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411 Fact or Fiction MMA: Should Tony Ferguson Wait for Conor McGregor?

March 29, 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 to bring you another round of Fact or Fiction MMA. But before moving onto this week’s edition, thank you, for your votes and comments last week. It is appreciated and I encourage you to do the same this week. Last week, Robert Winfree laced up the gloves and tried to hand Dino Zee his first loss. Robert came out strong landing heavy as they locked horns over Jimi Manuwa’s merit to a title shot, Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather JR. humiliating boxing, and Bellator’s Welterweight Division in addition to other subjects. Robert’s early storm was not enough to ruffle the feathers of Dino as he surgically dismantled Robert and took home a 24-to-18 victory. Congratulations, Dino and thank you both for your efforts and contributions.

This week, “The Vile One” Jeffrey Harris returns to action as he squares off against yours truly, that’s right, the “Corpse Grinder” and your host. I’ll be stepping in on short notice to tangle with Jeffrey over Yoel Romero’s quest for an interim middleweight title, Bellator 180 on course for disastrous pay-per-view numbers, Tony Ferguson having to wait for a title shot, and much more! Grab some grub and make yourself comfortable because it’s time for another round of, 411 Fact or Fiction MMA! Let’s proceed…

TALE OF THE TAPE
RED CORNER
Jeffrey “The Vile One” Harris
Contributor, Various 411 Zones
2-3-3

VS

BLUE CORNER
Lorenzo “Corpse Grinder” Vasquez III
Host/Contributor, 411 MMA Zone
5-4-0


Michael Bisping’s opinion of Yoel Romero asking for an interim title shot is dead wrong; at this point, Romero vs. any of the top five middleweights for an interim title is the most legitimate thing that could come out of the middleweight division after Bisping signed to fight Georges St-Pierre instead of the No. 2 contender.

Jeffrey Harris: FICTION I can’t say fact right now because we don’t have an inactive champion in Michael Bisping, and it would be for another pointless interim title. We’ve just had too many instances of UFC trying to do this as of late, just slapping an interim title on a bunch of fights to say there’s a UFC title on the line. I’m not happy on how all of this has panned, but this is the situation as of right now and it has to run its course. My hope is that Bisping fights GSP, and whatever happens there, there’s a quick turnaround for the winner to face someone like Yoel Romero or hopefully Jacare. Jacare is the guy I’ve really wanted to see fight for the title for the longest time, and I think he’s getting screwed over the worst in all of this. He’s been passed over for a title shot most of the time, but the conversation has generally focused on Yoel Romero. I’m sick of interim title fights, though. Not everything has to be for an interim title just to say a title is on the line. There used to be a time when it was OK to have non-title PPV main events or ones that were effective title eliminators.

Lorenzo Vasquez III: FICTIONLook, I don’t like the idea of Michael Bisping vs. Georges St-Pierre for the middleweight strap. I’m of the notion that Bisping should be defending his title against Yoel Romero, or Jacare Souza if Romero is unavailable. Indeed, my long running opinion of GSP is he should stay retired as he retired while on top and as the best welterweight in the game. At first glance, Romero challenging, let’s say Jacare, for the interim middleweight title isn’t so bad of an idea. I mean, Bisping has essentially held up the division since he accepted a title fight with Dan Henderson and then proceeded to accept a fight with GSP. These are two missed opportunities were legitimate contenders could have fought for the gold strap. So, there is a crack of light giving weight to this statement. But, interim titles have become joke these days. The brass hands them out like candy, and frankly, it’s become annoying. And, anyway, Bisping and GSP should be settling their duel within three to five months and Bisping recently told the world he would grant Romero the next title shot if GSP isn’t ready by July. To close, I just don’t feel enough time has gone by, or the situation calls, for an interim title. Yes, this is not the best of situations, and in today’s circus atmosphere, the title could get hung up with another of the brass’s clever matchmaking ideas. For now, an interim title is not the right call.


