For weeks, we waited for the kind of clarity that could only come from the Nevada State Athletic Commission. It was a ruling from that august body, according to UFC President Dana White, that would help him decide the next steps in a lightweight division so choked with talent that it can barely breathe.
Now the Nevada commission has done its part. Whatever you think of the various fines and suspensions and arm-twisting requests for public service announcements, at least now we know what the punishments will look like, which means we also know the possible return dates for the two primary participants.
Conor McGregor will be eligible to fight again in April. Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov can come back in July. (Somehow I don’t see him making that anti-bullying video, though holy crap would I ever love to see him attempt it).
So there, that’s settled. Now can we get back to making perhaps the most exciting division in the entire sport function properly? Not so fast …
The champ has said he’s not fighting until the fall, at the earliest. And even then, according to his manager, he’s definitely not going to fight the consensus No. 1 contender. Meanwhile, the division’s top draw has his eye on the man in the hat, while another top contender wants either the superstar or the top contender. Somewhere in all this is the whisper of a Diaz brother.
Is there any way to make everyone happy, fans included? Maybe. But it’s going to take a very specific roadmap to get there …
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: A roadmap to untangling the UFC's lightweight division in five (not-so) easy steps