For some time, the expectation has been that UFC 205 will be headlined by a lightweight title fight between UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez, and featherweight kingpin Conor McGregor.
Last night, however, UFC President Dana White and top lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov joined forces on Twitter to pull the plug on this long-rumored matchup. Instead, they said, it would be Nurmagomedov that would face Alvarez at UFC 205 – not McGregor.
Unsurprisingly, this massive twist in the UFC 205 narrative started generating headlines very quickly. None of these headlines, however, were produced by Ariel Helwani, who is arguably the most respected journalist in the sport. Helwani’s silence on this issue promoted one fan to pipe up, at which point Nurmagomedov quickly interjected with an answer of his own.
“He is Team McGregor,” Nurmagomedov said of Helwani’s radio silence. It seems the undefeated lightweight isn’t feeling the love from respected reporter.
Of course, Helwani’s reluctance to comment on White’s assertion that Alvarez would be taking on Nurmagomedov is starting to make a little more sense.
Late last night, ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reported that, contrary to White’s statements, there were actually no new developments in terms of UFC 205’s main event.
Okamoto also reported that Alvarez’s attention still rests firmly on a November 12 showdown with McGregor.
It’s possible that Helwani, who has his finger on the pulse of the fight game, was aware that White’s Alvarez-Nurmagomedov announcement was premature, and neglected to comment on the issue as a result.
The story of UFC 205’s main event get’s stranger by the day. Yet even without a headliner, the card is looking like a can’t-miss night of fighting.
The biggest bout confirmed for UFC 205 thus far is a welterweight title fight between champ Tyron Woodley and challenger Stephen Thompson.
Elsewhere on the card, we’ll witness a welterweight showdown between Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and TUF winner Kelvin Gastelum, while former middleweight champion Chris Weidman is expected to take on streaking Olympian Yoel Romero.
Finally, the card will also be the home of a middleweight bout between Rashad Evans and Tim Kennedy, a lightweight bout between Thiago Alves and Jim Miller, and a bantamweight bout between Liz Carmouche and Katlyn Chookagian. A featherweight bout between Frankie Edgar and Jeremy Stephens is also rumored for the event.
Do you think Khabib Nurmagomedov will get a shot at Eddie Alvarez’s lightweight belt at UFC 205, or will that honor go to Conor McGregor. Sound off, PENN nation!