Will Bellator and Eagle FC make the Fedor – JDS fight happen?

Fedor Emelianenko

This past Friday night, Eagle FC hosted their 47th event. One of the key observers of the event was Bellator president Scott Coker. In the main event, former UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos (21-10) was taking on Yorgan De Castro (9-3).

Why was Bellator and Scott Coker watching closely? Well, they were tuning in to see how Junior Dos Santos looked. They wanted to see him look good and pick up a win to potentially set up a big time matchup against Fedor Emelianenko (40-6).

The Last Emperor is nearing retirement and Bellator has been trying to figure out who to book him against for his retirement fight. Eagle FC founder and fellow Russian MMA legend Khabib Nurmagomedov floated the idea of a co-promotional fight featuring Fedor and JDS.

The idea was well received by Scott Coker. JDS was looking great on Friday night against De Castro. His speed looked very good and he was doing an excellent job working his kicks in with his tremendous boxing. He looked like he was going to cruise to a decision win.

However, the third round saw everything go up in smoke. Dos Santos was stalking De Castro and threw a right straight. When he landed, he landed on the forearm of De Castro. Immediately, his shoulder popped out of place and the fight was called off. JDS lost by injury TKO.

Is the Eagle FC – Bellator fight dead?

After the event concluded, Khabib Nurmagomedov said that he still thinks JDS – Fedor is the fight to make. He believes that what happened shouldn’t deter Bellator from being interested in making the fight considering how the fight went down.

Dos Santos was looking better than he had in a very long time. Yes, I know the opponent was Yorgan De Castro, but I was impressed. Considering the Bellator roster, I think JDS might be the best fight for Fedor. Roy Nelson has tried to throw his name in there, but come on. Nobody is really clamoring for that fight.

JDS is arguably the biggest name Fedor can fight and with a legend like Fedor, his last fight needs to be big. I think Scott Coker and Bellator are still very interested in the fight. The only other fight that could be made is letting Fedor fight for the title against Ryan Bader which is what Fedor wants more than anything.

I think the next month or two are going to be interesting, but either way, we should know who Fedor is facing at the end of the year soon.

Eagle FC 44 Preview

Tomorrow night, Eagle FC will officially touch down in the United States for the first time. The Russian led MMA promotion which is owned by former UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov will host their first event in the US.

Eagle FC 44 will take place in Miami and it starts at 6:00 PM ET. For all interested fans, the event is free to watch at EagleFC.com. The main event of the evening featuring a compelling matchup between two big heavyweights.

Former world champion kickboxer and undefeated boxer Tyrone Spong (2-0) will be competing in his third MMA fight. He will be taking on Pride, Bellator, and Strikeforce veteran Sergei Kharitonov (33-9).

Kharitonov lost fought in November when he stopped Fabio Maldonado. Prior to that, he lost in Bellator to Cheick Kongo. Eagle FC 44 will be the first time we’ve seen Spong compete in MMA since 2013.

After winning his first two MMA bouts, Spong has focused on boxing. However, Eagle FC was able to get him back into the cage and he will make the walk for the third time tomorrow. It’s obviously going to be key for him to keep the fight standing. If he does, this fight won’t last long.

Eagle FC 44 Preview

In addition to the heavyweights, former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans (19-8-1) will be returning tomorrow night. The former UFC champion hasn’t fought since 2018 after losing five straight fights.

However, he came out of retirement at 42 for this fight in Eagle FC. He will be taking on Brazilian contender Gabriel Checco (12-5). Checco has mainly fought on the regional scene and he’s coming off of a TKO win back in October.

In addition to Evans, there are other UFC veterans that are competing at Eagle FC 44. Those fighters include Yorgan De Castro, John Howard, and Cody Gibson. Gibson will actually be taking on former UFC title challenger Ray Borg (14-5).

Borg will be making his second appearance after he briefly retired. There were a lot of personal issues with Borg that forced him away from fighting in 2020. When he was on, Borg was one of the best flyweights in the UFC.

He is going to be fighting Gibson at bantamweight. If he looks really good tomorrow night, it’ll be interesting to see what comes next for Borg. Overall, I’m expecting a very solid night of fights and I would definitely recommend tuning in.

