By Shane Acedera
UFC 205 is less than two months away but it still doesn’t have a main event yet. Speculations are saying that the reason for that is because the UFC is still negotiating a title bout between Lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez and Irish superstar Conor McGregor.
Earlier this month, rumors were saying that McGregor turned down another movie offer to fight Alvarez at the Madison Square Garden:
The Eddie Alvarez fight makes a lot of sense for Conor McGregor and is certainly appetizing for those who enjoy betting on mma and boxing. When he declared last year that he was going to take over (not take part) the UFC, he talked about winning titles in multiple weight classes. And that was his original goal at the start of the year when he was supposed to face Rafael Dos Anjos at UFC 196. But as fate would have it, Dos Anjos got injured and McGregor went on to face Nate Diaz, not once but twice. Now that he’s gotten his revenge over Diaz, McGregor’s road to becoming a two division champ was wide open.
Alvarez had already started to throw verbal jabs at McGregor. McGregor meanwhile was busy enjoying his spoils:
And doing his appearance in the video game Call of Duty:Infinite Warfare:
Even then, many were expecting McGregor to topbill UFC 205 as it will be the promotion’s highly awaited New York debut. And what historic event would not have the company’s top money maker involved? With the likes of Ronda Rousey and Jon Jones unavailable, McGregor is the logical choice to spearhead such a gargantuan occasion.
A couple of days ago, UFC color commentator Joe Rogan also hinted at a McGregor-Alvarez main event at UFC 205. During last weekend’s edition of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, the outspoken Rogan excitedly said:
“I know a little something that I wish I could tell. It’s an interesting fight. If it happens… allegedly at Madison Square Garden, allegedly in a couple of months. Maybe it’s going to happen, I don’t know. But if it does happen, Eddie [Alvarez] is a big boy. He can grapple. He’s a f****** grinder and whatever endurance issues Conor may have, he better iron those f****** out before you go to town with that guy.”
But just when everyone started to get pretty much excited, UFC President Dana White doused water on the fire. In a reply to a fan’s tweet asking him for confirmation, White said:
To which Khabib Nurmagomedov seemingly corroborated via Twitter too:
In a perfect world, Khabib Nurmagomedov is Eddie Alvarez’s rightful challenger for the UFC Lightweight title.The 23-0 Nurmagomedov is ranked #1 in the UFC’s 155 pound division and has been dying to get his first crack at UFC gold. However, a bout between Alvarez and Nurmagomedov won’t be a good main event for a PPV card. How much more as a headliner for an event with the magnitude of UFC 205?
When the ill-fated Donald Cerrone vs Robbie Lawler bout was first announced for UFC 205, Dana White didn’t say it was the main event. If that was so, then the UFC must be brewing something bigger. Without Rousey and Jones, That something bigger is Conor McGregor. Just recently, UFC Welterweight champion Tyron Woodley confirmed that he would be making his first title defense against Stephen Thompson at UFC 205. Woodley nor the UFC didn’t say it would be the main event. Like Cerrone-Lawler, a title bout between Woodley and Thompson would have been main event elsewhere. Not at UFC 205. But why? If what Dana White tweeted about Alvarez and Khabib is true, then is Conor McGregor not fighting at UFC 205?
The best man to hear would be Conor McGregor himself. Amidst all these speculations, McGregor only said one thing:
It’s easy to put Conor McGregor back inside the Octagon. Give him all the attention in the world that he needs and give him the money he wants. McGregor made a record $3M guaranteed purse at UFC 202. You can be sure that he’ll be asking for the moon to fight at UFC 205. But McGregor delivers the goods, win or lose. His UFC 196 defeat raked in 1.6M PPV buys while his UFC 202 win topped 1.65M PPV buys.
But then again, there is Dana White. Remember that he pulled out McGregor from UFC 200 as a matter of principle. UFC 200 was supposed to be the company’s biggest show ever. It took a hit because White pulled Conor from the show. Now is White going to exclude Conor Mac from 205? That remains a question. As the time is ticking though, we’ll soon find out whether Conor McGregor is gonna be at UFC 205 or not.