FIGHT CLUB TRANSMISSION 1.3.2018 - REFLECTIONS ON UFC 219
Saturday night was the UFC’s year-ending event and Khabib Nurmogamedov proved that he is one of the scariest guys in the division if not the entire promotion. He has been lurking in the shadows since he entered the cage in 2012, undefeated at 25-0. It’s not so much his record, but the way that he mangles his opponents by breaking them, asserting his will and smashing them to pieces. The result is always the same: domination. Edson Barboza didn’t have much for him on Saturday night. He was a game opponent to the very end, but it was just not enough.
The big question is what is the next move in a division that is currently log-jammed by Conor McGregor, the Lightweight Champ that will most likely never defend his title. Despite slamming Khabib on Twitter, “That Dagestani was dog shit the other night you's are all nuts. Game full of sloppy bums asking to be slept. Pay me my worth and Kings back,” he sounds more like a man who is trying to avoid a fight rather than promote it.
My prediction is that Khabib and Tony Ferguson fight for the Interim Belt and McGregor gets stripped, making the winner of that fight the de facto champion.
Holly Holm surprised everyone by going the distance with Cris Cyborg. I’m a big fan of both woman, both of them have gotten the promotional short end of the stick by the UFC. Dana White was outright hostile towards her by comparing her to Wanderlei Silva in a dress several years ago when then women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Roousey ducked a fight with her. Holm, who knocked out Rousey back in 2015 at UFC 193, was the wild card. Dana White and company never expected her to defeat Rousey, and Rousey never figured that she could be beaten. The KO pretty much ended her career.
After a 5 round kickboxing match, Cyborg was crowned the Women’s Featherweight Champ and somehow it all seemed right. Her journey through the world of Women’s MMA was long and arduous and for many years, it looked like she would never get the opportunity to fight in the UFC let alone be the champion of a new division.
Sadly, the return of Carlos Condit was rather anticlimactic. The long layoff did not serve him well as Neil Magney defied the odds and secured the decision victory of the Natural Born Killer. The question is how much of a toll did his war with Robbie Lawler take on him? My prediction is that the Carlos Condit of old is gone, and that he’ll most likely only be able to beat carefully selected opponents.
The coming week is slow with respect to Bellator and the UFC. The year kicks off next week with the return of Dooho Choi who takes on Jeremy Stephens. The rest of the card is rounded out by Uriah Hall versus Vitor Belfort, Paige Van Zant Versus Jessica-Rose Clark, Kamaru Usman versus Emil Meek and Darren Elkins versus Michael Johnson among others.