MONDAY NEWS DIGEST 9/26: UFC 205 line-up speculation all over the place a day before major press conference on NYC show

By Michael Hiscoe, MMATorch contributor

Conor McGregor (photo credit Joshua Dahl © USA Today Sports)


We’re a day away from the official UFC 205 press conference announcing (presumably) the full card and main event and there’s no more clarity a day prior than there was a week ago.

In the past week, we’ve gone from a presumptive main event of Eddie Alvarez vs. Conor McGregor for the lightweight championship to a fight between Alvarez and Khabib Numagomedov because McGregor had an injured foot. Then it was said that the Nurmagomedov fight was moved to UFC 206 in Toronto but at the same reports surfaced that McGregor was healthy and willing to fight Alvarez in November.

Amidst all of this, Tyron Woodley announced on FS1 that he would be defending his newly won Welterweight Championship against Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson at UFC 205. While never announced as the main event, it did appear official for the card, and was the top fight billed when they ran down the card on Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night broadcast on FS1. Again though, it was never intimated that it going to be the main event.

Dana White then told Yahoo Sports that McGregor is, in fact, hurt but that he still wants to fight and White thinks his next fight should be against Jose Aldo. If McGregor’s next fight is against Aldo, November may be too soon for McGregor to get his weight down to make the 145 lb. limit, especially with a foot injury likely hindering his ability to do cardio.

In another interesting twist on this card, a check of this morning sees the Woodley-Thompson fight nowhere to be seen in the UFC 205 card listing. There is a “TBA vs. TBD” placeholder where the main event would be listed and the rest of the announced fights are there, except Woodley vs. Thompson. This could easily be a communication lapse between the promotion and the website or it could be an indicator that Woodley vs. Thompson is either off for some reason, or it is going to be announced as the main event for UFC 205.

UFC might be scrambling to finalize this card. They have a very strong and deep main and preliminary card. What’s missing, and what is necessary to justify the price they are going to charge for tickets, is a stand-out main event that makes this show special. They have 24 hours to get this done and make an announcement.

Hiscoe’s Analysis: Throughout all of this I’ve been confident that the Alvarez-McGregor fight would get made, but now I’m not so sure. The removal of the Woodley-Thompson fight from the website after they just announced it on the broadcast Saturday night is curious. My speculation is that they may be forced to make that the main event for 205 and that Alvarez-Nurmagomedov will be in Toronto in December. GSP may or may not fight on that show, and they can easily move Alvarez-Nurmagomedov down to the semi-main event spot if that does happen. That would leave Aldo for McGregor possibly on the Dec. 30 show, although Ronda Rousey has been rumored to be earmarked for that show and both pay-per-view juggernauts on one show may not be prudent. Or perhaps that is exactly what the new ownership wants, for both their biggest draws on one show and hopefully break records. UFC has no shortage of big fights to make right now; it’s just a matter of getting the deals in place and putting them on the right shows.


– Joe Rogan tweeted support for UFC opening up a 145 lb. women’s division for Cris Cyborg citing her difficult weight cut as “torture.” Check out our three-part Roundtable on this topic.

Hiscoe’s Analysis: I agree that UFC should create the division for Cyborg, but I think that she needs to take more accountability for her difficult weight cut. Even if she were fighting at 145, weighing 168 lbs five days before the fight is way too much. She needs to get her natural body weight down in between fights and she has enough muscle on her frame where that shouldn’t be too hard to do. Lift weights less and/or eat less and those pounds should come off. She can then do a reasonable weight-cut and stop complaining about it.

-Liam McGeary vs. Phil Davis for the Bellator light heavyweight championship will be the main event for Bellator 163 on Nov. 4.

-Kimbo Slice’s son, Kevin Ferguson Jr. or “Baby Slice,” is slated to make his pro debut against Rick Bing on the prelims of Bellator 162 on Oct. 21 from Memphis.

CATCH UP ON YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: SUNDAY NEWS DIGEST 9/25: UFC decides whether to take action against Nelson for kicking ref last night, UFC bonuses, Cro Cop, Miller

(MMATorch’s Daily News Digest features the top story of the day with added analysis, plus smaller tidbits in the News Notes section. Mike Hiscoe has a background in film criticism and previously wrote for the DVD Town and Movie Metropolis websites. His passion for Mixed Martial Arts goes back to 2005, but it was in the promotion for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie that he really got hooked.”This is my house, I build it,” is still among the all-time great UFC promos. You can follow Mike on social media under the tag @mikehiscoe. He now provides his experienced writing and perspective on live MMA events for MMATorch.)

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