The heavyweight title fight that seemingly everyone was talking about prior to it happening brought in pretty disappointing in PPV sales. Well, maybe not in this era of low pay-per-view sales. With the numbers now available, Dave Meltzer of MMA Fighting reports that UFC 220 did a measly 340,000 to 380,000 PPV buys, with UFC […]
The heavyweight title fight that seemingly everyone was talking about prior to it happening brought in pretty disappointing in PPV sales.
Well, maybe not in this era of low pay-per-view sales.
With the numbers now available, Dave Meltzer of MMA Fighting reports that UFC 220 did a measly 340,000 to 380,000 PPV buys, with UFC 219 doing similar numbers.
Much has been made lately about the UFC in a post-ZUFFA world, as talent mega-agency WME-IMG’s new ownership has taken the promotion in a different direction. With less superstars readily available, they seem to stack a card with belts, of varying significance, like they did with UFC 219 which featured a women’s featherweight title fight between Cyborg and Holly Holm.
A co-main event between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Edson Barboza was incredible but clearly didn’t add to any kind of draw for UFC 219.
UFC 220 featured the aforementioned heavyweight title fight between Miocic and Ngannou as well as light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier running roughshod on Volkan Oezdemir. But Cormier has never been the draw that Jon Jones was when he held the belt, and Miocic has always been a bit stale on the mic, meaning he lets his fists do the promoting; you won’t hear much trash talk or hype coming from Miocic.
That said, there seems to be a continued trend of abysmal pay-per-views lately. Is it just a blip or is it a sign of things to come?
It seems the collective mixed martial arts world may be a bit burnt out on waiting for UFC lightweight champ Conor McGregor to return to the Octagon, and one of his biggest prospective foes is no different. Although a host of potentially massive UFC bouts, most namely a title unification bout with the winner of […]
It seems the collective mixed martial arts world may be a bit burnt out on waiting for UFC lightweight champ Conor McGregor to return to the Octagon, and one of his biggest prospective foes is no different.
Although a host of potentially massive UFC bouts, most namely a title unification bout with the winner of UFC 223’s Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov, await the controversial Irishman, McGregor has largely drug his feet concerning his return since a reported $100 million payday to box Floyd Mayweather last August.
And it’s the money tied to “Money” that appears to be driving McGregor once again, as any buzz surrounding his next fight has seemed to be focused on a potential – and farcical – MMA bout with Mayweather in the UFC. That has many justifiably wondering if he’ll ever return to MMA, a sentiment Nurmagomedov echoed during a recent interview with TMZ Sports:
In the brief spot, “The Eagle” stated that McGregor’s lengthy absence from MMA dating back to November 2016
“When is Conor compete last time in MMA? I forget about this. Yeah long time. He’s boxing guy. He’s good to stay in boxing, because you have to compete in MMA, like wrestling, grappling, completion is like 25 minutes – it’s very hard to him.”
A solid point to be sure, but lest we not forget Nurmagomedov took almost two years off himself with a litany of concerning injuries that had him wondering if he would ever compete in MMA again, so while it’s a different (and perhaps more understandable) reason, layoffs happen in a sport as unpredictable as MMA.
As for McGregor, Nurmagomedov wondered when he would actually come back, doubting that he would at all:
“But when? They talk about Mayweather fight. I don’t think he gonna come back.”
If he does not, his lightweight title would obviously have to be contested between Ferguson and Khabib, although the UFC has yet to make anything official on that front. But with rumors flying that they will do just that the day before UFC 223, “The Eagle” insists he’s “100 percent” has a contract in place to fight Ferguson for the unified title:
“We gonna fight for his belt. UFC strip his belt now, we gonna fight for real belt. 100 percent. I have contract, I have contract, like real belt. What they gonna do? They have only one real belt – they have interim belt and they have real belt. They send me contract. We gonna fight with Tony Ferguson for real belt. I have contract.”
“They gonna strip this belt. I have contract for real belt. I don’t know, maybe they don’t want him upset because he make good money. maybe? I know that I’m gonna fight for the real belt because I have contract.”
The waiting game will continue on that front, but if McGregor ultimately does not return, the sport would miss out on a massive McGregor vs. Nurmagomedov fight in Russia, a bout that could realistically be the biggest fight in UFC history.
“The Eagle” isn’t too optimistic it will ever happen, however:
With rumors abound that Floyd Mayweather will somehow make his way to the UFC to face Conor McGregor in a rematch under MMA rules, speculation about “Money’s” UFC debut is running rampant. He’d clearly be a massive underdog to UFC lightweight champion McGregor, just like ‘The Notorious’ was to him heading into their first match […]
With rumors abound that Floyd Mayweather will somehow make his way to the UFC to face Conor McGregor in a rematch under MMA rules, speculation about “Money’s” UFC debut is running rampant.
