By: Frank Hyden, MMATorch Senior Columnist
It was another slow week for MMA so I’ll just hit upon some news and maybe make a few predictions.
UFC Flyweight Champion Deiveson Figueiredo and Henry Cejudo have beef
They’ve both sniped at each other over the past week. Kind of your typical trashtalk you see in combat sports, nothing special, though Figueiredo had a post of him holding Cejudo’s decapitated head photoshopped onto a pumpkin. Corny but whatever. The real interest comes from if anything comes from this, or is it just publicity seeking? Cejudo just retired this past Spring so he could absolutely make a comeback and fight. And considering he vacated the UFC Flyweight Championship rather than lose it, I don’t think anyone would have a problem with him getting a shot at it. Cejudo did move up to bantamweight and fought there twice, though, so he might not want to cut the weight again.
My prediction? They fight, but at bantamweight. I don’t see Cejudo wanting to cut that weight again, to get all the down to flyweight. I think the fight happens later this year, after Figueiredo dispatches all other challengers.
Francis Ngannou says Jon Jones won’t take his title shot
Ngannou recently said that he’d like to fight Jones because everyone wants to see that, but that he’s also not worried about Jones taking his title shot. Ngannou is just waiting for the UFC to make the fight between himself and UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic. Jones wants his first fight at heavyweight to be a title shot. So either Jones fights the winner of Ngannou-Miocic 2 or Ngannou has to wait even longer on the sideline to get a title shot.
My prediction? I think Jones fights the winner of Ngannou-Miocic 2. This gives Jones time to make his move to heavyweight and sets up a huge fight for his debut. It’s hard to deny Ngannou a title shot, he’s won four in a row, all by first round TKO.
Dana White wants to make another Khabib Nurmagomedov fight
White plans on meeting with Nurmagomedov and try to get him to fight again. The reason is obvious, the UFC needs stars and big fights. Of course they want to see Nurmagomedov fight again, he’s undefeated, it’s an easy sell. The UFC is also back in the Conor McGregor game, and they would crawl naked over broken glass to make a McGregor vs. Nurmagomedov rematch. A bit hyperbolic on my part perhaps, but that’s surely their top goal.
The problem is, nothing has changed to make you think that the outcome would be any different, if the fight were to happen. McGregor got his ass kicked in the first fight and that would likely happen again. And that hurts McGregor’s drawing power. Now, given sufficient time, that power comes back but unless you only want McGregor to fight every few years or so, it’s best to not have him get destroyed by Nurmagomedov again. Another problem is that Nurmagomedov seemed absolute in his desire to not fight anymore, after his dad died. I don’t know if he’d be swayed by money. Maybe, but it’d probably take a lot.
My prediction? Nurmagomedov stays retired. I don’t think the UFC will offer him enough money that would make it impossible for him to say no to.
Well, that’s about it for another slow news week. The good news is that the fight schedule heats up next week and will likely remain that way for the foreseeable future.
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