UFC What If: Khabib Nurmagomedov – Charles Oliveira

This past weekend at UFC 269, Charles Oliveira (32-8) defended his lightweight title against Dustin Poirier (28-7, 1 NC). This fight was being looked at as the fight that would legitimize Oliveira as the true champion.

Earlier this year, Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0) officially vacated the lightweight title and retired. The UFC booked Oliveira against Michael Chandler for the vacant lightweight champion.

Oliveira became the UFC champion after stopping Michael Chandler in the second round. However, many looked at Dustin Poirier as the second best lightweight in the UFC only behind Khabib.

With Khabib retired, Poirier was looked at as the top guy. However, Poirier took fights with Conor McGregor over the UFC title shot initially. After Poirier defeated McGregor twice, he got his shot against Oliveira.

The fight was very competitive and saw both men have their moments. That said, UFC 269 belonged to Charles Oliveira who was able to submit Poirier in the third round of their title fight.

The result was the same for Khabib Nurmagomedov when he fought Poirier a few years ago for the lightweight title. With the win, Oliveira has established himself as the best in the UFC.

However, is he the best in the world? One has to wonder what would’ve happened if Khabib never retired. If Khabib came back to the UFC, what would a fight with him and Charles Oliveira look like?

UFC What If

Let’s play the what if game here. What if Khabib came back to the UFC to challenge Charles Oliveira for the lightweight title. The same lightweight title that Khabib never lost inside the octagon.

What would a fight between the two men look like. Well, Oliveira is by far the toughest fight in the promotion for Khabib due to his skills on the ground. Oliveira has more finishes by submissions than anyone in UFC history.

Khabib’s game is his wrestling and top control. Oliveira would constantly be a threat from the bottom. On the feet, Oliveira would have the sizable advantage in the striking with his technique alone.

What would be so fascinating is seeing who would be the one backing up. Khabib is a fighter who never took a back step and that pressure often would fatigue his opponents. However, Oliveira fights the same way and he never takes a back step.

If these two were to fight for the UFC title, I think I would lean towards Khabib. Charles Oliveira would be on his back in this fight without question. Yes, he’s incredibly dangerous from the bottom.

However, I think Khabib’s top game and pressure is so good that he could avoid the submissions. I think Khabib has the style that would ground Oliveira and neutralize him.

That said, if I watched the fight and Oliveira became the first man to defeat Khabib, I wouldn’t be shocked. That’s how good I think the new UFC lightweight champion is.

It’s a dream fight for me and sadly one I think we will never see. That said, it’s still fun to dream. Who do you think would win? Sound off below!

Khabib Nurmagomedov remains firm in retirement from the UFC

Today we saw an interview drop from ESPN’s Brett Okamoto with former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0). This was the first time since late last year that we’ve seen an in-depth interview with the former champion.

Nurmagomedov last fought at UFC 254 in October when he choked out Justin Gaethje in the second round to retain his lightweight title. An emotional Khabib collapsed in tears after the fight concluded.

Earlier in the year, Khabib had lost his father due to COVID-19 complications. Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov was not just Khabib’s father, but also his head coach. Khabib was incredibly close with his father and was transparent about how it was hard to compete without him.

Prior to UFC 254, Khabib made a promise to his mother that the October fight would be his final one. Being a man of his word, Khabib laid his gloves in the octagon after the win and officially announced his retirement.

However, that didn’t stop Dana White from trying to get him back. The UFC President tried for months to change Khabib’s mind. In fact, he recently offered Khabib a fight with fellow legend Georges St. Pierre (26-2). However, Khabib remained firm and stayed retired.

Would anything bring Khabib back to the UFC?

Months ago, Khabib’s friend and training partner Daniel Cormier mentioned a scenario that could bring Khabib back. The scenario involved Charles Oliveira (31-8, 1 NC) going on a massive run and defending his title multiple times.

Among those successful title defenses would be a win over Khabib’s protégé Islam Makhachev (19-1). Okamoto asked Khabib about this scenario and whether or not he would consider coming back to prove to the world that he’s the best.

With a smile, the former UFC champion said, “If everything happens like you say, I will say, ‘At that time, it was Khabib’s time, now it’s Charles’ time’. I’m not going to just jump to the media and say I’m going to fight this guy, that’s not interesting for me.”

Khabib is happy with the way his career panned out. The thing he takes the most pride in is that at the moment he retired, he was the UFC’s top pound-for-pound fighter in the rankings. Khabib said he doesn’t consider himself to be the greatest, but he considers himself to be on the level of the other greats.

However, at one point in time, he was without a doubt the best fighter in the world. Now, Khabib is focusing on his post-fighting career which focuses coaching. He said his father always wanted Makhachev to take over the lightweight division after Khabib retired from the UFC.

Khabib acknowledged with a smile that Islam is a little late on his end of the bargain. However, the former champion aims to do everything he can to make Islam Makhachev a lightweight champion in the UFC just like his father wanted. You can see Khabib’s full interview below.

UFC recently attempted to make Khabib Nurmagomedov – Georges St. Pierre per Ali Abdelaziz

The UFC recently attempted to make a fight between two of the greatest to ever do it. At least, that’s according to the manager of one of those men, Ali Abdelaziz.

Abdelaziz said on his appearance of Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson that the UFC wanted to make Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0) – Georges St. Pierre (26-2). This potential dream fight almost became a reality in the last couple of weeks.

For the last year or so, Dana White hadn’t expressed any interest in having GSP fight Khabib. However, that apparently changed in the last couple of weeks. Abdelaziz said that the UFC got in touch with him about his client, Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Abdelaziz said, “Two weeks ago ago, Dana White called me. He said, ‘Georges St-Pierre said he’ll fight Khabib in a non-title fight at 165 pounds.’ In a way, we’ve been waiting for Georges.”

Of course, Khabib Nurmagomedov relinquished the UFC lightweight title officially earlier this year when his retirement was confirmed. Nurmagomedov had announced at UFC 254 that he was walking away from the sport.

The UFC dream match that never happened

Khabib said that he promised his mother that UFC 254 was his last fight and he plans to honor that promise. According to Abdelaziz, the former UFC lightweight champion also turned down $100 million to box Floyd Mayweather.

For years, Daniel Cormier has said that Khabib wouldn’t take any fight because of money. It’s pretty obvious now there’s truth to what Cormier was saying. You have to imagine the UFC’s offer was massive to have him fight GSP.

A matchup between GSP and Khabib is a fight fans dream. Of course, it would have been better if GSP was in his prime, but still, UFC fans all around the world would be glued to their televisions for that one.

It’s a matchup that will stay in the barbershop for now. Who would win? We will never know, but it will be a fun topic to debate. It’s just pretty remarkable that the UFC was pushing to make this fight happen just in the last few weeks. You can see Abdelaziz’s appearance on Hotboxin’ Here. 

Tony Ferguson on former UFC champ Khabib: ‘Quit running… Sign on the dotted line’

Years from now, UFC fans are still going to be talking about one of the greatest lightweight matchups that never happened. That matchup would be the matchup between former UFC champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0), and former interim champion, Tony Ferguson (25-5).

For years, Ferguson and Khabib were linked to each other. They were looked at as the two best lightweights in the UFC, but their paths never crossed inside the octagon despite the promotion trying multiple times to book the fight.

The UFC booked Nurmagomedov – Ferguson five total times over the last few years. Every time that the fight was booked it fell through. There was weight cutting issues, injuries, and then a global pandemic to top it all off.

They were last scheduled to meet at UFC 249. However, when the pandemic shut travel down, Ferguson took on Justin Gaethje for the interim title. Gaethje defeated Ferguson and fought Nurmagomedov on Fight Island in October.

After Khabib defeated Gaethje at UFC 254, he announced his retirement in the cage. Last month, the retirement was made official and he relinquished his lightweight title. That lightweight title is up for grabs next month at UFC 262.

That same night, Tony Ferguson is scheduled to take on Beneil Dariush. Ferguson is looking to snap a two-fight losing streak. However, even with that going on, Ferguson is still focused on Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Would Khabib come back to the UFC?

Ferguson appeared on Ariel Helwani’s MMA show today where he talked about his desire to face the former UFC lightweight champion.

“I’m getting closer to Khabib and that’s the only fight that his pops wanted for him and that’s the only fight that they agreed to still. But he’s going to watch, man. They’re gonna try to get as much film on me as they possibly can. Quit being a bitch. Quit running and sign on the dotted line, Khabib”

Perhaps if Ferguson can reel off several wins in a row, the former UFC champion would come back. Khabib’s teammate Daniel Cormier said last month that if someone were to ever defeat Islam Makhachev that Khabib would potentially consider coming back.

