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411 Fact or Fiction MMA: Should Conor McGregor Vacate His Championship If He Boxes?

April 5, 2017 | Posted by Lorenzo Vasquez

Welcome back to another edition of 411 Fact or Fiction MMA! I’m your host, Lorenzo Vasquez III, and it is my pleasure take you into the 411 realm of Fact or Fiction MMA. But before moving onto this week’s edition I want to thank you for your votes and comments last week. It is appreciated and I encourage to do the same this week. Last week, I stepped in on short notice to tangle with Jeffrey Harris. It wasn’t easy as we locked horns over Yoel Romero’s quest for an interim title, Bellator 180 predisposed to fail, and Tony Ferguson waiting for McGregor in addition to other subjects. I fought Jeffrey tooth and nail and he made it no easy affair as he fought fire with fire. Fortunately, I was able to slip away and grab the victory the horns. Thank you, Jeffrey, for your effort and contribution. We appreciate it.

This week, Kuch returns for an epic battle with the “Toddfather” Todd Vote. Expect fireworks as these two run head-on over Khabib Nurmagomedov never fighting Conor McGregor, Cody Garbrandt fighting Might Mouse for the flyweight strap, Conor McGregor vacating his title should he pursue a boxing match, and much more! Go grab that grub and make yourself comfortable because it’s time for another round of, 411 Fact or Fiction MMA. Let’s get this show rolling…

TALE OF THE TAPE
RED CORNER
Scott “Kuch” Kuczkowski
Contributor, 411 MMA Zone
1-4-1

VS

BLUE CORNER
“The Toddfather” Todd Vote
Contributor, Various 411 Zones
4-4-0


Khabib Nurmagomedov, due to his inability to consistently make it to his scheduled bouts, will likely never be booked for a title fight as long as Conor McGregor is the champ.

Scott Kuczkowski: FICTION Health and weight cutting issues aside, Khabib Nurmagomedov has been a destroyer for his entire career. In fact, the only time he’s even looked mortal were during a few fleeting moments when he was caught by a punch in his last fight with Michael Johnson. I understand there is a cloud surrounding him now because he couldn’t make it to the scales for his last fight, but to entertain the notion that should remove him from the title discussion is foolish. Do I think he should get the next crack at the champion? Probably not; I think that should go to Tony Ferguson. But make no mistake about it, if the UFC could book a card in Russia, Khabib Nurmagomedov would be most likely fighting for the championship. And that’s a smart move both business-wise and from a matchmaking perspective. Sure, Tony Ferguson is on a 9 fight winning streak, but Khabib is undefeated in 24 fights – I don’t think which accomplishment is more impressive is even a discussion. And Khabib fighting for the title in Russia would do crazy business. So no, I don’t think his issues will keep him from being booked against the champ.

Todd Vote: FICTION Being unable to make fights hasn’t stopped them from booking Cain Valesquez or Jon Jones whenever they are available, why would it stop them from booking a title fight between Khabib and Conor should Khabib stay healthy enough to earn said fight? One thing that is becoming more and more apparent about the UFC: If it will make money, they will make the fight.


If David Haye’s claim, about the UFC contacting him about a potential bout with Jimi Manuwa is true, then we can reasonably say the UFC is working to make Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather happen.

Scott Kuczkowski: FACT Yeah, this makes sense. If Haye is telling the truth (which remains to be seen), then it would be reasonable to assume he would fight Jimi Manuwa on the same card Conor McGregor would fight Floyd Mayweather. If the UFC indeed reached out to him for such a fight, I can’t imagine any other reason they would do so. Whether or not this will be a competitive bout remains to be seen, but it would appear the UFC is looking to put on some type of one-off event that combines a few boxing bouts with a few traditional MMA bouts. This has worked well in Japan and Bellator does it with kickboxing, so it isn’t unreasonable to think the UFC could try the same thing.

Todd Vote: FACT I mean, I suppose it could mean that. Are they trying to put together a boxing vs MMA card? That could work, I suppose, but how do you find the common ground, some boxers stepping into MMA, some MMA fighters doing boxing matches? Bottom line, I will believe Mayweather vs. McGregor is happening when the ink on the contracts is dry. The UFC of course is trying to figure out a way to make this work in their favor, they would be crazy not to in a sense.


If Cody Garbrandt and Demetrious Johnson can get by their scheduled opponents, Garbrandt dropping down to 125-pounds and fighting Demetrious Johnson isn’t a bad idea.

