Given the huge disappointment that was UFC 200, there is now massive pressure on the MMA promotion to ensure that their first New York event will live up to the hype.
In recent days, persistent rumours suggested that Eddie Alvarez and Conor McGregor was about to be announced as the main event for the Madison Square Garden card.
However, those reports seemed to be dismissed on Wednesday morning as UFC President Dana White announced that Alvarez was in fact being lined up to face Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 205.
— Dana White (@danawhite) September 21, 2016
Khabib reacted with sheer delight to the news and, heading into the promotion’s ‘UFC Tonight’ show on Wednesday evening, many were wondering if the Alvarez vs Nurmagomedov fight would actually be confirmed.
— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) September 21, 2016
As it happened, UFC Tonight broke the massive news that Alvarez had been sent a contract to fight Khabib in New York but had refused to sign it. As a result, Dana White has reissued a contract that, if signed, would see the two face off at UFC 206 in Toronto.
— UFC Tonight (@UFCTonight) September 22, 2016
Eddie Alvarez has been sent a bout agreement to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 206. Still hasn't signed#UFCTonight
— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) September 22, 2016
As for Conor McGregor, UFC reporter Megan Olivi claimed that the Irishman will miss UFC 205 completely as his leg injury will keep him out of action beyond the event.
Whether this is in fact final or not remains to be seen. However, given Conor’s recent social media activity, it seems far more likely that he is still in some form of stand off negotiations with the company.
If the UFC, as appears to be the case, will not allow McGregor to face Alvarez, it seems as if there are only two more options remaining for the Notorious Irishman – defend his featherweight title against Jose Aldo, or take on the potentially returning Georges St-Pierre in a fight that is sure to break pay-per-view records.
However, with St-Pierre apparently in the midst of an ongoing dispute with the UFC regarding his sponsorship rights, and with McGregor apparently uninterested in defending his title against Jose Aldo, it could just be that the UFC’s biggest star does not even fight on the New York card.
UFC Tonight report says Conor McGregor is rehabbing a leg injury. I wouldn't mind seeing him confirm that.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) September 22, 2016