UFC now targeting Colby Covington – Leon Edwards

UFC, Colby Covington

Well the UFC is completely changing around their current plans after the news yesterday. Yesterday, we learned that the upcoming headliner between Leon Edwards (18-3) and Khamzat Chimaev (9-0) was off. The third time that fight’s been cancelled. 

The promotion decided to move forward and they’ve been working on a new fight for Edwards. Edwards stated on Twitter today that he was interested in fighting Nate Diaz. His management has said he’d take a fight against Diaz, Jorge Masvidal (35-13), or Colby Covington (16-2).

Currently, the UFC had been working on a fight between Masvidal and Covington. It’s the fight that the world has wanted to see and there had been rumblings about those two coaching the next season of The Ultimate Fighter.

However, with the news yesterday, the UFC has switched things up. After today’s weigh-ins, Dana White took to the podium to take questions from the media. When asked about Edwards, White said that the promotion was looking to book Edwards against Colby Covington in a title eliminator.

What does the UFC do now?

Tomorrow night at UFC 258, the welterweight title is on the line between Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns. There is not a clear number one contender lined up to take on the winner of that fight.

For the last few months, the expectation was that Covington and Masvidal would fight in a title eliminator. However, that fight has been slow developing and it still hasn’t been finalized. Now, with the Chimaev news, the UFC appears to be willing to move on.

The word as of now is that there is momentum towards the Covington – Edwards fight which would leave Masvidal without an opponent for now. Covington and Edwards would fight next month to see who would be the UFC’s number one contender.

My guess is that the promotion would shift back to doing the BMF rematch with Masvidal and Nate Diaz (20-12). Originally, that was the plan for the promotion. However, they switched gears in December and tried to book Masvidal – Covington. This is definitely a situation to keep your eyes on.

UFC: With Chimaev out, Leon Edwards calls for a fight with Nate Diaz

Leon Edwards

Yesterday, we found out that the UFC headliner between Leon Edwards (18-3) and Khamzat Chimaev (9-0) is off. The headliner was scheduled to take place on March 13th. This is the third time that the fight has fallen through.

After the first two cancellations, the UFC made it clear that they wanted to keep that fight together. However, after this third cancellation, the promotion is moving on from this matchup for now. The promotion is still hoping to keep Edwards in the main event on March 13th.

Since the news broke yesterday, UFC match makers have been trying to get Edwards a new fight. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani said this morning that Edwards’ reps have said they are interested in only three fighters. Those three fighters are Colby Covington, Jorge Masvidal, and Nate Diaz (20-12).

The UFC is currently working on booking Covington – Masvidal so the likelihood of one of them taking the fight is low. Given the status of all the other top contenders in the division, there isn’t a clear opponent for Edwards at this time.

Edwards took to Twitter this morning to vocalize who he wants to fight next. Edwards made it very clear that he wants to face Stockton’s Nate Diaz on March 13th.

Will the UFC make this fight?

In reality, there’s actually a high probability that the UFC attempts to make this fight. This week, Diaz came out and said that he wanted to fight Charles Oliveira or Dustin Poirier at 170 pounds. He said he’s only interested in fighting winners and he wants to fight at welterweight.

Well, Charles Oliveira said yesterday that he has no interest in fighting Diaz. It’s also been reported that the UFC is heading down the path of booking the trilogy between Poirier and Conor McGregor. That takes away both of the callouts for Nate Diaz.

That’s where Leon Edwards enters the equation perfectly. Edwards is on an eight-fight win streak and he’s currently ranked third in the welterweight division. If Diaz is interested in making his return at 170 pounds and against a winner, it doesn’t get much better than Leon Edwards.

Both of these top UFC fighters need a fight and neither one of them have a clear next opponent. The writing is on the wall to make this matchup. If this fight does get made, I would expect it to happen sooner than later. This will definitely be a situation to follow in the coming days.

 

Justin Gaethje is sick of hearing that Charles Oliveira deserves a UFC title shot

Charles Oliveira (30-8, 1 NC) is one of the best lightweights in the UFC. There is no questioning his talent or questioning how impressive he’s been as of late. However, Oliveira is not gaining any fans with his recent stance on what’s next for him.

Just today, Oliveira shot down a potential fight with Nate Diaz. Over the last month, Oliveira has told the UFC that he would not face Nate Diaz (20-12), Justin Gaethje (22-3), or Michael Chandler (22-5). Instead, he’s demanded that he fights for the title next.

As of now, the UFC lightweight title is in limbo. Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0) is the undisputed lightweight champion, however, he’s maintained that he’s been retired for the last couple of months. Yet, Dana White is still holding onto hope that he changes his mind.

Dustin Poirier (27-6, 1 NC) proved last month at UFC 257 that he deserves to fight for the title next after he knocked out Conor McGregor (22-5). Oliveira has been vocal that he only wants to fight Poirier, but it has to be for the title.

This hasn’t sat well with former interim lightweight champion, Justin Gaethje. Gaethje took to Twitter tonight to voice his frustrations about Oliveira’s stance. Gaethje made it quite clear by stating, “What the f*ck has this dude done to get a shot at the title?”

UFC’s lightweight situation

Gaethje made it clear tonight that he’s sick of Oliveira claiming that he deserves anything. In all honesty, Gaethje does have a point that I also raised in my article about why Oliveira won’t get the next shot at the UFC lightweight title. 

Yes, Oliveira has won eight fights in a row. That alone is incredibly impressive. However, when you really dive into the winning streak, it’s not all that impressive. Yes, Oliveira’s win over Tony Ferguson (25-5) was incredibly impressive.

However, only one other fighter on that list of eight ranks inside the top fifteen. In Oliveira’s last nine fights, he’s fought two guys who are currently ranked tenth or higher in the division. He’s 1-1 in those two matchups with the loss coming against Paul Felder.

Oliveira is playing a very risky game with the UFC. The promotion is giving him opportunities to make himself more of a household name and legitimizing his top contender status. However, he keeps turning things down because he claims he has nothing to prove. Dangerous tightrope he’s walking with this train of thought.

Charles Oliveira only interested in UFC title shot; shoots down Nate Diaz matchup

The UFC has their work cut out for them with Charles Oliveira (30-8, 1 NC). Oliveira is currently on an eight-fight winning steak and he’s made it very clear that he wants a title shot in his next fight. However, the UFC hasn’t been leaning in that direction as of now.

The promotion has tried to book Oliveira against multiple opponents and Oliveira continues to turn down fights. The UFC tried to book Oliveira against Justin Gaethje (22-3) in a title eliminator. Oliveira turned down that fight.

The UFC then tried to pair Oliveira up against Michael Chandler (22-5). They actually tried to make this fight happen a few times. However, every time they called with the offer, Oliveira turned down the fight.

This week, one of the biggest stars in the sport called out Oliveira. Nate Diaz (20-12) said that he would like to face Oliveira when he returns to the octagon. Well, Oliveira took to Twitter to respond today and you can probably guess what his response was.

Oliveira’s game of hardball with the UFC

Do Bronx took to Twitter with a simple post stating, “No interest, homie. Goal: Lightweight belt.” Now, the UFC hasn’t actually approached Oliveira about fighting Nate Diaz, but they now know what his answer would be regardless.

Listen, I completely respect where Oliveira is coming from. He believes he deserves a title shot and he’s willing to say no until he gets it. However, this isn’t always rewarded by the the UFC especially when you’re not a star.

Oliveira’s big problem here is that he’s not a star and he doesn’t have leverage in negotiations. Conor McGregor could do something like this because of the cash cow that he is. However, Oliveira has no pull in this situation against the UFC.

If we’ve learned anything about Dana White, it’s that he loves guys who are down to fight anyone at anytime. Charles Oliveira’s mission is respectable, but it’s not going to make him popular with the brass at the UFC. Three big-time opponents and Oliveira has turned them all down. I have to say, I don’t think it’s wise.

Nate Diaz wants Dustin Poirier or Charles Oliveira in his UFC return

One of the biggest superstars in the UFC is preparing for a return to the octagon. Nate Diaz (20-12) hasn’t fought since November of 2019 in the BMF title fight that resulted in a loss for Diaz due to a cut.

Diaz didn’t get a fight in 2020, but the UFC had been working on the rematch between him and Jorge Masvidal (35-13) at one point. However, that fight fell through due to the promotion’s desire to book Masvidal against Colby Covington instead.

Now, Diaz is sizing up the UFC‘s lightweight division. He’s made it very clear on social media that he wants to fight Dustin Poirier (27-6, 1 NC). Poirier and Diaz were originally supposed to fight a couple of years ago before Poirier suffered an injury.

Diaz has been calling for that fight on Twitter. Today, Diaz sat down with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani and talked about potential opponents for his return. He told Helwani that he’s only interested in winners. The two names he listed were Poirier and Charles Oliveira (30-8, 1 NC).

Which will the UFC make?

Things just became really interesting in the UFC’s lightweight division. It’s been reported that the promotion is likely going to book the trilogy fight between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor next. 

With that in mind, it would appear that Poirier is off the table for Nate Diaz. That leaves us with Charles Oliveira. Oliveira has been vocal about not wanting any fights if a UFC title wasn’t on the line. However, could he turn down this opportunity.

Diaz is one of the biggest stars in the sport and Oliveira needs a win over a guy like that to build himself up. As of now, it looks like the UFC is going to book Michael Chandler (22-5) against Justin Gaethje (22-3) which leaves Oliveira without an opponent. Assuming the Poirier – McGregor trilogy is on.

If Oliveira is the fight Diaz wants, I can definitely see the UFC moving to book that fight. In reality, it’s a win-win situation for the promotion. If Oliveira wins, he gets the much needed rub that would push him over the top.

However, if Nate Diaz wins, one of the biggest stars in the sport is now squarely in the title picture. Granted, Diaz did say in the interview that he has no interest in making 155 pounds. You can check out Diaz’s full interview with Ariel Helwani below.

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

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.

UFC: Tony Ferguson calls out Nate Diaz

Tony Ferguson, UFC

The UFC‘s lightweight division is full of callouts right now. You have Nate Diaz (20-12) and Conor McGregor (22-5) both calling for fights with Dustin Poirier (27-6, 1 NC). Meanwhile, Justin Gaethje (22-3) and Michael Chandler (22-5) seem to be on a collision course and calling each other out.

Charles Oliveira (30-8, 1 NC) is out in no-mans land at the moment. The UFC has offered him a couple of fights, but he’s turned them down due to his desire to fight for the title. It’s title shot or no deal for Do Bronx at the moment.

While all of this has been happening, the last man Oliveira defeated has been biting his time. That man is the former interim UFC lightweight champion, Tony Ferguson (25-5). Ferguson has lost two straight, but he’s anxious to get back into the cage.

Ferguson decided to make a callout yesterday and it’s for a fight that many in the fight world want to see. El Cucuy called out Nate Diaz on Twitter and called for a fight with him at either welterweight or lightweight.

Will the UFC make this fight?

In reality, this is the perfect matchup for the UFC to make. It’s a very good fight for Tony Ferguson and it would give Nate Diaz a good fight to get him back in the mix. Combine that with their entertaining styles and you have a can’t miss fight.

However, it’s been known that Diaz only likes to take fights against guys on the rise. The stock of El Cucuy has never been lower. Ferguson entered 2020 as the top contender who was gearing up to face Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0).

However, that fight fell through for the fifth time and Ferguson took on Justin Gaethje at UFC 249. Ferguson was dominated and stopped in the fifth round. He then took a fight against Oliveira at UFC 256 and was again dominated.

After winning 12 fights in a row in the UFC’s lightweight division, Ferguson has dropped two straight lopsided fights. That might not entice Diaz to take that fight. However, we know Diaz is all about fighting tough guys who won’t back down and we know El Cucuy checks both of those boxes.

Conor McGregor eager to compete again after UFC 257; wants trilogy fight with Dustin Poirier

Conor McGregor, UFC

The weekend before last at UFC 257 we saw the return of the former two-division champion, Conor McGregor (22-5). McGregor was competing for the first time in over a year and for the first time since his brief retirement in 2020.

In the main event of UFC 257, McGregor had a rematch with Dustin Poirier (27-6, 1 NC). The two had previously fought back in 2014 and McGregor had knocked Poirier out in the first round. However, since then, Poirier has been much more active inside the octagon.

The fight started out well for McGregor. He won the first round on all three judges scorecards, and Poirier admitted that McGregor stunned him in the first. However, Poirier was doing damage that was adding up.

Poirier was peppering McGregor’s lead leg with leg kicks. McGregor was failing to properly check the kicks and the damage was really adding up. In the second round, McGregor’s leg completely wobbled from a kick and Poirier swarmed.

A few massive shots put McGregor down and Poirier walked away the winner at UFC 257. Since then, we haven’t heard much from Conor McGregor. Well, today he posted a lengthy Instagram post where he went through the fight and discussed what’s next.

Will the UFC do the trilogy next?

“I enjoyed racking up some more time inside the famed UFC Octagon,” McGregor said. “40 seconds in 3 years is all I’d had up to this bout. I was savoring every second and enjoying my work. A little single disciplined in my approach and stance with mostly boxing.”

The former UFC champion continued, “I deserved to get the legs kicked off me going in with this thinking. This is not the game to play around with. Besides this tho my shots where sharp and I was in full control. Albeit the leg attacks where building up on me throughout the course. 18 in total thrown at me, with the final one buckling my leg fully, that was that.”

“First time to experience it. Then a tremendous finishing flurry by my opponent. Hats off! A well fought fight by The Diamond. 1 a piece now with a Trilogy bout for all the marbles! Wow! Exciting!”

It’s clear that McGregor wants the trilogy with Poirier for his next outing. Right now, Poirier has said that he wants either McGregor, Nate Diaz (20-12), or Charles Oliveira (30-8, 1 NC) for his next UFC bout.

Both Nate Diaz and Charles Oliveira have said this is what they want as well. There are three viable options for Poirier. From a rankings perspective, Oliveira is the fight that makes sense. However, Diaz and McGregor are the money bouts. It’ll be interesting to see what the UFC decides.

UFC: Nate Diaz continues calling out Dustin Poirier

The UFC is going to have to make a decision soon on what they want to do with Dustin Poirier (27-6, 1 NC). Poirier just knocked out Conor McGregor (22-5) and established himself as the best lightweight not named Khabib in the UFC.

He has said he’s the uncrowned champion which in reality is true assuming Khabib is retired. The Diamond has proven over the last few years that he’s one of the best fighters in the world.

He’s now in a position where he has a little control over what he wants to do next. Poirier has said that he will sit out unless the UFC gives him an opponent that he’s happy with. One of those opponents is Stockton’s Nate Diaz (20-12).

Diaz is one of the biggest superstars in the sport. He was also supposed to fight Dustin Poirier back at UFC 230, however, a Poirier injury caused the fight to be called off. Diaz said recently he was training to fight Poirier next. 

Poirier has acknowledged that he wants to fight Nate Diaz even if it didn’t make sense. He told Ariel Helwani this week that a bout with Diaz would excite him. Diaz continued his callouts yesterday on Twitter.

Will the UFC book this matchup?

Dustin Poirier has said that he would let the UFC book another title fight if he’s not happy with his options. That could potentially open the door for him to move up to 170 pounds to fight Nate Diaz. Diaz’s recent callouts suggest he’s not wanting to go back to lightweight.

Poirier has said that he’s open to fighting at 170 pounds in the future. While the fight wouldn’t have any significance in terms of divisional standing, the fight would be a massive fight for fight fans.

I don’t think there are any UFC fans that would complain about a matchup between Diaz and Poirier. The UFC had their matchmaking meeting yesterday and one has to wonder if The Diamond was discussed. One thing we know for sure is that Poirier and Diaz are both down for that fight.

UFC attempted to make Chandler – Oliveira; Oliveira turned it down

The UFC lightweight division is in a very unique spot at the moment. It’s the most exciting division in the promotion, however, there is a lot of cloudiness surrounding the top of the division. Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0) has said he’s retired, yet he’s still the UFC champion.

Back at UFC 257, Dustin Poirier (27-6, 1 NC) knocked out Conor McGregor (22-5) in the main event. In retrospect, that fight should have been for the vacant lightweight title with the assumption that Khabib is staying retired.

In the co-main event of the evening, Michael Chandler (22-5) knocked out Dan Hooker (20-10) in the first round. The win was a huge statement in the UFC debut of Michael Chandler. Chandler had spent virtually his entire career with Bellator to that point.

After the fights, Dana White said that the UFC was going to have to figure out what to do with the division. Obviously, Dustin Poirier would be fighting for the title next, but the promotion didn’t know who that would be against.

Poirier only seemed interested in McGregor, Nate Diaz (20-12), or Charles Oliveira (30-8, 1 NC). Meanwhile, Dana White seemed more interested in having Chandler fight Poirier for the lightweight title. This is an idea that Poirier was not a fan of because he felt Chandler hadn’t earned a shot in the UFC.

UFC attempted to book Chandler – Oliveira

Last week we learned that the co-main event of UFC 258 between Chris Weidman and Uriah Hall fell through. Also around the same time, Michael Chandler posted on his Instagram that he was Dana White’s new “Yes Man” which left people wondering what was going on.

Well, according to a report from AG Fight, Chandler was offered the co-main event slot at UFC 258. His opponent would have been none other than Charles Oliveira. This goes along with what Chandler told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani this week.

This is a matchup that would’ve provided a great deal of clarity in the lightweight division. However, Oliveira turned down the fight according to the report citing his desire to fight for the title next.

Granted, there might have been other reasons behind the decision, but nevertheless, Oliveira turned down the fight with Michael Chandler. If he couldn’t get ready in time, I completely understand. However, if this was a move out of principle, I really don’t agree with the move.

Charles Oliveira’s eight-fight win streak is incredible. It’s enough to warrant a title shot, however, as I put in my article yesterday, the UFC is not going to give him the next shot. At least, I would be extremely surprised if they do.

That said, this could have been a golden chance for Oliveira to force their hand. Had Oliveira fought and defeated the new company man, the UFC would have nothing left other than offering him a title shot. Time will tell if this was a smart decision or not, but as of now, I really don’t agree with it.