Makhachev is another training partner of Khabib’s and a lifelong friend. If Ferguson wins his next matchup, perhaps the UFC pairs him up with Makhachev. Who knows, maybe Ferguson – Khabib isn’t dead. It could just be on life support.

BREAKING: UFC books Michael Chandler – Charles Oliveira for the lightweight title

As I’m writing this, I feel like my head is spinning from all of the UFC news this evening. The promotion finalized a couple of incredible main events in the bantamweight division, then we got the announcement that Khabib Nurmagomedov is staying retired. 

Just when you thought the news was over, the UFC had other plans. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto has reported that the headliner of UFC 262 on May 15th will be for the lightweight championship. Former Bellator champion, Michael Chandler (22-5) will take on Charles Oliveira (30-8, 1 NC).

The lightweight division has been in a state of limbo over the past few months. Dana White has been trying to convince Khabib Nurmagomedov to come back for one more fight, but the UFC‘s lightweight champion has stuck to his guns and is staying retired.

With that, it’s time to move on. Charles Oliveira is getting the title shot that he’s been holding out for. Oliveira has turned down multiple fights because he’s wanted to fight for the UFC title and the promotion is granting him that wish.

Oliveira has gone on an incredible run in the UFC‘s lightweight division. Do Bronx has won eight fights in a row including one over former interim champion, Tony Ferguson. Seven of those eight wins have been finishes.

UFC title shot for the former Bellator champion

Michael Chandler was the biggest MMA free agent signing in 2020. After knocking out Benson Henderson to close out his Bellator contract, all of the top promotions ended up in a bidding war for his services.

Ultimately, Chandler wanted to face the best competition which is why he signed with the UFC. He made his debut with the promotion back at UFC 257 in the co-main event against Dan Hooker.

Chandler closed as a betting underdog, however, Chandler went out and knocked Hooker out in the first round. With that performance, he showed everyone in the UFC that he’s not here just to take part.

Just this week, there were rumors surrounding Chandler potentially fighting Justin Gaethje next. However, Gaethje recently said that he wants a minimum of 12 weeks before his next fight. With that, the UFC shifted gears and now Oliveira and Chandler will battle it out for the lightweight title on May 15th.

BREAKING: Dana White announces UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is officially retired

The UFC lightweight division will officially crown a new champion in 2021. Dana White came out this evening and announced that lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0), is officially retiring at 29-0.

Back in October at UFC 254, Khabib announced his retirement after he defeated Justin Gaethje. However, Dana White has insisted that he believed Khabib was feeling the emotions of the moment and he thought he’d come back to try for 30-0.

For months, we’ve been in this weird limbo with the lightweight division. White continued to say that the UFC lightweight champion wasn’t officially retired and they held a number of meetings to talk about his future.

Finally, Dana White has thrown in the towel. Khabib Nurmagomedov is staying retired and the lightweight division will move on. The UFC president announced the news on his Twitter account that Khabib is going to retire at 29-0.

Khabib’s UFC Legacy

In the sport of Mixed Martial Arts, it’s extremely rare to see someone retire undefeated. If you think about all of the greatest fighters to have ever fought in the UFC, nobody walked away with a perfect record.

Jon Jones is widely considered the greatest to ever do it. However, even Jones has a no contest and a DQ loss on his UFC record. Khabib Nurmagomedov has a clean 29-0 and nobody can say anything.

The UFC’s lightweight division has been the most exciting and dynamic division within the promotion over the last few years. Khabib has reigned supreme and he’s taken out all of the top challenges in dominating fashion.

Outside of Khabib, four men have held a piece of the UFC lightweight title since 2017. Those four men are Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, Justin Gaethje, and Tony Ferguson. Khabib dominated and finished the first three men on that list.

The fight that we never got to see was Khabib against Tony Ferguson. The UFC booked that fight five times, but all five times it fell through. It truly wasn’t meant to be, but considering the direction their careers have gone, I believe most people think Khabib would have won that one too.

Simply put, Khabib is one of the greatest to ever make the walk inside the UFC. His dominance was something truly special to watch and it’s easy to see why Dana White so badly wanted him to fight again.

Khabib is keeping the promise he made to his mother after his father passed away from COVID last year. The UFC’s lightweight champion promised his mother that the Gaethje fight would be the final one and despite White’s best pitches, The Eagle is keeping his promise.

UFC: Khabib Nurmagomedov will remain lightweight champion for the foreseeable future per Dana White

The UFC‘s lightweight title is staying with Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0) for the time being. In fact, it looks like he’s going to remain the champion for the foreseeable future if you ask Dana White.

Yesterday, the UFC president sat down with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto to discuss the lightweight title picture. Khabib said he was done fighting after he defeated Justin Gaethje (22-3) at UFC 254. If you ask Khabib, he hasn’t said anything else other than he’s done since then.

However, Dana White has been very vocal about Khabib coming back for one more fight. For that reason, White has refused to take away the lightweight title from the undisputed champion. Pundits and fellow fighters want the division to move on, but White truly believes Khabib isn’t done.

White told Okamoto that the UFC champion will meet up with him in Las Vegas for another dinner to discuss the future. While that might make fans roll their eyes, White did bring up a very valid point about his discussions with Khabib.

White mentioned the fact that if Khabib had zero interest in fighting, he wouldn’t even take the meeting. For that reason alone, White believes that there is still hope that Khabib comes back for at least one more title defense in the UFC.

What does that mean for the UFC’s lightweight division?

In the interview, White talked about the state of the lightweight division. He said the top seven is extremely stacked in the UFC and he said that all of these guys need to fight it out. After that, you’ll either see a new champion or new challenger for Khabib.

The UFC is moving down the path of booking Dustin Poirier (27-6, 1 NC) – Conor McGregor (22-5) 3. White said that the fight between those two wouldn’t be for a title. That of course derails any fans’ hope of seeing a belt on Dustin Poirier anytime soon.

White said in the interview that he believes whoever makes it through this year with several big wins, that’s who will either be champion or fight Khabib. However, don’t expect the UFC to take the title from Khabib anytime soon as White believes the right fight will still bring him back.

You can see White’s full interview with ESPN below.

UFC leaning towards booking Poirier – McGregor 3 next (Report)

dustin poirier, ufc

A few weeks ago at UFC 257, Dustin Poirier (27-6, 1 NC) proved to the world that he’s the best lightweight with Khabib out of the picture. Poirier knocked out Conor McGregor (22-5) in their rematch from UFC 178.

McGregor won the first round, however, Poirier was chipping away and doing damage. Poirier’s leg kicks were doing some serious damage and by the second round, McGregor had nothing left on his lead leg.

With his leg severely compromised, McGregor was helpless against the barrage from Dustin Poirier. Poirier ended up scoring the second round knockout at UFC 257. In retrospect, this fight should have been for the lightweight title.

Dana White has been trying to convince Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0) to come back for one more fight. However, the UFC‘s lightweight champion has maintained that he’s not interested in returning. As a result, the lightweight division remains in limbo.

After Poirier’s victory, Dana White initially indicated that he’d like to see Poirier face Michael Chandler for the lightweight title. However, Poirier made it clear that is not what he wanted to do next.

The UFC’s Plan

Since UFC 257, Charles Oliveira (30-8, 1 NC), Michael Chandler (22-5), and Nate Diaz (20-12) have all called for fights against Poirier. Of course, McGregor’s camp has been very vocal that they’d like to do the trilogy next.

Of those options, Poirier said he would be interested in everyone but Michael Chandler. With that in mind, the UFC has been working behind the scenes on what’s next for The Diamond. Well, ESPN’s Ariel Helwani said yesterday that the promotion is moving in a specific direction.

As of now, the UFC is currently planning on doing the trilogy between Poirier and McGregor next. There is no timeline as of now, but the word is that McGregor would love to do the fight in May. It is not known if the UFC lightweight title would be on the line in this matchup.

The one guy who could be an odd man out here is Charles Oliveira. As of now, the UFC also appears more likely to book Chandler against Justin Gaethje (22-3). I also think Nate Diaz is more likely to fight someone like Tony Ferguson as opposed to Charles Oliveira.

Charles Oliveira has turned down fights because he’s adamant that he wants a title shot next. However, it now appears that he could be the odd man out in the UFC’s lightweight division. We will have to see how this plays out.