Home / Sports / Is Conor McGregor a lock for the UFC’s Combat Island debut? Now not all professionals agree

Is Conor McGregor a lock for the UFC’s Combat Island debut? Now not all professionals agree

UFC president Dana White has been touting Combat Island for over six weeks, right through which period he is been requested about it at each alternative. However his plans stay shrouded in thriller.

The place is the island?

When will it debut?

Who will struggle there?

White has mentioned the idea that of preventing on an island outdoor the USA is to bypass the touring restrictions his global opponents would face on this nation as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. So we all know there will likely be a world taste.

He additionally mentioned there are inns at the island. He mentioned the infrastructure must be finished via mid-June, however he is not yes if the primary card will likely be that weekend or on the finish of June.

White additionally mentioned the light-weight identify unification bout between champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and intervening time champ Justin Gaethje will likely be on Combat Island, however with Nurmagomedov lower than a month got rid of from the holy month of Ramadan, right through which he fasts, and with his father hospitalized, it is not likely he’s going to struggle within the close to long run.

What about Conor McGregor? It will make sense the UFC would wish to guide its greatest megastar for what must be a blockbuster match. Or would the promotion reasonably stack the cardboard with championship bouts?

ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, Brett Okamoto, Marc Raimondi and Jeff Wagenheim every booked the principle card they wish to see when Combat Island turns into a actuality.

Ariel Helwani’s leading card for Combat Island debut

Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz

Darren Until vs. Robert Whittaker

Leon Edwards vs. Colby Covington

Edmen Shahbazyan vs. Derek Brunson

Brian Ortega vs. Chan Sung Jung

I do know what you are almost certainly considering proper off the bat: No identify fights at the debut of Combat Island? What offers?!

Two issues:

1. McGregor is greater than any UFC identify. You understand this already.

2. And the UFC would possibly not put every other champion at the similar card as McGregor as a result of his pay-per-views draw so smartly, they do not wish to proportion that PPV pie with a champion who would possibly qualify to get a proportion of the PPV earnings. Now, they may put a vacant identify at the card, however I do not believe they’ll.

Additionally value noting: The UFC is not producing any live-gate earnings at the present time, as a result of their fights are in empty arenas, so that they need to be slightly extra selective with regards to the development of those playing cards.

So why McGregor vs. Diaz three? Neatly, weirdly sufficient there is no sure-thing opponent for McGregor at this time. Now not with Justin Gaethje and Khabib Nurmagomedov tied up. So who is the next-best factor? Ol’ trustworthy Nathan Diaz, that is who. The struggle sells itself, and when you upload the wrinkle of the feud being settled at the famed Combat Island, it makes the struggle really feel larger. One caveat: It needs to be at 155 kilos. Feels just like the stakes are larger if it is a light-weight struggle, as a result of that is the weight elegance during which each have performed so smartly.

As for the remainder of the cardboard, yeah, I do know Whittaker vs. Until used to be meant to occur in August, however they appear easygoing sufficient to struggle quicker. I believe they may be able to be persuaded. Love that struggle. Shahbazyan is among the UFC’s shiny younger stars, and this may be a good way to show off him to what can be a big target market. Additionally, they have got attempted to guide this Brunson struggle for him in March and April, so they are due. Edwards merits a large struggle in the end the dangerous good fortune he has had, so who higher than the UFC’s greatest heel to function his foil at the Island? And Jung vs. Ortega is among the UFC’s supreme grudge suits at this time after what came about at UFC 248 in March, when Ortega slapped Jung’s good friend Jay Park, who occurs to be a highly regarded recording artist in South Korea. I do know fanatics would possibly not be in attendance, however Park had higher be there for this struggle. It is just truthful.

Brett Okamoto’s leading card for Combat Island debut

Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz

Joseph Benavidez vs. Deiveson Figueiredo (flyweight identify struggle)

Darren Until vs. Robert Whittaker

Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Yair Rodriguez

Robbie Lawler vs. Anthony Pettis

I’m going to ruin it down via struggle, beginning with the principle card curtain-raiser.

Lawler vs. Pettis, at welterweight. I do know Pettis desires to go back to light-weight, and he must. It is his supreme weight elegance. And I do know Lawler fought conveniently at middleweight for years. It would appear to be I am throwing Pettis to the wolves, however he hasn’t ever shied clear of a frightening struggle, and Lawler is not in his top. Now not way back, Lawler fought Donald Cerrone, whom Pettis simply beat. What is the large struggle at light-weight for Pettis at this time? I do not see one. Those are two veterans with a historical past of entertaining fights and an identical mindsets. Get started the principle card with a bang.

Zabit vs. Yair. This type of two may well be the way forward for the featherweight department. They have danced across the thought of squaring off a couple of occasions up to now few years. Combat of the yr possible.

Until vs. Whittaker. This struggle used to be firstly scheduled for August, and the fan reception to it used to be a 10 out of 10. I do not believe there used to be any individual who noticed this matchup and did not straight away fall in love with it. Let’s stay it in combination and throw it at the island.

