Archive for the ‘News’ Category
The UFC lightweight division waits for no man, including champion Conor McGregor.
As McGregor takes a dip in the boxing pond, while banking a boatload of money in the process, the UFC has decided to move on without their cash cow. On Tuesday, UFC president Dana White said Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee will battle for the vacant interim lightweight belt at UFC 216.
White was unsure if the title tilt will headline the October 7 event inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
It is unknown if the victor will be gifted a title unification bout in their next outing against McGregor.
This marks the second time Ferguson will get to win the manufactured crown. He was slated to face fellow top contender Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 209, but the Russian was forced to withdraw at the last minute due to weight cutting issues.
It is unknown why White didn’t try giving Ferguson vs. Nurmagomedov another go. Then again, White’s known to hold grudges so we probably have our answer without having to ask the question.
Ferguson is the division’s hottest fighter having rattled off nine consecutive wins, finishing off six of those victims before the final horn. “El Cucuy” was most recently seen taking a decision win over former UFC lightweight champ Rafael Dos Anjos in November.
Lee has been nearly as efficient making his way up the steep lightweight totem pole. He’s won eight of his past nine scraps, including five straight. June’s submission over Michael Chiesa is his most impressive W to date.
Here are the athletes currently slated to compete in the event:
Bobby Green vs. Lando Vannata
Beneil Dariush vs. Evan Dunham
Thales Leites vs. Brad Tavares
Magomed Bibulatov vs. John Moraga
Marco Beltran vs. Matt Schnell
Mark Godbeer vs. Walt Harris
Nik Lentz vs. Will Brooks
Kevin Lee vs. Tony Ferguson (For vacant interim UFC lightweight title)
Former UFC welterweight kingpin Georges St-Pierre finally ends his four-year “break” from MMA when he challenges middleweight champ Michael Bisping at UFC 217.
St-Pierre often teased of a comeback during his extended sabbatical, but many thought he’d never return to the sport that made him a multi-millionaire and international superstar. However, the itch returned like a bad rash and the now-36-year-old just had to scratch it.
His comeback bout of choice was to face Bisping in a division he has never competed in. The weight cut will be far easier on an aged St-Pierre, so the decision to jump weight classes at this stage in his illustrious career makes sense. It’s also the biggest fight currently available for him among all of the 170-185 pound options.
Despite his long layoff, St-Pierre is still favored to beat Bisping and become just the fourth athlete in UFC history to capture titles in multiple divisions. But then what would be next for a victorious GSP?
Apparently, St-Pierre would have to defend the middleweight crown in his next outing.
“That wasn’t my initial plan, but I understand the UFC’s point of view,” St-Pierre said on The MMA Hour. “They want to protect their titles. They don’t want to delay the defense of their titles, because they don’t want to make people wait.
“I have to defend my title. It’s written in my contract. I have to defend my title if I win.”
That doesn’t make too much since because the middleweight division already has an interim champ in Robert Whittaker, so there’s really no holding up of anything if St-Pierre wanted to hunt a more lucrative fight.
No disrespect to Whittaker, but St-Pierre didn’t risk his legacy in coming back to fight the Whittakers of the MMA world. He’s here to bump his resume while banking in big bouts, not fight someone the mainstream has never hard of who won’t help him sell pay-per-views.
Unfortunately for St-Pierre, the Whittaker path is the one the UFC has him traveling down.
“You never know in advance,” St-Pierre said of his next opponent. “But if we follow the logic, that’s what the UFC told me. That’s what they signed me for.”
UFC 217 takes place November 4 inside NYC’s Madison Square Garden.