Dominance MMA manager Ali Abdelaziz is sitting in a pretty good spot at the moment managing a large crop of the top fighters in the world, including UFC lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov and UFC welterweight champ Kamaru Usman. That’s made him something of a power player in the UFC world, which is rare outside the circle of UFC brass.
Is he powerful enough to dictate Conor McGregor’s next fight? Okay, let’s not get crazy. But he’s certainly having fun pretending he can in the media as part of the kayfabe drama show that seems to be a permanent fixture of top level mixed martial arts these days.
“Right now, he’s on punishment for his bad behavior,” Abdelaziz told TMZ Sports in a recent interview “Right now, he needs to sit down. Go fight Tony Ferguson, stay busy, stay active. Go fight Jorge Masvidal. Stay active, I want to see activity. Remember, he used to say that to all of us? Guess what? Payback is a bitch.”
As for McGregor’s recent ‘retirement,’ Ali sounds skeptical.
“Same old prostitute, he want attention,” he said. “He robbed poor Amanda Nunes out of her moment. Stop it.”
McGregor announced his latest retirement on Twitter moments before Amanda Nunes walked out for her UFC 250 fight against Felicia Spencer, sucking up a lot of the oxygen from the moment that otherwise could have gone to the women’s GOAT contender.
McGregor cited constant struggles with the UFC to get the fights he wanted, specifically a bout with Justin Gaethje in the summer that would set up a fall rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov. The UFC decided to simply book Gaethje and Nurmagomedov in September instead, leaving McGregor without a marquee opponent for the coming months.
“A lot of good business done is off Conor,” Abdelaziz said. “But UFC doesn’t stop without Conor, we don’t stop without Conor. Will Khabib fight him? He can forget about it. I don’t think Khabib will fight him. Will Gaethje fight him? I don’t know. Maybe. But at the end of the day, I would like to see Conor fight one more fight before he gets a title shot. I would like to see him fight Tony Ferguson. I think that’s the fight a lot of people … it’s a good fight. They have histories, and I think they should fight to see who is the number one contender.”
As awesome of a fight as that would be in the cage, we have our doubts it will draw McGregor out of retirement. But Gaethje … you’ll notice Abdelaziz said Gaethje might be willing to fight Conor. Whether he just meant if Justin beats Khabib, or if there’s still room to squeeze a title eliminator against McGregor in the meantime is unclear. You certainly can’t force Gaethje to take it. His performance against Ferguson merits a title fight, and he sounds completely uninterested in risking his title fight to fight Conor first.
But you also can’t ignore the staggering amount of money the UFC (and Gaethje) could make off a Gaethje vs. McGregor fight, followed by the winner fighting Khabib. When there’s this much money on the table, anything is possible.
What do you think, Maniacs? Do you expect McGregor to land back in the cage before the end of the year? And if so, against who?
Adapted from Source link