MCGRATH: 10 things I learned this weekend in MMA (and boxing)

By David McGrath, MMATORCH contributor

May 18, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Deontay Wilder reacts after defeating Dominic Breazeale by technical knockout in the first round of their world heavyweight championship boxing match at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Sarah Stier-USA TODAY Sports

It’s interesting to note that Khabib Nurmagomedov’s teammates who were involved in the UFC 229 post-fight brawl are going in front of the Nevada State Athletic Commission next week. Khabib has said a million times that he will not fight unless his teammates are in the clear, I am not sure if Khabib will stick to his guns or not, considering he is booked to unify the lightweight title with Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi in September.

Tyron Woodley pulled out over the weekend of his UFC on ESPN plus bout against Robbie Lawler at the end of June, citing issues with his oft-injured hand. I think Darren Till is the best replacement for Woodley. Till has the biggest Star power in the division and the UFC can still build him. Till has voiced interest in doing the contest at 175 pounds.

Kevin Lee, who took another loss last night to Rafael Dos Anjos is at the crossroads of his career. That is Lee’s 3rd straight loss and again, he looked to just gas out late in the fight. I am an advocate for Lee switching fight camps. Robert Follis, Lee’s former head trainer who tragically committed suicide Two years ago had Lee going really well. Lee has been with the Blackzillians since, who formerly had Francis Ngannou. Ngannou has really improved after leaving and I wonder if Lee wouldn’t benefit from the same.

Some people in the know think that Nate Diaz, who returns after a three-year layoff will be immediately granted a Conor McGregor trilogy fight if he defeats Anthony Pettis at UFC 241. It makes sense, McGregor has not really expressed any interest in fighting top contenders, and at this point may just be a vanity fighter.

That being said, if McGregor does not fight Diaz next, I truly expect him to face Justin Gaethje in his native Ireland.

I talked to Bellator heavyweight TJ Jones this week, the most interesting thing to note is that his family was not able to make the trip to see him fight live, and he also had no cornerman or team to join him. Chris Lencioni’s trainer ended up cornering Jones.

The UFC is targeting Colby Covington vs. Kumaru Usman to headline UFC 243.

Look for Felicia Spencer the undefeated Canadian bantamweight to face Cris Cyborg next. Spencer was dominant in a win over Australian Megan Anderson last night.

When Tyron Woodley is able to go and finally healthy, the most sensible matchup for Woodley is Rafael Dos Anjos.

Deontay Wilder is the most horrifying fighter for opponents since Mike Tyson in his prime. Let’s hope that the dirty, corrupt boxing world delivers us a Tyson Fury rematch next or an Anthony Joshua fight.

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