The UFC is starving for top stars right now; as it looks like Conor McGregor, Ronda Rousey, Jon Jones, Brock Lesnar Nate Diaz, and Georges St-Pierre have no plans in place to return to the Octagon anytime soon.
Currently, the biggest fight slated to go down in the UFC’s future is a chance for light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier to become a two-division champion when he challenges for Stipe Miocic’s heavyweight crown.
It turns out the UFC actually had some plans in place to try and revitalize the hype surrounding the promotion.
Starving For Stars
It’s no secret that UFC President Dana White and brass have been working hard to try and book the likes of McGregor, Diaz and St-Pierre back into the Octagon.
A recent report from MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani, however, notes that the promotion actually had a massive plan laid out for each of these men’s returns.
It seems that a four-man tourney was the plan; having Diaz take on St-Pierre, and the winner facing the winner of a Conor McGregor vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov fight for the lightweight title.
The UFC wanted to have Diaz vs. St-Pierre go down on August 4th in Los Angeles, and McGregor vs. Nurmagomedov in the fall. The winners would’ve fought at the end of the year for the 155-pound crown.
Negotiations for a fight between St-Pierre and Diaz fell through, however, not to mention that the Canadian isn’t necessarily ready to get back into the cage either (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“I’m not ready to fight yet,” he told MMAFighting.com. “I need to wait until all the symptoms of my ulcer stop.
“It’s much better than it was but it’s not 100 percent yet. If I try to return for a training camp for a fight it will amplify and go back to what it was in the beginning.
“I need to get over this first for my own health and safety.”
No Drama Show Wanted
As for McGregor vs. Nurmagomedov, the Russian’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, tells MMA Fighting that he and The Eagle are more focused on a fight with St-Pierre rather than the Irishman:
“We believe the fight to make is the Georges St-Pierre fight at 155 pounds,” Ali Abdelaziz said.
“Khabib wants to fight for legacy and not for a soap opera drama show, and we think Conor doesn’t deserve this opportunity.
“The guy hasn’t fought in almost two years. Why does he deserve to fight for the title? He should get his ass back in the line and work his way up.”
Abdelaziz then noted that the only reason Nurmagomedov would want to fight McGregor is to pay him back for the incident he pulled in Brooklyn several weeks ago, attacking the fighter bus the lightweight champion was on:
“There’s only one reason Khabib wants to fight him: to make him pay for what he did [in Brooklyn]. For Khbaib, it’s not only about money. It’s about disciplining him.
“That being said, UFC should be talking to Georges, not Conor.”
Helwani noted in his report that it’s possible the UFC re-books this four-man tourney by having Diaz vs. McGregor 3 and St-Pierre vs. Nurmagomedov, with the winners facing each other.
However, Helwani’s sources indicate there’s not much talk of that happening at the moment.
What are your thoughts on the UFC’s scrapped four-man tourney plans? Let us know your thoughts on the matter in the comments section below!