HYDEN’S BLOG: Reasons Khabib Nurmagomedov shouldn’t fight Floyd Mayweather, Chris Weidman gets a new opponent, and Eddie Alvarez goes to One Championship

By Frank Hyden, MMATorch contributor

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Khabib-Floyd Talk

I’ve seen some talk lately about UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov fighting Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match. This is dumb. It’s pretty self-evident why, but I’ll list a few of my own reasons for feeling this way.

One- Nurmagomedov would lose. He would have virtually no chance at beating Mayweather in boxing. Nurmagomedov is a grappler, he’s not known as this awesome striker. Is he better than he’s given credit for? Maybe, but that’s not saying much. Expecting him to go in there and fight one of the best boxers of all-time is insane. That’s like expecting Deontay Wilder or Anthony Joshua to get in there and fight UFC Heavyweight (and UFC Light Heavyweight) Champion Daniel Cormier. You’re asking a lot, except those guys would have a much better chance because at least they could still use what they’ve been training for their entire lives, punching.
Nurmagomedov wouldn’t be able to use his grappling and takedowns and all that. He would lose, and could lose badly if Mayweather decided to start clowning him round after round.

Two- This wouldn’t be some huge payday for Mayweather. Nurmagomedov is not the draw that Conor McGregor was and still is. I know that McGregor’s star has taken a major beating but it still shines brighter than Nurmagomedov’s, who’s not a great talker and doesn’t have that magnetic personality. You don’t have to have that to be a big star necessarily, you can be promoted as an unstoppable juggernaut, but it’s impossible to do that if you’re not a boxer and don’t have any highlight reel knockouts to build up. Mike Tyson was never a great talker but with the way he would truck guys and just completely smash them, he didn’t have to be. Other people can do the talking for you, but you can’t cross sports and have that work for you. Would Mayweather really want to carry the promotion for this fight almost entirely on his own?

Three- The UFC got on board with McGregor fighting Mayweather because they’re thirsty for that big payday. Nurmagomedov vs. Mayweather probably wouldn’t even have half the appeal McGregor vs. Mayweather had, so the UFC isn’t going to be as willing to make themselves look bad by having one of their champions lose badly to Mayweather. McGregor is the golden boy for the UFC, they’ll let him get away with anything. Nurmagomedov hasn’t earned that luxury, he doesn’t have that leeway.

Four- Khabib Nurmagomedov has a long track record of getting hurt and having to pull out of fights. Would Mayweather want to deal with that? Especially if he’s doing most of the promotional heavy lifting? A Mayweather fight is a big deal, there’s a lot of planning involved. What assurances would he want to ensure he doesn’t get shafted in case of an injury?

I suppose anything is possible in the UFC these days but usually when they stain the credibility of the sport, they do so for what they consider a large amount of money. I don’t know if this would qualify. Personally, I don’t think there’s much of anything to this talk of a fight, I think Mayweather is just wanting to keep his name in the news. We’ll see if this leads anywhere but it doesn’t seem likely.

Rockhold Pulls Out

Luke Rockhold has been injured and has pulled out of his next fight. That’s not a typo, I’m sure this must be stunning news to those who have followed Rockhold and seen this happen several times before. Snark aside, it is disappointing as he was slated to fight Chris Weidman at UFC 230. However, the good news is that Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza is stepping in to fight Weidman now. That’s a good fight and a good replacement, even though Jacare is 3-3 in his last six fights and Weidman is 1-3 in his last four fights. They’re both still good fighters so I expect an exciting fight. I could be disappointed but I think it’s more likely to be a good fight.

Eddie Rakes it In

Eddie Alvarez has signed with ONE Championship. He said ONE’s was the best offer. As much as I’d love to see all the fighters together in one organization so we can see the best of the best fight, I can’t blame a guy for doing what’s right for him. You got to take care of yourself and your family. I do wonder how long it’ll be before he’s fighting for the ONE Championship lightweight title, though? Probably not very long. Best of luck to him in his new organization.

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