I do know what a lot of you’re almost certainly considering: A flyweight struggle because the co-main match of Combat Island’s debut? Although you just like the flyweights, that is some severe actual property to provide the 125-pounders. However glance, that is roughly the purpose. This department has all the time suffered from a loss of normal hobby, however here is what I’m going to inform you about this struggle:

1. It is an entertaining taste matchup. Cross rewatch their first assembly. It used to be a dangerous standup affair for each, and I imagine the rematch would be the similar.

2. It has storylines: Benavidez’s closing shot; Figueiredo lacking weight closing time; the head-butt controversy. Lots to discuss within the buildup.

three. It is value selling. Give it some shine. Put it the place it’ll draw in numerous eyeballs.

McGregor vs. Diaz. I kicked round a couple of concepts for the principle match, however in the long run, I stored coming again to the most obvious one. McGregor. He is the most important megastar within the game, and Combat Island is essentially the most distinctive thought/thought for a struggle location in UFC historical past. It needs to be McGregor, and the opponent needs to be Diaz. Jorge Masvidal can be a laugh, however he must struggle Kamaru Usman. Justin Gaethje can be a laugh, too, however he is taking a look at Khabib Nurmagomedov. Tony Ferguson can be wonderful, however he can not make that turnaround after that brawl with Gaethje on Might nine. McGregor vs. Diaz three has all the time needed to occur. All the time. It is only a subject of timing. How about we end the trilogy right through an international pandemic at a spot referred to as Combat Island? Sounds best.

Marc Raimondi’s leading card for Combat Island debut

Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz

Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa (middleweight identify struggle)

Henry Cejudo vs. Jose Aldo (bantamweight identify struggle)

Rob Whittaker vs. Darren Until

Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Chan Sung Jung

McGregor, Diaz, Adesanya, Costa, Cejudo and Until on an island. What is the worst that might occur, proper?

The McGregor vs. Diaz trilogy is a no brainer on the height. It will be a disgrace for the 1/3 struggle to not be in entrance of a dwell crowd, however even worse if it had been in an empty area. The 1/3 will likely be on an island, and what higher position to cap one of the most game’s supreme rivalries? The primary two bouts had been a few of the top-selling pay-per-view occasions in UFC historical past. With now not a lot going down within the sports activities global within the close to long run, consider how a lot hobby this may create.

The co-main match is a scrap between the sector’s two height middleweights. Costa would have had the identify shot quicker had he now not suffered a biceps damage. Adesanya used to be ready to edge out Yoel Romero at UFC 248 on March 7. That used to be now not an excellent struggle, however Adesanya vs. Costa has all of the components for fireworks, together with dangerous blood.

Cejudo “retired” after his a hit bantamweight identify protection over Dominick Cruz at UFC 249 on Might nine. Will it stick? What he in reality desires is a bump in pay, reimbursement befitting one of the most height pound-for-pound opponents on the planet. So how about pay-per-view issues at the McGregor vs. Diaz trilogy card? Plus, Aldo is the opponent Cejudo has sought after all alongside, although he isn’t the highest bantamweight contender. It is nonetheless an amazing struggle.

The Combat Island leading card is rounded out via a couple of contender fights. Until needs to be booked for this match, proper? He is the social media quarantine king. Plus, if somebody falls out of Adesanya vs. Costa, Until or Whittaker may fill in. And then you definately get started issues off with a featherweight combat between two of essentially the most creatively violent males in MMA. Can not cross incorrect with Zabit and The Korean Zombie.

Jeff Wagenheim’s leading card for Combat Island debut

Jon Jones vs. Jan Blachowicz (mild heavyweight identify struggle)

Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa (middleweight identify struggle)

Alexander Volkanovski vs. Max Holloway (featherweight identify struggle)

Colby Covington vs. Leon Edwards

Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Chan Sung Jung

It is all the time about championship fights for me. I’d have cherished to have constructed this big-splash card round essentially the most intoxicating identify tussle at the UFC’s horizon, Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje, however the canoes will likely be leaving for Combat Island slightly too quickly for that one, particularly with the champ’s father within the sanatorium. So let’s exchange it with a glittery trio of identify fights, together with the second-biggest one destined for global waters. Adesanya-Costa is a pairing during which warmth is only a highly spiced facet dish to a major process 19-Zero vs. 13-Zero.

I am making it simply my co-main match, although, as a result of identify bout custom — heavier champs struggle later — and since Jones, even in a matchup now not just about as eagerly awaited, is pound-for-pound royalty and a GOAT candidate. A dominant efficiency right here would douse the sour aftertaste of his two directly slim choices and would fortify a heavyweight showdown with Francis Ngannou. By way of the best way, I am giving the identify shot to Blachowicz, now not Dominick Reyes, as a result of I imagine a challenger who falls quick, even via a razor-thin margin, must must struggle his as far back as a moment probability.

Bonus: Having Jones and Adesanya caught on an island in combination may spin off into its personal reality-TV drama.

