Standing on the Knicks’ court Wednesday, just three days ahead of UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden, Conor McGregor was handed a basketball.
He picked a spot near the top of the key, lined up an awkward lefthanded shot and launched the ball at the net.
Of course, he banked it in. (It was unclear if he called “glass.”)
It seems McGregor can do no wrong this week ahead of his lightweight title fight against Eddie Alvarez. Before showing off his jumper, the reigning featherweight champion showed off striking and grappling skills in front of about 500 fans at open workouts ahead of the UFC’s first New York City event.
“It means the world to me, It’s why I kept pushing it” McGregor said of joining the list of starts to compete at the Garden “I’ve had a crazy, busy year, I’ve been working very hard for the fans. I couldn’t miss this event. I built this event, so here I am.”
McGregor said he feels “better than he looks” ahead of his first UFC fight at 155 pounds, where he’ll attempt to take the title from Alvarez. McGregor says he’ll be “immortal” after becoming the first fighter to hold two UFC titles simultaneously, but Alvarez is ready for a battle.
“I’m looking forward to him bringing it on Saturday night,” Alvarez said. “I want him to bring that dog out in me. Bring me some fight, please.”
Pole feeling at home
New York is a long way from Poland, but a few fans made the competitors in Saturday’s strawweight title fight at home.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk, the first Polish UFC champion, will defend her title against her countrywoman, Karolina Kowalkiewicz. A group of fans with Polish flags and signs supporting both women were among the most vocal at the Garden. One fan even passed his young child to Jedrzejczyk for a picture.
“Polish community here is very big,” Jedrzejczyk said. “There’s Warsaw, Chicago and then New York as cities with the biggest Polish communities, so I’m very excited to fight for them and I want to put on a show.”