While some promotions run away from regulation when convenient, to its enormous credit, the UFC has run towards government athletic commissions, from the moment ZUFFA acquired the operation from SEG in 2001. With lobbying, state after state and at one point all of Canada at the Federal level decided to regulate the sport. Finally, there was only one left in North America.
The UFC spent nine years and an estimated $2,000,000 pushing for the regulation of MMA in New York. Professional MMA was illegal, but amateur MMA contests were taking place, often without blood tests. Fighters with Hepatitis and even HIV were competing in New York.
Now York finally wised up, over some last minute opposition from buffoons and worse. Now a triumphant return to The Empire State is planned with UFC 205 on November 12, 2016 at Madison Square Garden.
It was widely believed that the UFC was negotiating with featherweight champion Conor McGregor for a fight with lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez. There were reports that McGregor wanted to retain his featherweight title while taking the lightweight challenge, but that the UFC was adamant that after fighting Nate Diaz twice, ‘Notorious’ had to give up the featherweight belt, or defend it.
Now there are indications via UFC president Dana White’s Twitter account that it will be Alvarez vs. #1 contender Khabib Nurmagomedov. It came in response to a simple fan tweet.
There was a confirmation of sorts from ‘The Eagle’ that the fight had been offered to he and to Alvarez, and that they were waiting for the lightweight champion to sign.
Nurmagomedov also posted a more detailed message on Instagram.
“Very soon with ALLAH’s will, I will step into the Octagon again and this time I will fight as it is my last fight,” he wrote in English and Russian. “It was almost a lifetime long road for me after the title, believe me I’m not going to underestimate my opponent, I will do everything in my power to get that title back to my home Country Russia, Dagestan with me.”
Alvarez is reportedly still holding out for the money fight with McGregor.
The UFC 205 card to date, although unofficial, is believed to now include:
Main Card (PPV)
•Eddie Alvarez vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov (if they sign)
•Tyron Woodley vs. Stephen Thompson
•Chris Weidman vs. Yoel Romero
•Donald Cerrone vs. Kelvin Gastelum
•Tim Kennedy vs. Rashad Evans
•Frankie Edgar vs. Jeremy Stephens
•Thiago Alves vs. Al Iaquinta
•Liz Carmouche vs. Katlyn Chookagian
•Gian Villante vs. Marcos Rogério de Lima
And if Conor McGregor isn’t fighting Alvarez, that would seem to leave two choices. A trilogy fight with Diaz, which White said was not going to be for a while, or a rematch with interim featherweight Jose Aldo.