Just last week it looked like Khabib Nurmagomedov had his lightweight title shot all but sewn up, with Dana White stating publicly that he would get it. Still, rumors persisted that Conor McGregor was actually get the next crack at Eddie Alvarez which caused Nurmagomedov to say call a McGregor-Alvarez title fight "number one bullshit."
Well, that "bullshit" has come to fruition. Last night, White officially confirmed that Alvarez-McGregor would headline the UFC return to New York at UFC 205, leaving Nurmagomedov out in the cold. Nurmagomedov expressed his feelings on the matter via Twitter, reaffirming his stance that the decision to give McGregor a title shot is "bullshit" and suggesting that he was just used as leverage by the UFC.
I have two bout agreements that bullshit champ refuses to sign. I got used the whole time to make Conor and Eddie get on their knees and beg— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) September 27, 2016
While it now appears that the UFC was only using Nurmagomedov as leverage over Alvarez or McGregor or both, last week White did confirm that the UFC sent Alvarez bout agreements for a fight with Nurmagomedov at both UFC 205 and UFC 206. It's possible that Alvarez refused to fight Nurmagomedov in favor of the McGregor bout. It's also possible that McGregor, who has been recovering from a foot injury suffered at UFC 202, was questionable to return again this year, forcing the UFC to look at other options.
However the fight came to be, Nurmagomedov is livid about it. After his tweets, he posted on his Instagram questioning the sporting merit of the UFC and calling it a "freakshow" before vowing to move on.
В то время когда я подписывал контракт с @ufc это ещё был спортом, щас это перешло в шоу, или как это назвать я не знаю, единственное что меня держит в этом гребенном так называемом спорте - это то что я не хочу останавливаться на пол пути, этому меня не учили, я продолжу идти ИншаАллагь. When I signed agreement with @UFC it was sport. Now it became a freak show, or I don't know how to call it right. Only thing that keeping me in this cracking sport, is that I don't want to stop on the halfway, I wasn't raised like this, not a quiter. I'll keep moving forward InshaAllah.
Fortunately for Nurmagomedov, a viable option to "move forward" presented itself almost immediately: Michael Johnson.
@TeamKhabib been going back and forth come and try to take your anger out on me cuz you were passed up! Sucks bro but our fight is better!— Michael Johnson (@FollowTheMenace) September 27, 2016
Johnson is coming off his scintillating first-round knockout of Dustin Poirier two weeks ago and last week, when Nurmagomedov was discussing possible fights should the UFC pass him over for a title shot, he was particularly keen on a bout with Johnson. Johnson is currently the sixth ranked lightweight and a win over him would likely secure a title shot for Nurmagomedov which was perhaps why he was so quick to agree to the fight over Twitter.
There are still a couple of slots open on the UFC 205 card so maybe that fight will be announced in the coming weeks.
Money fight. Conor McGregor vs. Eddie Alvarez for the UFC lightweight championship will headline UFC 205.
Flag on the play. Ruslan Magomedov was flagged by USADA for a potential violation.
Catchweight. George Lockhart says Cris Cyborg was allowed to weigh in slightly above the 141 lb. limit.
Trilogy. Wanderlei Silva promises an "epic fight" with Mirko CroCop at upcoming Rizin.
Lucky. Dan Henderson's only career regret is losing out on the Jon Jones fight.
Lower. USADA and the UFC reduced fighter fees in the arbitration process.
Dana on Hot 97.
Jeremy Stephens interview.
Sub Radio interviews.
Fights Gone By.
There it is.
If he wins, they'll make him vacate. But he should keep it for promotion certainly.
Conor will retain 145-pound belt through UFC 205, White confirms to Van Pelt. See you guys tomorrow at The Theater @TheGarden!— Dave Sholler (@Sholler_UFC) September 27, 2016
The real reason the UFC is gonna give CM Punk another fight.
I can confirm reports of former WWE star Ryback being in negotiations with Bellator. Won't be surprised if it happens.— Jeremy Botter (@jeremybotter) September 26, 2016
Bout contract signed. Happy happy pic.twitter.com/JZcez6urXP— Josh Samman (@JoshSamman) September 26, 2016
So, Dom replies here in a way that makes it seem like that is definitely the fight.
Dan Charles (10-3-1) vs. Virgil Xwicker (14-5-1); Bellator 162, October 21.
Conor McGregor (20-3-0) vs. Eddie Alvarez (28-4-0); UFC 205, November 12.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2014: Demetrious Johnson submitted Chris Cariaso to retain his UFC flyweight championship at UFC 178. This event also saw Eddie Alvarez make his UFC debut, losing a decision to Donald Cerrone, as well as the return of former (and now present) bantamweight kingpin Dominick Cruz, who obliterated Takeya Mizugaki in 61 seconds. Oh, and lest we forget, Conor McGregor KO'd Dustin Poirier and Yoel Romero and Tim Kennedy had their incredibly controversial middleweight contest, where Romero both won and lost in the same fight.
2015: Uriah Hall pulled off the epic comeback, knocking out Gegard Moussasi with a spinning back kick.
Look, I'm the biggest Khabib guy out there and I personally believe he is the best lightweight on Earth right now. But making the Conor-Eddie fight was always what was going to happen and it is what should happen. 205 is a marquee event and it needs a marquee headliner. I would be very, very shocked if this didn't end up being the biggest UFC event ever. I cannot wait for it and I hope I get to go.
Also, Nick Baldwin of Bloody Elbow and I did a fight companion for the Rizin card this past weekend. If you feel like listening to us talk for 4 hours, give it a listen here.
One down, four to go. Have a good day y'all and see you tomorrow.
If you find something you'd like to see in the Morning Report, just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting because we post dope things and you should enjoy them.