a great show. Ronda Rousey is on her way out. Holly Holm and Miesha Tate are both vunerable depending on the night. Cris Cyborg can't find anyone good to fight. So that means Joanna is the future of the sport. The champ's walkout music is Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," as a nod to Richter. Joanna's technical striking rules here, but the Garden has high standards so Karolina needs to get in a lot of offense. We're talking a total slugfest, with Joanna finally overpowering Karolina during the last 30 seconds of the first round. Karolina is wearing the crimson mask and Joanna is standing over her, with that sexy-devious look on her face.

Winner: Jedrzejczyk by TKO, Round 2

Chris Weidman vs. Yoel Romero

vs Michael Bisping is the fight to make after Weidman defeats Romero here. Weidman is the future of the division, a good-looking, American guy, who dethroned the so-called greatest mixed martial artist of all time, Anderson Silva. Romero has the stain of a failed drug test hurting him and the MSG crowd is not forgiving. Weidman is a New York guy who will emerge as the real star of this show after he dismantles Romero. Romero's gonna clobber Weidman early with his big right hand (look away Tim Kennedy) and the former middeweight champion will fall faster than Bisping did against Dan Henderson. But we all know that great American heroes overcome adversity and succeed when others fail. Weidman, after taking the beating of his life against Luke Rockhold, will use that loss to inspire him to fight through his pain and survive the round.

Romero will spend the rest of the fight stalking Weidman, while Weidman will strike and kick effectively to score points in Round 2. Romero, thinking that Weidman is gonna dance the rest of the fight, will be shocked when the New Yorker shoots for the takedown, takes Romero's back and submits a gassed Cuban with a rear naked choke.

In the post-fight interview, Weidman tells the world that he's coming for his title. Weidman will say: "Michael Bisping, you have a new destiny, to bring back the title to the real champion of the world, and let's do it, right here in NEW YORK CITY, in front of the greatest fans in the world!" The UFC will be printing money.

Winner: Weidman, Third Round submission

Miesha Tate vs. Raquel Pennington

This is easy. needs to win here to set up the trilogy match with Ronda Rousey after Rousey snaps Amanda Nunes' arm in December. What better way for Rousey to retire than after submitting Tate for the third time via armbar?

Tate is a bigger star than Holly Holm, who isn't a draw even though she upset Rousey.

There's a rumor that Tate and boyfriend Bryan Caraway have split. Which means that if this is being booked like a WWE event, Pennington will walk to the Octagon led by none other than Caraway, who has turned on his longtime girlfriend. Tate is unfazed, and is empowered by Katy Perry's "Roar" as she storms to the Octagon.

Tate needs a convincing win here to make sure she gets the title shot. Tate is a notoriously slow starter, but since this is the opening match of the main show, Tate and Pennington are going go out there like Rey Misterio vs Juventud Guerrera and have five minutes of MMA splendor to open the show. We're talking full on slugfest/catfight here. Tate will drop her about four minutes into the round, then jump on her. Since they are building to the Rousey match, Tate will tap Pennington out with an armbar, to send a message to Rousey.

In the post-fight interview, Tate grabs the microphone and says she hopes Rousey defeats Nunes because she wants one more fight against the "washed-up, Olympic failure. You weren't the future, Rhonda, you were nothing but a fluke!" Then, MSG goes dark. Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation" hits and the roof blows off MSG. Out walks Rousey. She runs to the cage like The Ultimate Warrior and attacks Tate, throwing her to the mat and slapping on the armbar. But since it's an unsanctioned match, she won't let go. Caraway, who was already in the back with Pennington races back to the Octagon to the biggest pop he will ever hear in his life. He pulls Rousey off Tate and Rousey smiles.

Caraway then turns to Tate, picks her up and hugs her. The two reunite in MSG. Rousey, however, unwilling to be shown up, judo throws both of them at the same time while they are locked together in a hug. She she raises her right hand in the air, and then with a microphone in other says, "After I destroy Amanda Nunes, I am coming for you Miesha and I will shut your mouth once and for all!"

What a way to start the show.

Winner: Tate by Third Round submission


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