He’d clearly be a massive underdog to UFC lightweight champion McGregor, just like ‘The Notorious’ was to him heading into their first match in the boxing ring last year (although it wasn’t as much as you would have thought), but ‘Money’ is already a sizable dog to a much less touted UFC fighter now as well.
After Joe Rogan recently spouted off that Mayweather should take a ‘tune-up’ fight in MMA with 0-1 former pro wrestler Phillip “CM Punk” Brooks, who, at 39 years old, has competed one time in the Octagon since his debut was announced at UFC 181 in December 2014. Rogan seems to believe that Mayweather ‘has a real chance’ against Brooks, but the oddsmakers at BetDSI.com beg to differ.
According to their newly-released fight odds for the far-off bout, Punk would come in as a significant -300 (three-to-one in favor of him) favorite while Mayweather is a +220 underdog, meaning a $100 bet on him would earn you $220 if he won. When questioned by Bloody Elbow about their rationale for the early odds, BetDSI has the following to say:
“If they fought in UFC, Punk would probably destroy him. Punk’s size will come into play, and he’s been grappling with high-level guys for some time now. He’ll get the fight to the floor and finish Floyd. Punk via ground.”
Decent enough points to be sure, but it’s also worth noting Punk got destroyed by Mickey Gall on the ground in his first UFC fight. Mayweather is nowhere near that level on the mat, of course, and Punk would likely hold a massive edge there, but ‘Money’s’ edge on the feet would be sizable as well.
Rogan also brought up the point of Mayweather’s numerous past issues with hand injuries, a dynamic that would obviously be greatly enhanced if he decides to fight with four-ounce gloves.
Dynamics aside, however, it’s a fight that will almost assuredly never happen, and it’s also a bit of a joke that we’re talking about this fight actually taking place in the UFC today.
That’s what it takes the new UFC owners (who aren’t so new anymore – just appearing to be inept) to sell fights in 2018, I guess.
Although Conor McGregor hasn’t entered the Octagon since November 2016 when he stopped Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 to become the UFC’s lightweight champion, he remains one of the hottest topics in combat sports. Unfortunately, it’s becoming because of his beleaguered inactivity in favor of flaunting his newfound wealth. After dethroning Alvarez, McGregor campaigned for […]
Although Conor McGregor hasn’t entered the Octagon since November 2016 when he stopped Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 to become the UFC’s lightweight champion, he remains one of the hottest topics in combat sports.
Unfortunately, it’s becoming because of his beleaguered inactivity in favor of flaunting his newfound wealth.
After dethroning Alvarez, McGregor campaigned for and eventually landed a boxing match against unbeaten former multi-division world champion Floyd Mayweather. The fight, which took place on Aug. 26, 2017, ended up being one of the most lucrative fights of all-time, although McGregor ended up losing via TKO in the 10th round.
Now, his fighting future is highly unclear.
Some feel the Irishman will never return to competition, but he has, at times, showed interest in doing so – if only for a farcical rematch.
With that being said, it’s anyone’s guess as to whether or not McGregor will return, but let’s take a look at five opponents who ‘should’ draw the “Notorious” one back to fight again:
5) Tony Ferguson
At this point, Tony Ferguson is the interim lightweight champion, we think.
At UFC 223, set for April 7, 2018, from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, Ferguson will take on undefeated lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov for what UFC President Dana White has labeled the true lightweight championship, although McGregor has yet to be stripped, which is where the confusion stems.
Either way, if McGregor would like to remain champion, he’ll have to defend his belt eventually, and if Ferguson beats Nurmagomedov, that’ll be the fight to make.
However, I don’t see Ferguson being on top of McGregor’s wish list when it comes to opponents.
First off, despite the fact that he’s riding an incredible win streak, Ferguson hasn’t transcended into a being star for whatever reason, and although a fight involving McGregor will sell regardless, he typically chases only big names and big opportunities, especially at this point.
Also, Ferguson appears to represent a bad stylistic match-up for “The Notorious.” He possesses awkward and unorthodox striking, elite level grappling, and endless cardio.
Grappling and cardio have always seemed to be McGregor’s Achilles’ heel in the Octagon.
If and when he decides to return, McGregor may be forced to defend his title against Ferguson, but I just don’t think “El Cucuy” is the type of opponent that will get the Irishman’s competitive juices flowing.
If he were truly interested in being an all-time great champion, the fight certainly should, however.
