Quantcast

 

mma / Columns

411 Fact or Fiction MMA: Who’s Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Most Intriguing Option?

April 26, 2018 | Posted by Lorenzo Vasquez
UFC 223 Khabib Nurmagomedov Khabib Nurmagomedov's

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 another round of fact or fiction, the MMA edition. Thank you, for your votes and comments last week, it is appreciated. Last week, Dino Zee and Wyatt Beougher tangled over some of the titbits circulating MMA media outlets. Wyatt gave a valiant effort but was unable to hand Dino his second defeat. Congratulations, Dino, and thank you both for the efforts and contribution.

This week, “The Vile One” returns ready for war. I’ll be stepping up on short notice to lock horns with Jeffrey Harris over Kevin Lee lining up for a fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov, Leslie Smith getting her walking papers, Frankie Edgar getting back on his feet, and much more! Grab some grub and get comfortable because it’s time for another round of, 411 Fact or Fiction MMA!

TALE OF THE TAPE
RED CORNER
Lorenzo “Corpse Grinder” Vasquez III
Host/Contributor, 411 MMA Zone
14-7-2

VS

BLUE CORNER
Jeffrey “The Vile One” Harris
Contributor, Various 411 Zones
3-8-5


Kevin Lee is the most intriguing opponent for Khabib Nuramgomedov out of Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier.

Lorenzo Vasquez III: FACT In my opinion, Khabib runs through these three. Of course, anything can happen in this sport. Poirier, I don’t believe has the chops to get by Nurmagomedov. I can see Alvarez putting up a fight, but failing to get the job done. Lee is a wrestler; you can say he might be able to stifle Nurmagomedov’s wrestling–perhaps early on. But, I don’t see Lee recovering from Nurmagomedov’s heavy wrestling and ground and pound. Nonetheless, I will justify Kevin Lee is the more intriguing option out these three because of his wrestling but it ends there.

Jeffrey Harris: FICTION The most intriguing opponent for Khabib Nurmagomedov is still Tony Ferguson. But out of those three? Well, the problem is that Kevin Lee missed weight for his last fight. He didn’t miss weight for the Ferguson fight, but he almost did. And the weight cut is clearly becoming a big concern for him. He says he “ran out of time.” Well, what’s going to happen when he’s scheduled to fight Nurmagomedov for a UFC title. Contrary to popular belief, Khabib Nurmagomedov is not unbeatable. However, I don’t see Kevin Lee out-wrestling or out-grappling Nurmagomedov. Honestly, none of those three fighters are really intriguing fights with Khabib Nurmagomedov. It’s still arguably Tony Ferguson, who has a legitimate claim to being one of the best lightweight fighters on the planet.


If Khabib Nuramgomedov can make great strides in his striking, it will not be foolish to imagine that he can become “the only guy that never loses,” as Daniel Cormier states.

Lorenzo Vasquez III: FICTION You must believe his deficiency will catch up to him at some point. That’s the type of sport this is. The greats fall/slip-up at one point or another in their fighting career. Again, that’s the game. Sure he can make great strides. That will take time, years, perhaps. It’s a race. The game usually catches up or the lucky punch lands or the submission comes from out of nowhere. The safe bet is to stick with what the history of sport tells us. It tells us Khabib Nurmagomedov is more likely to taste defeat rather remain undefeated. Unless he retires soon. I’m a huge Nurmagomedov fan. I’d like to see him be the one who never loses. It would awesome. I’m rolling with the safe bet. The guy can improve all he wants, the sport of mixed martial arts tells us he loses, in some fashion, the longer he remains active.

Jeffrey Harris: FICTION No fighter is unbeatable. And when people start believing that, that’s basically when the fighter starts losing. We thought Anderson Silva, Ronda Rousey, and Fedor Emelianenko, and Joanna Jedrzejczyk could be fighters who that that term. They weren’t. The fact of the matter is Khabib Nurmagomedov does have holes in his game. If you can deal with his takedowns and grappling, if you can defend against them, you will have an opening and ways to beat him. It’s not impossible. These are still human beings at the end of the day. Eventually, Khabib Nurmagomedov will lose. There’s a lot of ways to lose in MMA. Also, Daniel Cormier is biased as Khabib Nurmagomedov is one of his training partners.


Unless, Max Holloway defeats Brian Ortega, Frankie Edgar’s next opponent should indeed be The Korean Zombie, Chan Sung Jung.

Lorenzo Vasquez III: FACT Sounds like a plan. Holloway versus Edgar is still an intriguing fight. If Holloway gets by Ortega, why not? It’s a fresh title fight, too. (Yeah, I know, I know, there’s nothing fresh in Edgar in a title fight.) And if Ortega beat Holloway, The Korean Zombie fighting Edgar sounds like a ton fun. This is a no-brainer. In fact, if the Korean Zombie best Edgar, we get another fresh title challenger in the featherweight division.

