Conor wants it, the UFC are more than likely salivating at the prospect of it, but does the world actually need another dose of Khabib vs. McGregor?
Well, the PPV buy-rate estimates have yet to be released but if we’re judging on what we’ve seen and heard about the fan interest in this event, it’s pretty safe to guess that a lot of records have been smashed.
Overall, the night was a fantastic one. It was indeed marred by the ugly scenes that followed the main-event headliner but as the hours and days have gone on, the initial shock of seeing the post-fight brawl has passed to a certain extent.
What happened inside the octagon over the four rounds was a clean, decisive, and undisputable win for the Russian.
It was competitive only in flashes and despite the sheer insanity that saw both men leaving the T-Mobile Arena flanked by security, I’d wager that there were very few watching who felt as though there were any questions that remained unanswered by the time the fight’s conclusion came about.
It was entertaining, yes, but it was no Whittaker/Romero, no Alvarez/Poirier, or even no a McGregor/Diaz – it really didn’t appear as though we needed to see anything else from these two for now.
However, Conor himself managed to spark a fire within the MMA community by tweeting the following shortly after the fight.
Good knock. Looking forward to the rematch.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) October 7, 2018
His coach John Kavanagh backed this up further during an appearance on the JRE podcast, making it clear that Conor is not the type of fighter to take a step down or even a tune-up fight.
“He’s screaming and shouting for the rematch within minutes. That’s all I’m hearing from him.
“This is a business and it would be a huge fight.”
We’ve seen the UFC make some questionable decisions in the recent past when the money is right and when you think about it, it does look as though this is the move to make.
If they saw the bus-attack in Brooklyn as an absolute gold-mine of a promo then the post-fight melee that followed Saturday’s main attraction is a once-in-a-lifetime piece of footage that you can guarantee the UFC will use as frequently as possible to ensure this fight sells big.
Even in the interviews that he gave to press in the fight’s immediate aftermath, you could see the UFC president Dana White almost grinning on the inside as he refused to rule out getting Conor and Khabib back in there together.
In a time where Brock Lesnar can return without an official win in eight years and be guaranteed a shot at heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, would it be surprising to see Dana and co. decide to look at the earning potential for this one and strike while the iron is hot?
I think it’s a very real possibility.
So when would it happen?
You’d have to assume that Khabib and his team will be dealing with the legal ramifications of their post-fight actions for quite some time now – at least a few months.
The right thing to do here would, of course, be to keep the division moving, to allow the rightful top-contender Tony Ferguson his chance at the belt and restore some order at 155lbs.
That is the only option for Khabib that makes any real sense it seems.
But with four failed attempts to make a fight between him and Ferguson, the far less lucrative and much riskier option would be difficult to imagine right now – especially when you consider the alternative.
The UFC just don’t seem to think too far ahead these days and when the opportunity to make some quick cash presents itself, they generally seem to jump on that chance – even if it makes no sense whatsoever.
I’d certainly like to see these two run it back someday, don’t get me wrong, but let’s allow Conor McGregor the opportunity to prove that he deserves it once again.
His last non-title bout (Diaz bouts aside) was against Dennis Siver in January of 2015 and since then, it has been nothing but belts and bright lights for the Irishman.
He doesn’t appear to have any interest in getting back in line, though, but if the UFC are smart, they would realise that a resurgent Conor coming off of a win – would do a better job at inspiring the public than one who is becoming more noticed for the action he brings outside of the octagon than the magic he created inside it.
I predict we’ll see Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor II next summer.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena