Are Khabib Nurmagomedov and his manager asking for trouble by looking too far ahead in their 2019 plans? Does Conor McGregor seriously think it’s a good idea to run it back with the champ? How often should your baby poop, and do you really want to take a sports writer’s advice on that?
That and other pressing questions in this week’s Twitter Mailbag. To ask a question of your own, tweet to @BenFowlkesMMA.
* * * *
You’re not crazy. Khabib Nurmagomedov and manager Ali Abdelaziz looking past Dustin Poirier and all the way to a year-end mega fight against a currently retired UFC great in Georges St-Pierre, that’s what’s crazy.
This is such a classic MMA plan, in that we can all see about a dozen ways it could potentially go wrong. Trying to peer so far into the future in this sport is always risky. Organizing your plans around a guy who, when last we heard, isn’t even in the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency testing pool any more, that’s just begging for disappointment.
It could work out just the way Nurmagomedov and his easily excitable manager want it to. Stranger things have happened. Then again, if you’re trying to imagine scenarios where Poirier beats the current UFC lightweight champion, you could do a lot worse than to start with a version of Nurmagomedov that’s so certain of victory he’s already lining up the next big payday.
Are we really going to act surprised that Conor McGregor is maybe not choosing the most logically sound path? I’ll tell you why he keeps talking about a rematch with Nurmagomedov: because it brings him instant attention, and he’s in no danger of actually getting it right now. Also, yeah, I’ll bet he does think he can win, the same way he probably genuinely thinks he’d beat Floyd Mayweather in a rematch.
McGregor didn’t reach this level of superstardom by dreaming small. Lots of his plans have seemed ridiculous until they became reality. A guy like that can’t step forward and ask for a winnable fight on a moderately sized stage. He needs each step to be bigger and better than the last, even if it comes off sounding absurd.
Plus, let’s not act like the UFC wouldn’t book another Nurmagomedov-McGregor fight if it thought that’s where the money was. McGregor probably doesn’t have to do anything except remain prominent in the minds of the fans. Which is, of course, exactly what he’s doing with his constant barrage of tweets and attention-getting claims.
I see your point, but I think we both know that there are no guarantees when it comes to the life and career trajectory of your dude Jon Jones.
Will he hold it down as UFC light heavyweight champ for the next decade? Maybe. Will he jet off to heavyweight with the right financial offer from the UFC? Possibly. Will he buy a boat during a weeks-long bender and then run it aground on an uninhabited island in the Pacific, never to be heard from again? I can’t rule it out.
Point is, you could do a lot worse than hanging around and staying relevant in this division, which is mainly what the winner of this fight between Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Smith will have accomplished. And if Jones doesn’t go mad or go to heavyweight, eventually the UFC will run out of people for him to beat up at 205 pounds. At that point the carousel might come around again for guys like Smith and Gustafsson.
What a dilemma. On one hand, no, that is not a normal amount of poop for a human baby to produce, in my experience. On the other hand, less poop means fewer disgusting diapers to change, so is that a problem you really even want to solve?
It’s weird how my stance on what merited a doctor visit changed between child one and child two. With the first baby, every cough and sniffle seems like a medical emergency. By the time you get around to the second all you want to know is whether or not anyone’s bleeding and will it clot on its own if we just chill for a few minutes?
All of which is to say, yeah, I’m a terrible person to turn to for pediatric care advice.
Although, it’s stuff like this that can really make you think back on your own upbringing and how birth order might have affected things. Just ask my sister-in-law, a youngest child who was once told to stop being so dramatic about her supposedly hurt leg …which turned out to be a fractured femur. And if you think that doesn’t still get brought up in their family conversations, think again.
When it comes to domestic violence, fight promoters seem to ask themselves only a few questions:
1) Is it public knowledge?
2) Do people seem to care?
3) Is there any chance this guy makes me a lot of money anyway?
If the answer to the first two is yes and the answer to the third question is no, then sure, that dude is done like dinner. And that’s about as principled a stand as any fight promotion (UFC included) seems to be willing to take.
I know we’re all going to view every little thing that happens with Tony Ferguson through that specific lens, and to some extent I get it. But I also think we ought to be very careful about playing armchair psychiatrist here. We don’t know exactly what has gone on or might still be going on with Ferguson. What details we do have are troubling, but it’s not necessarily the full picture.
At this point, all we can do is hope that the people around Ferguson – his team, his management, the UFC – have a better idea of how he’s doing than we do. We also have to hope that none of those people would let him step in a cage and fight if there were any concerns about his mental health. I just wish it were easier to believe in the fight game’s overall willingness and ability to look out for its own in situations like this.
Ben Fowlkes is MMA Junkie and USA TODAY’s MMA columnist. Follow him on Twitter at @BenFowlkesMMA. Twitter Mailbag appears every Thursday on MMA Junkie.
- 11 Conor McGregor quotes that will always stand out
- Dustin Poirier: 'I can beat anybody in the world,' and Khabib Nurmagomedov is next
- Conor McGregor gives Tony Robbins detailed account of UFC 229 melee
Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Twitter Mailbag: Are Khabib Nurmagomedov and his manager tempting the MMA gods?