- Conor McGregor Has Too Much Power Over the Sport
McGregor proved this past weekend that he has no fear of repercussions from the UFC. He decided to attack a bus full of fighters, the vast majority of who had nothing to do with his issues with Khabib Nurmagomedov. As a direct consequence of his actions, three fights were scrapped from the card, taking money away from the fighters who needed that money to provide for their families. Michael Chiesa and Ray Borg were injured from the broken glass, caused by McGregor throwing a dolly through the bus window. Immediately after the incident, Dana White said that it was the worst thing to happen to the sport and went after McGregor in the process. Only a few days later, he said that they were having productive talks, and expects McGregor to fight later this year. I can’t imagine any other fighter not receiving some sort of suspension for such actions, but hey, when you’re the golden pony for an organization struggling to get PPV buys, you can do whatever you want.
- Khabib Nurmagomedov VS Tony Ferguson is Cursed
This fight between the now Lightweight Champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and former Interim Champion, Tony Ferguson, has been booked four times and each time it falls apart. Whether it be from bad weight cuts or injuries, which was the case at UFC 223, these two fighters can just not make it into the octagon against each other. Dana White claimed that he will never make this fight again. I call BS. People want to see this fight. Khabib is now champion and if he successfully defends his belt and Ferguson continually wins against top opponents, they have to make it happen. People will buy that PPV. However, it seems to be that Khabib’s next fight will be against McGregor, so he’ll have to come out with his hand raised against the Burger King before that fight can even be talked about.
- Zabit Magomedsharipov Is the Next Big Thing in the UFC
Khabib’s fellow Dagestani fighter, Zabit Magomedsharipov, came into his fight against Kyle Bochniak with a lot of hype, especially after being bumped up to the main card due to the cancelled fights. And holy mother of God did he deliver the performance we all wanted to see. Wow, just, wow. His striking is on an elite level. He can pull of crazy jumping switch kicks or an effortless outside trip from the Thai clinch and both are equally as fluid and effortless. Coming out of Dagestan, naturally his wrestling is overwhelmingly better than almost anyone that the UFC can put in front of him. But his striking is what is truly astonishing. He has a ninja like fluidity to his combinations and is incredibly accurate with his punches and kicks. Standing at 6’ 1, he is considerably larger than basically everyone in the 145-pound division. He called out Yair Rodriguez after the fight, and I don’t think that there is any fan of the sport that doesn’t want to see that fight. Also, I have to give major props and respect to Bochniak for leaving his heart out on the mat, never ceasing to throw punches and had no fear of getting knocked out. Oh, and by the way, Magomedsharipov did all of this after breaking his left hand in the locker room right before the fight.
- New York State Athletic Commission is a Nightmare to Deal With
I can understand why they didn’t allow Holloway to keep cutting weight. I would like to see the actual report as to why they stopped it, but if it is for the safety of a fighter, I cannot complain there. However, their handling of the replacement of the replacement and communicating with the UFC and the journalists in attendance was less than admirable. In particular, they did not allow Paul Felder to even be considered for the Championship fight because he ‘was not ranked’, even though he has won five out of his last six fights and actually made championship weight. Another issue I have is their unwillingness to budge on the rules and not recognizing Iaquinta’s possibility of winning the belt even though he weighed in only .2 pounds over the limit, with shorts on. He had 24 hours’ notice that he was going to be fighting for the belt, cut the man some slack.
UFC 223 ended up being a good, entertaining card to watch with a lot of good fights. I commend the UFC for managing to deal with “the worst week in the sports history”. Even through there were a few major setbacks and distractions, they put on a show. P.S: if you’re one of the people getting on Joe Rogan’s ass about him recognizing holes in Khabib’s game and talking about them, please get off twitter because you don’t understand what mixed martial arts is all about.