Sunday Column: The Gorilla Era, McGregor vs Nurmagomedov latest, What next for Poirier?
There’s never dull week in MMA and these past seven days have been about as mental as they come.
Tyron Woodley vs Darren Till, Conor McGregor’s sentencing, Khabib Nurmagomedov promising to rearrange the Irishman’s face, Joanna Jedrzejczyk telling the world to bow down, Jose Aldo winding back the years and stealing Jeremy Stephen’s soul, and who could forget, Dustin Poirier putting an exclamation point ending on his feud with Eddie Alvarez … phew what a week.
The Gorilla era could be upon us
Did you see I did an interview with Darren Till this week?… of course you did.
Say you want about Till and whether he deserves the shot at the champion, but let’s face it, no person on this planet would’ve turned down the opportunity just because some people on the internet didn’t agree with it.
Like it or not, Till will fight for the world title on Sept. 8 and he really goes to Dallas with very little lose. Whilst the excuses are already there for him to turn to in the instance of a loss (short camp etc), trust me, he’s going there fully intent on winning and bringing the belt back home to Liverpool.
What’s the game plan going to be? Well that of course is up to Till’s head coach Colin Heron. We’ve heard the line already “it’s going to be just like the Woodley vs Wonderboy fights,” so for that exact reason, don’t be expecting that at all.
Woodley gets a lot of flak for his fighting style though he’s truly as dominant as they come when it comes to taking opponents out of their element. He’s a much under appreciated champion though the fact that he knows this and let’s everyone know about it doesn’t garner him much sympathy.
It’s a great fight that probably deserved more time for a proper build up. Whatever the case, if it keeps the division moving forward I’m ok with it all.
When is Khabib vs Conor going to happen?
Well the latest is that McGregor is free and Nurmagomedov is slowly becoming more and more fixated on damaging the Irishman for life.
I wasn’t there in Calgary this weekend but those who I’ve spoken to have said that the Russian is seemingly fixated on dishing out a lot of pain in the Irishman’s direction.
Nurmagomedov spoke about the UFC potentially wanting a world tour to build up the fanfare for this fight, but at this point I think all the talking has been done – just let them fight.
It’s going down in Las Vegas, that I’m almost 99% sure of.
Neither McGregor will fancy dishing out 50% income tax in New York, neither would this fight ever happen in Toronto where UFC 231 will take place in early Dec.
As I’ve been saying for months now (and I’m not a rocket scientist) this is happening on Oct. 6 at UFC 229 or Dec. 29 at UFC 232.
The fact of the matter is that will happen when McGregor wants it to happen. The fact that Nurmagomedov and his team say they want it Oct. 6 leans me towards thinking it will happen on Dec. 29.
No one calls the shots but McGregor here and that’s just the facts of the situation.
What next for Poirier?
Now this is a tricky one.
On what planet does McGregor fight Dustin Poirier again? Probably not even on Mars.
I like Poirier and I think he’s done everything he could possibly do since losing that bout to McGregor back in Sept. 2014 with a number of exceptional displays including last evening against Alvarez.
Unfortunately, I just can’t ever see him getting a second shot at McGregor who after his fight with Nurmagomedov seems certain to move onto a fight with Georges St-Pierre.
It sucks for Poirier, but the light at the end of the tunnel is if Nurmagomedov beats McGregor.
If that happens it’s game on for Poirier and he’s done everything in his power to make sure he’s next for a title shot.
His best bet now is to sit out and see how this all plays out.
After his efforts already this year, he certainly deserves to put his feet up.