You could say that the UFC’s lightweight division is the currently the best. It’s filled with great fighters, from the game changer himself Conor McGregor to one half of the legendary Diaz brothers, Nate Diaz. With all of these great fighters and a UFC that has been booming with success, you would think there would be a lot going with the lightweight division, but several events and unfortunate incidents have come up to hinder the progress of the lightweight division. Let me get out the first one immediately because I know it’s a topic that’s constantly being brought up and that is Conor McGregor fighting Floyd Mayweather. It’s a topic that many people (including myself) have talked about and as time goes on, the question of whether or not this fight is going to happen still finds it’s way into my head. Whether or not the fight happens, there is one thing for certain, McGregor is holding up the division. With McGregor potentially fighting in a boxing match, it’s impossible to get a grasp on a next available date for McGregor to defend his title. Now in most cases there is a very simple and very interesting method to solving a problem like this, have the top contenders fight for an interim tittle. Here’s how that went:
Number one ranked Khabib Nurmagomedov (or as he’s better known by Joey Diaz as Khalabib) was set to fight number two ranked Tony Ferguson. This was a fight I could not wait to see, this fight was the co main event for Woodley vs Thompson 2 and I couldn’t have cared less about that fight because I was so hyped for Nurmagomedov vs Ferguson. For the longest these two were the baddest guys in the division, Ferguson was climbing ranks by beating anyone whose come in his way and Nurmagomedov has caught everyone’s attention with his impressive 24 fight win streak. Also, whenever Nurmagomedov was on a mic (or even during a fight) and trash talking, you couldn’t help but think you were listening to a badass Russian gangster planning a hit on one of the fighters. So after McGregor won the lightweight tittle and announced he’d be taking some time off for the birth of his baby, the MMA gods put this fight together to guarantee McGregors next opponent. Let’s fast forward to the Friday before the fight, I was at work at on Twitter and I see Nurmagomedov is trending, it turns out he was hospitalized because of the drastic weight cut he goes through before each fight and the fight was called off. I was so disappointed and the PPV had lost so much hype when the fight was called off.
The UFC’s most recent PPV event featured another lightweight fight I was excited for and this one actually went through, the former champ Eddie Alvarez took on former featherweight Dustin Poirier. My thinking for this one was simple, whoever wins this fight and if Nurmagomedov doesn’t recover in time, they can fight Ferguson for the interim tittle. Pretty simple process right? But this fight other plans in mind. In the 2nd round, Dustin Poirier nearly knocked Alvarez’s head off of his body and that’s when Alvarez engaged warrior mode and had Poirier pinned on the cage, this is where everything goes south. Alvarez throws two knees when Poirier had one hand on the floor, making those knees illegal. The fight is stopped and amongst all this confusion, what should have been a DQ win for Poirier turns out be a no contest, ultimately slowing down the division once again.
Nate Diaz pretty much gave the finger to everybody in the UFC, from fight organizers to fighters themselves. He’s shut down possible fight offers from Tony Ferguson to Eddie Alvarez saying, “What the f*ck, I’m going to cover for Conor McGregor and do his work while he’s out making f*cking millions of dollars fighting boxers and sh*t?” Looks like there’s no chance for Diaz to step in and help the lightweight division, all we can do at this point is hope somebody comes around soon and fights for a goddamn title already!