At this point, it’s safe to say the majority of the collective mixed martial arts world is growing impatient waiting for Conor McGregor’s first official title defense. The Irish megastar has been out of action since his TKO loss to Floyd Mayweather last August, and he hasn’t set foot in the Octagon since winning the […]
At this point, it’s safe to say the majority of the collective mixed martial arts world is growing impatient waiting for Conor McGregor’s first official title defense.
The Irish megastar has been out of action since his TKO loss to Floyd Mayweather last August, and he hasn’t set foot in the Octagon since winning the UFC lightweight title against Eddie Alvarez in November 2016. He also hasn’t defended a single UFC title, getting stripped of the featherweight belt he won in December 2015 shortly after winning the 155-pound title.
But the only word we’ve even remotely heard from “The Notorious” is about a potential rematch with Mayweather in the UFC, the most lucrative but least dangerous fight he could pursue in MMA. With interim champ Tony Ferguson set to meet top contender Khabib Nurmagomedov for some form of the belt in the main event of April 7’s UFC 223, Dana White has stated the winner would ‘be the champion’ while remaining coy if the promotion would actually strip McGregor.
One top UFC lightweight contender thinks it’s coming, however. No. 5 Dustin Poirier recently told MMA Fighting that the UFC will strip McGregor at UFC 223 and the official belt will finally be on the line:
“I think they’re stripping Conor here, and they’re going to fight for the real belt.
“This sport is a crazy thing, and what happens, it’s unpredictable. But I think the winner of Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib is going to be the real, undisputed UFC lightweight champion.”
The sentiment among many MMA fans is that the winner at UFC 223 would be the official champion no matter what the UFC said, yet they definitely could make a huge splash by stripping McGregor the day before the fight.
As for the match-up itself, Poirier gave the advantage to the dominant Nurmagomedov after he was able to smash formerly surging Muay Thai striker Edson Barboza in his last bout:
“Just the two styles, I think Khabib’s going to pressure him and be stronger and better on top, harder to submit,” Poirier said. “I mean, if Kevin Lee can take Ferguson down, Khabib is going to do the same. And we’ll see. We’ll see [Ferguson] on his back again, we’ll see him throwing elbows and throwing submissions. It’s an interesting fight, for sure, but I think the most dangerous thing is how long it lasts on the feet.
“I know Tony’s really unpredictable, moves in weird, awkward ways, different timing. Khabib’s not as fluid of a striker, but we’ve never really seen Khabib in trouble on top, in guard. He does a lot of damage from the top position as well. So it’s an interesting fight, but I think Khabib’s going to come out ahead.”
Currently 2-0(1) in his last three fights with the no contest a highly controversial result versus Alvarez at UFC 211, Poirier has the biggest fight of his career when he meets blood-and-guts fan favorite Justin Gaethje in the main event of UFC on FOX 29 on April 14, one week after UFC 223.
He’s obviously planning on beating Gaethje, and believes he’ll be deserving of a title shot in his next fight if and when he does:
“I’m on the right track,” Poirier said. “I’ve just got to keep winning, and winning solves everything. So I’m going to come out here in two months and beat Gaethje, and I feel like I might get a title shot. I feel like I should get a title shot with that win.
“Get past Gaethje and fight the winner (of UFC 223), and I think it’s going to be Khabib.”
A lot of that, of course, is going to depend on what McGregor’s next move is.
If the current champ chooses to pursue yet another farcical (but lucrative) match-up with Mayweather, then “The Diamond” could be pushed to the front of the pack with a win over “The Highlight.” If McGregor returns to face either Ferguson or Nurmagomedov, however, then the lightweight division will remain stagnant despite a list of top contenders looking – and deserving to – get their shot.
It’s a mess unlike one we’ve ever seen in modern MMA – and there’s no clear end in sight. Would the UFC create some clarity by stripping “The Notorious” at UFC 223?
UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor appears focused on doing anything but defending his title, and apparently, that includes living it up in Amsterdam. Following his reported $100 million payday to box Floyd Mayweather last August, the Irish megastar has been spotted galavanting about Europe in a variety of situations. This one’s a new, however. In […]
UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor appears focused on doing anything but defending his title, and apparently, that includes living it up in Amsterdam.
Following his reported $100 million payday to box Floyd Mayweather last August, the Irish megastar has been spotted galavanting about Europe in a variety of situations.
This one’s a new, however. In a photo from MMA Netherlands on Instagram (via MMA Mania), McGregor was spotted in an Amsterdam coffee shop where an employee was working with a solid amount of marijuana behind the register. Obviously, there’s no telling what McGregor purchased, as coffee shops in Amsterdam legally sell marijuana in droves every day.
McGregor could have been purchasing a latte or some pound cake. Check it out and speculate for yourself: