Each week, ESPN.com author and MMA Live Extra researcher Brett Okamoto provides his take on a hottest topics in a universe of churned martial arts.
This week, Okamoto squares off with lightweight contender Tony Ferguson to discuss a latest news and trends. Ferguson (20-3), will face dominant Khabib Nurmagomedov (22-0), during UFC Fight Night on Apr 16 in Tampa, Florida.
Editor’s note: Due to a singular circumstance, Five Rounds incited into Four Rounds this week.
1. Following a feet damage to Rafael dos Anjos, UFC 145-pound champ Conor McGregor will quarrel Nate Diaz during a 170-pound quarrel during UFC 196. Is it a intelligent pierce for a champ McGregor to accept a catchweight fight?
Ferguson: For a male who talks that most s—? Yeah, we improved f—— do it. There’s no subsidy down now. You explain to be a aristocrat of everything. You consider during 155 we’re a garland of sticks in a mud. We’ll send we behind where we belong. He talks approach too most s—. For me, personally, we would adore to make his face totally bloody, nonetheless I’m certain copiousness of lightweights can do that. we consider both me and Khabib would make this male a b—-. we don’t have to talk. As prolonged as we travel a travel and keep winning, I’m doing my job. we see him as a quickest underling in a world. He’s flat-footed. The UFC has larger skeleton for me. Does this dude need an a– whooping? Yes. You’re not a God, you’re an idiot. Maybe I’ll assistance Nate sight to kick a s— out of this dude.
Okamoto: Doesn’t seem intelligent to me — generally a 170-pound part. Why not force Diaz to go by a con of slicing weight? Stack a rug in your preference as most as possible, that’s what intelligent champions do. This is what creates McGregor special though. He could force Diaz to come down in weight nonetheless instead, he says, “Why? I’ll kick him anyway.” He could not quarrel during all, wait a integrate of months and safety a eventuality to make story by fighting Dos Anjos for a second pretension during a after event. He doesn’t do any of that. Plenty of fighters are confident, nonetheless McGregor’s certainty turn is immeasurable. It flirts with insanity. Eventually, we arrange of design it to get him in trouble. But it hasn’t yet.
2. Former champion Jose Aldo incited down an offer to reinstate Dos Anjos on 11 days’ notice. Was that a intelligent pierce by a former featherweight king?
Ferguson: It’s his preference to make. Whatever he wants to do. There’s a lot of bull—- that goes into a quarrel with Conor. I’m that male who takes that bull—- and uses it opposite him. If this quarrel were in Brazil, it would have worked for Aldo. Conor uses countries opposite people. You have to have a clever mind and clever body. Aldo would have taken a quarrel in Brazil. Guarantee Conor wouldn’t have been there. That small b—-. He’s built such a fan bottom wherever he goes, he needs it. we guarantee, once he hears one boo, a master of transformation is going to demeanour like s—. Aldo usually couldn’t snap out of it. He would not demeanour during Conor (when they fought during UFC 194) for a life of him. we sat there and watched, from a time he was in his locker room, a walkout — he was in a Octagon and didn’t demeanour during him.
Okamoto: Hard to contend yet vocalization to him and removing his full side of a story. You can’t assistance nonetheless consider he’s vouchsafing his usually shot during a rematch with McGregor outing by, though. McGregor is headed for bigger and improved things than a rematch opposite a male he knocked out in 13 seconds. Maybe Diaz beats him and sends him behind to earth … or maybe he beats Diaz, afterwards Dos Anjos, afterwards Robbie Lawler and retires with 3 belts? Who knows right now? But behind in July, Aldo pulled out of a quarrel with McGregor on reduction than dual weeks’ notice due to injury. How cold would it have been to see him step adult and quarrel him on reduction than dual weeks’ notice this time? Storybook. Instead, he’s not prepared — after saying in a amicable media post recently he’d be prepared “any time, anywhere.” we can’t error Aldo for not holding a quarrel he didn’t feel prepared for, nonetheless this goes to uncover because he was never a extravagantly renouned champion.
3. True/False: Conor McGregor defends his UFC featherweight championship during slightest once.
Ferguson: True. We’re going to send his a– behind down.
Okamoto: His subsequent quarrel is during 170 pounds. He and his manager John Kavanagh have publicly talked about fighting for a 170-pound title. The cut to 145 was always unequivocally difficult. Sitting here today, it’s tough to prognosticate his destiny is during 145. Then again, if he loses to Diaz, it creates clarity that he’d make during slightest one outing behind to featherweight to urge a pretension and sojourn a champion. Could go possibly approach depending on destiny developments, nonetheless right now I’ll contend false. There will be a flourishing direct for that multiplication to pierce on.
Ferguson: we listened a lot about that. we wish that Dada 5000 is doing better. we don’t consider it’s bad for a sport. we consider as prolonged as they’re competing, it’s good for a sport. From what we heard, they did what — 2.5 million viewers? Obviously, it sells. If it sells and it’s going to work, I’ll relate it with McGregor articulate s—, that’s going to work. If you’re prohibited and you’re going to get numbers, that’s going to sell. For Bellator MMA, I’m not a vast fan. I’m a association man, I’m about a UFC. But it’s about promotion. How are we going to foster yourself? For me, we make my income winning. we don’t feed into a amicable media. we don’t care.
Okamoto: we wrote a mainstay about this already progressing in a week. No, it doesn’t harm a sport. MMA is over a time when a bad fight, even a bad weird uncover fight, sends it behind a few years. Certain pockets of comparison generations still see it as a blood sport, nonetheless by and vast it’s grown from a ‘no binds barred’ roots. Had Dada 5000 not recovered from his medical shock that night, that would have been a opposite story — nonetheless even then, I’m not certain a public’s rage would have totally depressed on MMA as a whole. Some of it would have, obviously, nonetheless we consider it would have been rather strong on Bellator and, to a obtuse extent, a Texas jaunty commission. Since Dada 5000 has stabilized and a large ratings have been tallied, a distortion of a quarrel unequivocally has no ill effects on MMA in general.