Max Holloway won the interim featherweight championship in December of 2016 with an impressive performance against Anthony Pettis. Now the undisputed champion, Holloway faces Frankie Edgar in the main event of UFC 240 on July 27.
UFC 240: Holloway vs. Edgar takes place at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Canada. The featherweight title fight headlines the 12-fight card. The events also marks the return of former women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg. In her first fight since losing the belt to Amanda Nunes, the Brazilian faces undefeated Felicia Spencer in the co-main event.
Just when talk of Floyd Mayweather wanting to mix it up with Conor McGregor or Khabib Nurmagomedov seemed to die down, Nurmagomedov’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, has stirred it up again.
“Floyd Mayweather, to this day, keep begging to fight Khabib; begging. Floyd run out of money. I’m telling you, people reaching out to me every week about Floyd to fight Khabib, but at the end of the day, we’re not interested… for now,” Abdelaziz told TMZ Sports.
Nurmagomedov is currently slated to fight Dustin Poirier to unify the UFC lightweight and interim lightweight titles in the UFC 242 headliner on Sept. 7 in Abu Dhabi. After that… who knows?
Nurmagomedov is likely to continue his run in the UFC, but if a Mayweather bout a la Mayweather vs. McGregor were to present itself, it would surely be tough to pass up. For now, however, we’re not holding our breath that such a fight is going to happen.
After making record-setting work of Ben Askren at UFC 239, welterweight Jorge Masvidal has etched his name amongst the top contenders to UFC champion Kamaru Usman. With Usman sidelined until at least late this year, Masvidal shifted his focus to the “money fight” and Conor McGregor.
UFC president Dana White, however, recently told TMZ Sports not only is Masvidal not getting a fight with McGregor, he’s getting a big “hell no” to it.
“Masvidal is too big for Conor. (McGregor has fought at 170 before) but he shouldn’t have. I hated that he did it. Not only did I hate that he did it once, I hated that he did it twice,” White said when caught on the street by TMZ.
“There’s plenty of fights for (Masvidal) in his weight division without Conor. He’s too big for Conor. Conor doesn’t belong at 170. He’s got the balls to fight at 170, but he doesn’t belong there. Hell no.”
Just what is next for Conor McGregor, if not Jorge Masvidal? That is a good question, but one that appears to have an answer somewhere in the lightweight division.
“He’ll either be back this year or early next year,” White said of McGregor’s return. “We’ll see how this whole thing plays out in September.”
The fighters that most make sense for McGregor are all in the Top 5, but with champion Khabib Nurmagomedov unifying his belt with that of interim champion Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 in September, that bout is expected to set the dominoes of match-ups in motion, particularly when it comes to McGregor.
Nurmagomedov holds a dominant win over McGregor at UFC 229 in October 2018, so if he wins, it’s not likely that McGregor would get the rematch he wants with the Dhagestani fighter. In fact, White said emphatically that McGregor would not get the winner of Khabib vs. Poirier regardless of who wins.
“No. No (he won’t get the UFC 242 winner). But (that fight) will shake a lot of things up whoever wins that fight.”
If Nurmagomedov loses, there is a good chance McGregor would get the rematch that he so desperately wants. But there are other match-ups that make sense as well.
If Nurmagomedov wins, he’ll likely draw top contender Tony Ferguson next, although they have tried on numerous occasions to face each other, but have yet to make it to the cage. That would likely leave McGregor to face Poirier, whom he holds a victory over at featherweight in 2014 or an enticing match-up with fellow Top 5 contender Justin Gaethje.
So it appears that we’ll be waiting until at least September before we know when, where, and against whom McGregor makes his UFC return.
UFC president Dana White was impressed with UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber’s return from retirement over the weekend, but he’s falling short of slotting Faber into a title shot against champ-champ Henry Cejudo.
Faber came out of a two-and-a-half-year retirement at UFC on ESPN+ 13 in his hometown of Sacramento, Calif. He faced rising bantamweight prospect Ricky Simon in the co-main event, impressively taking him out in just 46 seconds. It was the fastest knockout of the 40-year-old’s illustrious career.
Immediately after the fight, Faber set his sights on the UFC bantamweight champion.
“Henry, what’s up dog? I remember ten years ago when you challenged me to a fight as a friendly gesture. I’m down to get down with that and mix that up,” Faber said in the Octagon.
He later added that he feels he matches up well with the current champ-champ.
“Henry (Cejudo) broke or out-conditioned and kind of broke his last fight in (Marlon) Moraes. I’m not a type of guy that will ever break. And my wrestling caliber and jiu-jitsu is definitely better than… my jiu-jitsu is definitely better than Henry and he’s got that wrestling background and I love to wrestle. I think it’s a good match-up.”
Though it’s an enticing match-up from the perspective of name value and it’s interesting in seeing if Faber could finally capture the UFC gold that has eluded him throughout his career, White, in an interview with TMZ Sports, was hesitant to commit to a fifth UFC championship challenge for the California Kid.
In fact, perhaps even more surprising, was White’s desire to have Cejudo defend his UFC flyweight title when he returns from injury instead of the bantamweight belt.
There was a time when the UFC flyweight division was all but extinct, but now White appears ready to rebuild it; perhaps around Cejudo.
“You’d have to look at Joe (Benavidez),” White said of Cejudo’s next title defense, meaning that the fight would be at flyweight.
“Next, (Cejudo) should defend (the flyweight) title. So he would go to 125, defend that title, then we would decide who he would fight next. I think that as long as Cejudo is willing to defend both titles, I think he’s the guy that could carry both (the flyweight and bantamweight divisions).”
Dana White impressed by Urijah Faber, wants Henry Cejudo to defend UFC flyweight title
(Video courtesy of TMZSports | Viewing may be limited by broadcast rights restrictions)
Max Holloway and Frankie Edgar have been trying for the better part of the last two years to step into the Octagon and fight. There is no rivalry, no venom, no trash-talk. They are simply two fighters that respect each other and want to see who comes out on top when they put their skills to the test.
They are both hoping that the third’s time is a charm, as they are now scheduled to headline UFC 240 on July 27 in Edmonton.
As part of the UFC’s seasonal promotional press conference, which took place during International Fight Week in Las Vegas, Holloway and Edgar addressed their match-up and how they approach the game plan after having been scheduled to fight twice before.
Heading into their first match-up at UFC 226 in July of 2018, not many people thought Daniel Cormier was going to roll over Stipe Miocic the way that he did. A few, of course, believed he could win, but not many showed the confidence that Cormier himself carried into that fight, perhaps knowing something the rest of us didn’t.
It took only 4:33 for Cormier to knock Miocic out, making him only the second fighter in UFC history to hold championships in two divisions simultaneously. He already held the light heavyweight belt prior to UFC 226. A few months later, at UFC 230 in November, Cormier became the first UFC champ-champ to defend at least one of those belts when he defeated Derrick Lewis.
Though he had been aiming for a blockbuster payday with Brock Lesnar, the WWE Superstar’s abrupt about face from the UFC left Cormier to honor his commitment to giving Miocic a rematch. That will take place at UFC 241 on Aug. 17 in Anaheim, Calif.
With even more confidence than the first time they met, Cormier doesn’t seem to think the rematch will end much differently than the first fight.
“I understand that he’s gonna be better,” Cormier said at a recent UFC promotional press conference. “I think he’s a good champion. He’s a good fighter. I just don’t think he’s good enough to beat me.”
Miocic, obviously, believes differently, declaring that he will walk out of the Octagon with the belt at UFC 241.