Since the UFC’s matchmaking has swung more so towards making circus acts lately, Luke Rockhold vs. Fabricio Werdum isn’t too far from becoming a reality.

Jeffrey Harris: FICTION I don’t like the fight at all. Rockhold has been a career middleweight. I could see him making the easy transition to light heavyweight since he definitely seems to have the size, build and power for that weight class. Not to mention, he’s a former champion and top dog at middleweight. The other problem is that light heavyweight is incredibly short on top contenders and surging prospects right now. At 32, Rockhold might not be a young stud, but he still seems to have some good fights left in him. Otherwise, a heavyweight fight with Werdum is silly and makes no sense. Rockhold has fought his entire UFC and Strikeforce careers at middleweight, going straight up to heavyweight to fight Werdum is stupid and makes no sense. This isn’t the Pride FC Openweight Grand Prix.

Lorenzo Vasquez III: FACT I’m going fact here because you know the heads running the show thought it over. Yes, they considered it. I can’t say that for a fact but I’m willing to bet my assumption is right. And, because they thought of it the fight is one step closer. This doesn’t mean I think it’ll happen, but the guys at the helm of the UFC ship may have or are, toying with the idea. I mean, this is the direction the UFC seems to be headed in so it’s not too far fetch. These guys seem more interested in raking in the cash, and for good reason (they have some hefty debt to pay back), and everything seems like a go. From my point of view, they just don’t seem to worried about the legitimacy of the sport. I don’t this fight should happen and I don’t think it will. Rockhold may want it but Werdum seems disinterested in the idea. This fight doesn’t make sense, it’s a circus fight, and one that does not need to happen. But you know the UFC thought it over, or is thinking about it.


As a pay-per-view, Bellator 180 will utterly fail because it will lack appeal to the casual MMA fan.

Jeffrey Harris: FACT I can’t see how well it will do considering the type of circus freakshow fights that Bellator has been trying to sell have been on free TV. Chael Sonnen vs. Tito Ortiz was free on Spike TV. Now, maybe I could be wrong and there’s enough intrigue for all the drama between Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen for it to sell some PPVs. But for Fedor Emelianenko vs. Matt Mitrione, did Fedor ever really break out with the casual MMA viewing audience? I don’t think so. I also don’t see how a title fight between Phil Davis and Ryan Bader would draw money either.

Lorenzo Vasquez III FACT I don’t see how this card draws a huge pay-per-view audience. Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen have a decent back story but it may have fizzled out some. Fedor was never really a big seller to the casual fans and his aura and allure has fizzled out, as well. Mitrione, Chandler, Larkin, and Lima aren’t top draws. They have some other names they could try to throw on there but I don’t think Bellator has developed or come across that one star who can really draw in huge numbers. They’ve had some solid numbers on SPIKE, but that’s free on cable/satellite television. For the sake of Bellator and having an alternative to UFC programming, I hope I’m wrong. For now, I’m sticking with until I’m proven wrong.


SWITCH!

Mark Hunt should not be fighting Derrick Lewis 3-months after getting viciously knocked out by Alistair Overeem.

Lorenzo Vasquez III: FACT Mark Hunt is as tough as they come. You consider his life and fighting career and it’s an amazing story and it’s even more amazing he’s still fighting at the top of game. You have to have mad respect for the Super Samoan. The fact that he is stepping back into the octagon three months after getting viciously knocked out by Alistair Overeem is a testament to the grit, heart, and willingness that defines Hunt. Having said that, this statement is an absolute fact. In a perfect world, Hunt should be taking 6-to-12 months off. Head trauma and it’s associated long-term effects are a serious issue for combat athletes as it is in any contact sport. Three months doesn’t seem like enough time for a complete recovery after a vicious knockout. Especially, when your upcoming opponent is going to try and put out your lights. It’s unfortunate. Hunt is doing what he does, and the UFC is taking advantage in order to have a local start on the card, instead of looking out for what is best for Hunt.

Jeffrey Harris: FACT I would generally say fact, especially after suffering that type of knockout loss. However, I’m not Mark Hunt, and I’m not his doctor either. At 43 years old and some of the wars he’s been through in his life and career, I don’t know how Hunt’s been able to fight at this high level for this long either. Based on what I’ve read about concussions and knockouts in combat sports, Hunt’s layoff seems like it should be six months. Unfortunately, it’s not my call. Honestly, while I know Lewis has wanted to fight Mark Hunt for a while, something like Lewis vs. Alistair Overeem makes a lot more sense. Overeem was the man that beat hunt, and Lewis is the surging fighter right now with six straight wins. That is unless the UFC wants to keep Overeem fresh for a possible title fight against the winner of Stipe Miocic vs. Junior dos Santos, or in the chance that someone gets hurt. Anyway, I’m not against Lewis vs. Overeem, but a three-month layoff after that knockout loss for Hunt does seem to be way too soon.


It is extremely disappointing Tony Ferguson will likely have to rebook his bout with Khabib Nurmagomedov instead of getting a crack at Conor McGregor’s UFC Lightweight title.

Lorenzo Vasquez III: FACT With a 9-fight winning streak and Khabib Nurmagomedov dropping out of their scheduled fight, again, the least that could be done is to finally give Tony Ferguson a shot at the lightweight title. I love Nurmagomedov but he dropped the ball big time this time; and, while, I wouldn’t mind seeing Ferguson vs. Nurmagomedov rescheduled, right now is not the time. Right now, Ferguson and McGregor should be gearing up for a battle to determine the pound-for-pound king of the lightweight division. It’s terrible that this possibly isn’t the case. From a purist point of view, we shouldn’t be talking about Conor McGregor boxing Floyd Mayweather Jr. We should be talking about Conor McGregor defending the lightweight strap against Tony Ferguson and then the winner defending the title against Nurmagomedov, if he can get his weight cutting under control.

Jeffrey Harris: FACT Honestly, I thought Tony Ferguson should’ve gotten the next shot at Conor McGregor’s title anyway. I’ve been vocal before that the Floyd Mayweather situation with McGregor maddens me to no end. The man is the champion of his division and should conceivably have to defend that title. Granted, nothing with Khabib Nurmagomedov is confirmed yet. Who knows when he will be ready to fight and train again, plus he will have some religious obligations coming up soon. If Ferguson could just fight McGregor instead that would just stop all this log-jamming and these silly debates


By all indications, Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. is on.

Lorenzo Vasquez III: FICTION While it may feel as though the pieces are coming together, we can’t jump the gun yet; not until it’s officially confirmed. Though talk has heated up lately about the potential fight, I feel there is still a huge hurdle to jump and I don’t see it getting jumped. That hurdle is the UFC. First and foremost, I don’t see the UFC coming to terms on a split. We know Mayweather is going to want half and that leaves the UFC and McGregor to split the other half. And, there’s no way this fight gets split three equals ways. I don’t see how McGregor gives a piece of his half away so easily and I don’t see how the UFC will accept only a small piece of the pie. Second, I don’t see the UFC granting McGregor a one-off boxing bout outside of the promotion. The only way it happens now is if the UFC stands to be the top earner out of the fight and that just isn’t going to happen. I could be wrong. Maybe the fight is truly close to getting signed. Maybe, it’s signed and they’re just waiting for some final details before announcing it to the world. But, maybe this is all for publicity and nothing more. In my opinion, the fight isn’t happening anytime soon. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong, but it won’t be happening in 2017. Thus, it’s too early to say McGregor vs. Mayweather is on. Not until it is officially announced.

Jeffrey Harris: FICTION I won’t believe it’s on until I see it happen. That simple. I say that as a UFC fan who’s seen title fights, main event fights, fall apart in a matter of hours before they were set to happen.


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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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