Scott Kuczkowski: FACT I think this would be a very entertaining bout and good for both fighters. Currently, besides a rematch with Dominick Cruz and his fight with TJ Dillashaw, Garbrandt doesn’t have many challengers nipping at his heels. And after his fight with Wilson Reis, Demetrious Johnson will have effectively cleaned out the entire Flyweight Division. This would be a very good super-fight for both guys and would hopefully shine a light on both divisions. I’m not particularly excited about Garbrandt trying to cut to 125 though; I think the fight would be better billed as a 130 pound catchweight. But if he can make the weight and still perform at 100%, then I’m all for it.

Todd Vote: FICTION I split the difference on this one. This would be a good move as far as allowing Johnson to test himself. He has cleaned out his division, he deserves a big money fight. On the other hand, Garbrandt has barely won the title and is looking at his first defense. That part is what kept me from going fact here. There is still plenty of work for Garbrandt inside his own division.


SWITCH!

Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum III is not the fight the heavyweight division needs; instead, either Overeem or Werdum should be fighting Francis Ngannou.

Todd Vote: FICTION Ngannou has looked damn good in his few outings I’ve seen. That said, he is still coming along as a fighter. I’d rather see him make a slow climb into the top 5. Overeem vs. Werdum makes sense, even if the thought of the fight is less than exciting.

Scott Kuczkowski: FICTION I know the UFC Ranking has Ngannou listed at #5, but I think that’s a little high; I think he’s probably more suited around #8 or #9. And while I think he’s been extremely impressive and exciting, throwing him in against the likes of Alistair Overeem or Fabricio Werdum would be too great of a step-up in competition. While he has looked impressive in all of his UFC fights, he’s only had 11 MMA fights, which isn’t an incredible amount of experience when compared to Overeem’s 57 fights and Werdum’s 27. I’d prefer to see him booked against someone like Ben Rothwell, Derrick Lewis, or Mark Hunt, simply because those guys are a smaller step-up in competition, but still, offer him challenging fights. At 30 years of age, there’s no reason to rush Ngannou into a fight he isn’t prepared for; the UFC has time to build him up.


If World Series of Fighting Lightweight Champion, Justin Gaethje, is a free agent, it’s time for him to head to UFC and show us how capable he is against the likes of those within the top ten of the UFC’s lightweight division.

Todd Vote: FICTION Depends really, is his motivation for fighting to provide for his family or to prove he is the best? If he wants to prove he is the best in his division, then yes, a stop in the UFC is almost a must. If he is looking to make as much money as possible, Bellator has shown they are willing to offer good money to fighters.

Scott Kuczkowski: FACT I like Justin Gaethje and I would love to see him in the UFC. He has been a formidable champion in WSOF and he has had some really exciting fights. I do not believe though that he would have the same level of luck in the UFC or even Bellator. The problem with Justin Gaethje is that he is extremely hittable, which is a portion of his fighting style that he’s never addressed. He almost fights with the “just bleed’ style, similar to Diego Sanchez. Because of that, not only will his career be shortened, but I think his level of success will be affected by it when he fights better fighters. Still, though, I think he’d be a great addition to any roster and I look forward to seeing him putting on more exciting fights.


Tony Ferguson is correct, if Conor McGregor is going to pursue a boxing match, he should vacate the UFC Lightweight Title.

Todd Vote: FACT Absolutely. When Conor McGregor is ready to focus on MMA, then give him a title shot. If his focus isn’t on the sport, why allow him to hold up the division? Strip him of the title, have a tournament.

Scott Kuczkowski: FICTION Part of me agrees with Tony on this matter; if the title isn’t going to be defended, then perhaps it should be vacated so that someone else can defend it. That’s simple logic in regard to any divisional title. The issue is that Tony is saying this because he believes he’s the rightful person to hold that title, which is something that I think is worthy of more discussion. Tony Ferguson is on a 9 fight winning streak, which definitely puts him in the discussion of title contention. Unfortunately, he’s yet to face Khabib Nurmagomedov, whom a win over would certainly make him the uncrowned champion. Until that fight happens, then Tony is merely arguing that he should have a chance to wear a belt he hasn’t truly earned (in my opinion). The other issue is that it isn’t as though Conor is MIA or out with an injury; he’s pursuing a money fight, which every other fighter would pursue if given the opportunity. If Tony fights and beats Khabib and Conor is still trying to make this Mayweather fight happen, then go ahead and strip him of the title. But until that happens, I have no issue with him hanging onto the belt.


So who won? Did Todd dust Scott or was Scott doing the dusting this week? You’ve got until midnight eastern on Saturday to vote, so make sure you make your voice heard!


And that’s it for today but, as always, we’ll be back next week with another contest! And please, be sure to vote!

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