Jeffrey Harris: FACT I agree. Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega isn’t happening until UFC 226. Also, who knows if the fight even stays intact. I hate to say that, but look at how often marquee fights have been falling apart in the last three-to-four years. Jeremy Stephens is tied up with Jose Aldo. That’s a fresh fight. Korean Zombie vs. Frankie Edgar is a very fresh fight, and it’s fan friendly. At least on paper, it’s a fan-friendly fight that will get a lot of interest. I support this idea under those circumstances.


SWITCH!

Firas Zahabi is being nothing but biased when he claims Georges St-Pierre is the greatest fighter of all time.

Jeffrey Harris: FICTION Georges St-Pierre definitely has that claim. So it’s not for nothing. Yes, Firas Zahabi is biased, but GSP also returned from a four-year layoff and finished the UFC middleweight champion. He became UFC middleweight champion. He’s held titles in two weight classes. That’s something only Randy Couture, BJ Penn, and Conor McGregor have done in the UFC. He’s beaten the likes of Matt Hughes, BJ Penn, and many other all-time great fighters and contenders. His only losses were to Matt Hughes and Matt Serra. He soundly finished them in all their rematches. It’s an argument that can be easily made.

Lorenzo Vasquez III: FICTION While, Zahabi has a bias, he’s not wrong to make the claim, at least at this point in time. The sport is still young in comparison to other professional sports. So who knows what we get in the future. GSP has a claim to the throne, for now. He has beaten some of best fighters to grace the sport and he’s held titles in two weight classes (held the welterweight title twice and once as an interim title plus the middleweight title) and defended one of those titles somewhere round nine times. He’s up there, alongside Demetrious Johnson. For now, Zahabi’s claim is not without a strong argument.


Edson Barboza needs time off after two vicious beatings in a row; however when he returns, a fight with Justin Gaethje makes sense and sounds like a whole lot of fun.

Jeffrey Harris: FICTION He definitely needs time off. But you don’t throw Barboza in there with someone like Justin Gaethje after Barboza is coming off one-sided back-to-back beatdowns by Kevin Lee and Khabib Nurmagomedov. He needs a softer touch. And you know what? So does Gaethje for that matter. Especially if you want to keep both guys on the roster longer. They need some lesser, lower level opponents for their next fights out the gate. There’s still always a risk they could even lose those, but when fighters lose back-to-back fights, they should also fall down the rankings as well.

Lorenzo Vasquez III: FICTION I’m going to call fiction on this one. I think both fighters need a break. Barboza has taken two vicious beatings while Gaethje has been in some wars. It’s time for a vacation, to heal wounds. Both of these fighters are gritty warriors. I have to agree with Jeffrey, both need a friendly fight after a long break to get the wheels rolling again.


It’s terrible that the UFC won’t pay the fighters of UFC 223 who were affected—unable to fight—by Conor McGregor’s antics or will only pay Ulka Sasaki less than half of his show money (when his opponent withdraw last minute), but will pay Leslie Smith her full show money and win money just to get rid of a thorn in their side.

Jeffrey Harris: FICTION Unless the situation has changed, I read and heard the exact opposite. So based on my reading of the situation, no it’s not terrible. Dana White claimed all the fighters who were scratched due to Conor McGregor’s antics would get paid their show money. Has that changed? I’ve yet to see any evidence of this. So based on that alone, my answer is fiction. My understanding is that the UFC technically has no obligation to pay full show money to a fighter if they don’t actually fight for that weekend.

Lorenzo Vasquez III: FACT I’m going with fact based on the idea the UFC paid Smith to essentially have her leave the organization. It’s clear what they did here. Leslie is a big advocate of organizing fighters for the purpose of unionizing. Unfortunately, for Smith, she was given the boot as the opportunity presented itself to the UFC to not renew their contract. With regards to the other portion of the statement, the UFC, I believe, handled the fighters affected by McGregor antics. If I’m correct, there was talk said fighters wouldn’t be compensated. However, that changed. The UFC doesn’t have to pay fighters when a fight is canned for whatever reason. In the past, it’s typically been done out of a courtesy. I don’t agree with the handling of Ulka Sasaki. It’s a courtesy form the brass that fighters in Sasaki’s situation get paid, but when you consider the investment fighters put into training camps, travel, et Cetera, the UFC should make it more than a courtesy to compensate fighters who are at no fault for being left without a fight at the last minute. And I don’t mean compensate less than half of their show money as they did with Sasaki.


So who won? You’ve got until midnight eastern on Tuesday 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!

Do you have comments and questions you’d like to get to me, or statements you’d like to see on 411 Fact or Fiction MMA, shoot me an email at:
[email protected]

Also, follow 411’s various and sundry zones on Twitter for your daily 411 fix!

411 Wrestling Zone Twitter
411 Movies/TV Zone Twitter
411 Music Zone Twitter
411 Games Zone Twitter
411 MMA Zone Twitter