Conor vs. Khabib

Shaun Al-Shatti reporting for MMAFighting.com:

And according to White, as long as McGregor is able to clear up his legal trouble, a Nurmagomedov vs. McGregor pairing could very well be in the cards for 2018.

“I’m pretty confident that that is the fight that Conor wants, and I’m pretty confident that that is the fight that Khabib wants,” White said. “So, yeah, I could see that happening.”

It’s on.

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Sports

“…you don’t bring in the third-place team to play for the Lombardi Trophy”

Eddie Alvarez questions legitimacy of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s UFC lightweight title 139:

But Alvarez also doesn’t believe Nurmagomedov should be recognized as the legitimate champion. In Alvarez’s mind, the UFC 223 bout between the Russian standout and 11th-ranked Al Iaquinta — despite the unique set of circumstances that led to the matchup with several potential opponents dropping out — should not have been a title matchup.

“If the Philadelphia Eagles show up for the Super Bowl, and New England can’t make it, you don’t bring in the third-place team to play for the Lombardi Trophy,” Alvarez said. “You have to wait and you have be patient. You can’t tell the No. three, four, five guys ‘you get a title shot.’ It just got silly real fast. Everything got silly real fast, and it made the belt quite meaningless.”

Great analogy by Alvarez. Dropouts in the UFC are quite a problem for the major bouts and finding replacement fighters only solves part of the problem. There’s still the aspect of the belt and who gets it. Sure you can let them fight with neither fighter winning or losing the belt, but this has the defending champ (or the challenging fighter) risking serious injury for no reward.

So what’s the alternative? Cancelling the fight and refunding all the PPV purchases? It’s a tough spot to be in.

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Sports

False Equivalence

Eddie Alvarez thinks Nate Diaz’s ‘ego’ won’t let him say he only wants Conor McGregor fight: ‘Just be honest’:

“The more I think about it, the more I’m like: When Conor takes a break, Nate takes a break,” Alvarez continued. “Conor’s like, ‘I ain’t fighting until August,’ and Nate’s like, ‘Well, I ain’t fighting until July,’ or some sh*t. I guess his ego doesn’t let him say, ‘I just want to fight Conor.’ Just say it. Like, just be honest with everyone. If that’s who you want to fight, there’s nothing wrong with that. But don’t call everyone out if you don’t have any intention of fighting anybody.

I think Alvarez is 100% correct.

I’ve said it before: Diaz has created in his mind a false equivalence between himself and Conor McGregor. He thinks because Conor makes the big money, and he’s fought Conor before, then he should also be able to ask for just as much money. That’s not how it works.

And stop mumbling for shit’s sake.

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Sports

Mayweather in the UFC is a cute idea.

Morning Report: Floyd Mayweather says he has multi-fight offer with UFC, can ‘make a billion dollars’:

Appearing in a live stream on Instagram captured by Fight Hype, Mayweather told his fans that he has a multi-fight offer with the UFC that would make him “a billion dollars.”

“You already know I’m a money-getting motherfucker,” Mayweather said. “I’m Money May. They just called me not too long ago and asked me to come back. I can come right back. If I want to, I can come right back to the UFC. I can go fight in the Octagon. I can do a three- or four-fight deal in the Octagon and make a billion dollars. Remember, I’m Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather, and you motherfuckers love me, and I love you motherfuckers.”

Good luck with that, Floyd.

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Sports

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“laughed at by the fight gods”

Bellator’s unpredictable night shows difficulty of building stars:

Best laid plans in MMA are often thrown by the wayside and laughed at by the fight gods. For Coker and company, Bellator 185 was one of those nights. By the end of it Mousasi was in the hospital, Hardy’s face was destroyed, and Julaton had been upset.

Back to the drawing board.

It’s not just Bellator. It’s tough for any mixed martial arts organization. New champs can be crowned in any fight. Superstars like Conor McGregor are very rare and even their victories are far from guaranteed.

Just look at what happened to Ronda Rousey. It seemed she was the UFC’s next rising superstar, but then her fight with Amanda Nunes happened now her fighting career doesn’t look so bright. Back in January Joe Rogan said he didn’t think she’d fight again and as more time passes it’s looking more and more likely.

People love rooting for their fighter, but it’s hard to do that in such a volatile sport.

Too Much CBD Oil for Nate Diaz

Coach: Nate Diaz ‘needs to get paid at least $20 million’ for Conor McGregor trilogy:

Conor McGregor’s huge paycheck for his boxing match with Floyd Mayweather could mean more money for his future UFC opponents — at least that’s what Nate Diaz’s boxing coach Richard Perez is hoping for.

Diaz’s last two fights under the UFC banner were against “The Notorious” in 2016, and he made $2.6 million dollars in disclosed pay in those bouts combined. After seeing what McGregor made against Mayweather, and the potential money that could be made in a trilogy bout with McGregor in the UFC, Perez expects 10 times more.

“At least $20 million, $30 million,” Perez told Submission Radio. “Come on. UFC’s making a whole lot of money, a whole lot of money and they’re pocketing it. They’re giving more to McGregor, so it’s not fair because it takes two in that ring to draw a crowd – I mean, a good two fighters. It’s just like Mayweather when he fought Berto. It was not even sold out at all. It was embarrassing. It’s because that guy couldn’t draw a crowd. See, that’s what I’m saying, it’s the fighters that draw the crowd, and Nathan and McGregor, third one would be outstanding. Everyone knows that. So he needs to get paid at least $30 million easy.”

Nate Diaz is out of his fucking mind if he thinks he can get $20 million to fight McGregor in the UFC.

Conor pocketed a base of $30 million (over $100 million after the final numbers were tallied) for his boxing match this past Saturday with Floyd Mayweather.

McGregor and Mayweather are both businessmen and promotion machines who work to generate the inevitable buzz that builds up around their fights. They did a 4-city world promotional tour before their fight. Nate Diaz can barely form sentences.

Can Diaz fight? One hundred percent. Diaz is an incredible fighter, but when you’re asking for $20 million, you have to bring more to the table than your fighting skills and the ability to throw water bottles at your opponent.

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Business, Sports

I’d love to see Mayweather get his bell run by McGregor’s left.

Over at the Bleacher Report, Jeremy Botter on the likelihood of Conor McGregor returning to the UFC after his boxing match on August 26th against Floyd Mayweather:

On Wednesday, the impossible dream, the flight of fancy, the ridiculous notion became reality: Floyd Mayweather, owner of all sporting pay-per-view records of note, will exit a two-year retirement for the August 26 boxing match against Conor McGregor, the brightest star mixed martial arts has ever seen.

McGregor is the highest-paid Ultimate Fighting Championship athlete ever, but the leap he is about to make is an extraordinary one. He says he’ll go from his comparatively low estimated paydays to over $100 million in one night.

And then, according to UFC President Dana White, he’ll come back to the UFC for a lightweight title defense in December, where he will presumably go back to making $3 million guaranteed for his fights. From $100 million to $3 million, for the same amount of work.

Sure he will.

One hundred million dollars. McGregor is already a winner, even in the event Mayweather defensive-boxes his way to a win.

I’m not sure if McGregor has anything left to prove. The disproportionally large number of naysayers grows exponentially before every one of his fights. He beat Chad Mendez. He beat Jose Aldo. He beat Nate Diaz in UFC 202 (after initially losing to Diaz in UFC 196). He beat Eddie Alvarez.

I’d love to see Mayweather get his bell run by McGregor’s left.

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Sports

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Nate Diaz is not worth $20 million.

Nate Diaz says he won’t answer UFC’s calls for less than $20 million:

In the midst of the latest UFC title saga, a familiar, yet unexpected name, resurfaced.

Inaccurate reports stated the promotion was targeting an interim lightweight title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Nate Diaz. However, according to multiple sources, that fight has not been offered yet.

As for Diaz, he told MMAFighting.com Wednesday night, that the UFC hasn’t called him about any upcoming fights. And if they’re planning on doing so, Diaz had a message for the brass:

“I’m only fighting at lightweight for a big fight or 20 million just to take the call,” Diaz told MMAFighting.com via text message. “Until then, I’m just living my life.”

Nate Diaz is out of his mind. He only started flexing like this after his two fights with Lightweight & Featherweight champion Conor McGregor. McGregor can and does command those kinds of numbers. It wasn’t until McGregor started speaking out on the value he brought to the UFC that Diaz also started speaking out.

While I think Diaz is an incredible fighter — he beat McGregor in their first fight — he’s not the showman McGregor is. Fighters like McGregor only come around once in a lifetime.

McGregor is worth $20 million per fight. Nate Diaz is not.

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Sports

UFC Purchased for $4 Billion

How the UFC just was purchased for four billion dollars:

The answer is simple: live events and content. UFC produces more than 40 live events annually and reaches more than 1 billion TV households worldwide. In a world where people are increasingly watching things where and when they want, UFC—like most sporting events—remains one of the few areas of programming that people actually watch while it’s happening. Which makes it incredibly valuable in terms of advertising, sponsorships, and distribution deals.

I remember a friend introducing me the UFC back in the late 90s. It was started by the Gracie family as a means to showcase the power of their style of jiu jitsu. Back then jiu jitsu was not nearly as well-known as it is today and people couldn’t understand how Royce Gracie was taking down guys much bigger and stronger than him. This early fight with Royce is incredible. In the early days there were no time limits, hair-pulling was legal, and there were no weight classes. It was truly the wild west.

It wasn’t until the mid-2000s that I got back into watching the fights. Last year I started listening to UFC commentator Joe Rogan’s podcast and I’ve been captivated at his depth of knowledge when it comes to the UFC and mixed martial arts. This has made me watch fights with an even closer eye.

One side of me is happy for UFC president Dana White, but the other side of me wonders if the UFC has jumped the shark. It seems to be more about the glitz & glamour in recent years, and less about the fighting.

All this being said, you can bet I’ll be watching the Conor McGregor/Nate Diaz rematch on August 20th.

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Entertainment

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Conor McGregor

Back on April 21, after is his UFC loss to Nate Diaz, Conor McGregor posted this on Facebook:

I am just trying to do my job and fight here.

I am paid to fight. I am not yet paid to promote.

I have become lost in the game of promotion and forgot about the art of fighting.

There comes a time when you need to stop handing out flyers and get back to the damn shop.

50 world tours, 200 press conferences, 1 million interviews, 2 million photo shoots, and at the end of it all I’m left looking down the barrel of a lens, staring defeat in the face, thinking of nothing but my incorrect fight preparation. And the many distractions that led to this.

Nothing else was going through my mind.

A guy like Conor McGregor doesn’t come around often. Not only is he an amazing fighter who’s proven himself in the ring, but he’s a personality who’s infusing the UFC with some serious energy and fun. He’s just awesome to watch in- and outside the ring.

But they say you see a person’s true colors not when things are going great, but when they’re bad and it’s here where we get to see a man acknowledging his mistakes and doing what is necessary to fix them.

I love the show Conor’s been putting on since he joined the UFC, but I agree with him that he needs to re-focus on what got him there: his fighting skills.

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