White, McGregor and the future of UFC

Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White recently held a group call with several fighters to quell concern and answer questions amid a dearth of competition lately. UFC 249 was scheduled to take place on 18 April, but like plenty of other sport around the world, had to be postponed for health reasons.

White discussed the following, among other factors, with the fighters:

White wants future UFC locations to be kept secret

Fights have been contested all around the world, but White doesn’t want fighters to discuss where future events might be held. White has all but resigned to the reality of the event taking place behind closed doors and is said to have four or five options as to where it will take place.

First option for those who had fights cancelled

Fighters who had bouts suspended will get first option on new fights, reportedly. This will be a tough process to manage, as many fights have been cancelled. It’s not like just a handful were put on hold or sidelined entirely. White and team will have a tough task in managing this.

Here’s aiming for 9 May 2020

White want to start fights again in early May, subject to certain clearances, of course. This will be considered a relatively short turnaround time for some, while others will agree it’s spot on. Many fights and fans would have pushed for even sooner. Time will tell.

Conor McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov

Perhaps the biggest questions on many people’s lips, though, is if, when and where Conor McGregor will take on Khabib Nurmagomedov. This will be a highly anticipated rematch, after Nurmagomedov beat McGregor via submission during UFC 229. The Irishman was pretty much dominated for four rounds before finally being choked out.

Speculation is rife about when and where they will meet, which will afford Nurmagomedov the chance to prove another point and McGregor the opportunity to avenge his previous defeat.

A brief look at some of McGregor’s UFC history – and related odds – shows that he might just be billed as the underdog against Nurmagomedov when this big bout rolls around again. Betfair, Paddy Power will have good UFC markets for those interested in placing bets online.

  • UFC 246: McGregor beat Donald Cerrone. McGregor had been priced at 8/25 to win.
  • UFC 229: McGregor lost to Nurmagomedov. McGregor had been priced at 13/10 to win.
  • UFC 205: McGregor beat Eddie Alvarez. McGregor had been priced at 51/100 to win.
  • UFC 202: McGregor beat Nate Diaz. McGregor had been priced at 13/20 to win.
  • UFC 196: McGregor lost to Nate Diaz. McGregor had been priced at 1/4 to win.
  • UFC 194: McGregor beat Jose Aldo. McGregor had been priced at 19/20 to win.
  • UFC 189: McGregor beat Chad Mendes. McGregor had been priced at 12/25 to win.

Trash talk and smack talk

McGregor and Nurmagomedov typically exchanged plenty of heated words before their UFC 229 fight. Nurmagomedov, though, was the one to talk the talk when it came to the actual fight. Most fighters know how to talk a good game, but only true champions follow this through in the arena. And so, we wait for their next exchange.

Derek McKenna

Co-founder of Junior Sports Media who has been covering boxing since 2013. Has extensive experience in sports writing, sub-editing and online journalism. Email: Co-founder of Junior Sports Media who has been covering boxing since 2013. Has extensive experience in sports writing, sub-editing and online journalism. Email: thejuniorsoccerportal@gmail.com