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22nd Sep 2016

UFC 205 main event on knife-edge despite positive Conor McGregor injury update

Alvarez vs Nurmagomedov looks to have fallen through.

Patrick McCarry

Conor McGregor is ready to fight. Eddie Alvarez wants to fight him. UFC 205 needs a big-name headliner. And still…

Dana White plonked himself right in the middle of the UFC 205 picture on Tuesday when he stated lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez would be taking on Khabib Nurmagomedov at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

It came as quite a shock to the MMA reporters and fans that had heard, from reliable sources, that McGregor-Alvarez was the big fight the promotion had wanted.

Nurmagomedov may have been celebrating the announcement but, according to Brett Okomato of ESPN, Alvarez has yet to sign any contracts and still wants the McGregor fight.

McGregor had been silent during the initial flurry of tweets from Alvarez, White and Nurmagomedov but eventually shot out a less than cryptic call to the lightweight champ.

The impasse today is directly related to the events of August 20, when McGregor settled his score with Nate Diaz at UFC 202.

That fight meant that McGregor, the UFC featherweight champion, has now fought his two most recent fights outside of the featherweight division without ever actually defending his title.

White has told The Notorious that another fight outside the 145lb division would mean his giving up the featherweight belt he claimed from Jose Aldo last December.

McGregor is dead set on his goal of becoming a two-weight UFC champion. An unprecedented move of announcing a lightweight tilt followed by a guaranteed featherweight defence in Spring 2017 has been mooted but the UFC want their featherweight champ back fighting featherweights.

There is still some hope that the lightweight bout might happen as one element that is not a factor in the UFC 205 tug-of-war is McGregor’s leg. He required medical treatment on a severely bruised shin after the Diaz victory but word from the McGregor camp is that the leg would definitely hold up for a November 12 fight.

With UFC 205 just over eight weeks away, we are getting close to a main event decision. Right now, it is looking like the Alvarez-Nurmagomedov decider could be pushed back to December’s UFC 206 in Toronto but McGregor’s shadow looms larger than ever.

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