Volkanovski vs. Holloway merits higher than to be a third-billed afterthought, however this match merits not anything lower than seeing champ and ex-champ run it again. And that makes two Town Kickboxing identify bouts.

Then there are the 2 opening fights, both of which might scouse borrow the display. And Covington vs. Edwards may create a No. 1 contender in a welterweight department with quite a lot of transferring portions. Gotta stay harvesting uncooked fabrics for a higher crop of championship fights.

Why no McGregor leading match, like my colleagues? I am simply conserving it actual. Love gazing Conor compete, however he is the sort of pot o’ gold all via himself that the UFC has a tendency to not stack his playing cards. And I sought after to stack this card. But even so, the McGregor matchup I would like — a rematch with Poirier, which might be a professional path to top-contender standing — does not have the momentum that Nate three does. So I’m going to move for now.

UFC president Dana White has been touting Combat Island for over six weeks, right through which period he is been requested about it at each alternative. However his plans stay shrouded in thriller.

The place is the island?

When will it debut?

Who will struggle there?

White has mentioned the idea that of preventing on an island outdoor the USA is to bypass the touring restrictions his global opponents would face on this nation as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. So we all know there will likely be a world taste.

He additionally mentioned there are inns at the island. He mentioned the infrastructure must be finished via mid-June, however he is not yes if the primary card will likely be that weekend or on the finish of June.

White additionally mentioned the light-weight identify unification bout between champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and intervening time champ Justin Gaethje will likely be on Combat Island, however with Nurmagomedov lower than a month got rid of from the holy month of Ramadan, right through which he fasts, and with his father hospitalized, it is not likely he’s going to struggle within the close to long run.

What about Conor McGregor? It will make sense the UFC would wish to guide its greatest megastar for what must be a blockbuster match. Or would the promotion reasonably stack the cardboard with championship bouts?

ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, Brett Okamoto, Marc Raimondi and Jeff Wagenheim every booked the principle card they wish to see when Combat Island turns into a actuality.

Ariel Helwani’s leading card for Combat Island debut

Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz

Darren Until vs. Robert Whittaker

Leon Edwards vs. Colby Covington

Edmen Shahbazyan vs. Derek Brunson

Brian Ortega vs. Chan Sung Jung

I do know what you are almost certainly considering proper off the bat: No identify fights at the debut of Combat Island? What offers?!

Two issues:

1. McGregor is greater than any UFC identify. You understand this already.

2. And the UFC would possibly not put every other champion at the similar card as McGregor as a result of his pay-per-views draw so smartly, they do not wish to proportion that PPV pie with a champion who would possibly qualify to get a proportion of the PPV earnings. Now, they may put a vacant identify at the card, however I do not believe they’ll.

Additionally value noting: The UFC is not producing any live-gate earnings at the present time, as a result of their fights are in empty arenas, so that they need to be slightly extra selective with regards to the development of those playing cards.

So why McGregor vs. Diaz three? Neatly, weirdly sufficient there is no sure-thing opponent for McGregor at this time. Now not with Justin Gaethje and Khabib Nurmagomedov tied up. So who is the next-best factor? Ol’ trustworthy Nathan Diaz, that is who. The struggle sells itself, and when you upload the wrinkle of the feud being settled at the famed Combat Island, it makes the struggle really feel larger. One caveat: It needs to be at 155 kilos. Feels just like the stakes are larger if it is a light-weight struggle, as a result of that is the weight elegance during which each have performed so smartly.

As for the remainder of the cardboard, yeah, I do know Whittaker vs. Until used to be meant to occur in August, however they appear easygoing sufficient to struggle quicker. I believe they may be able to be persuaded. Love that struggle. Shahbazyan is among the UFC’s shiny younger stars, and this may be a good way to show off him to what can be a big target market. Additionally, they have got attempted to guide this Brunson struggle for him in March and April, so they are due. Edwards merits a large struggle in the end the dangerous good fortune he has had, so who higher than the UFC’s greatest heel to function his foil at the Island? And Jung vs. Ortega is among the UFC’s supreme grudge suits at this time after what came about at UFC 248 in March, when Ortega slapped Jung’s good friend Jay Park, who occurs to be a highly regarded recording artist in South Korea. I do know fanatics would possibly not be in attendance, however Park had higher be there for this struggle. It is just truthful.

Brett Okamoto’s leading card for Combat Island debut

Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz

Joseph Benavidez vs. Deiveson Figueiredo (flyweight identify struggle)

Darren Until vs. Robert Whittaker

Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Yair Rodriguez

Robbie Lawler vs. Anthony Pettis

I’m going to ruin it down via struggle, beginning with the principle card curtain-raiser.

Lawler vs. Pettis, at welterweight. I do know Pettis desires to go back to light-weight, and he must. It is his supreme weight elegance. And I do know Lawler fought conveniently at middleweight for years. It would appear to be I am throwing Pettis to the wolves, however he hasn’t ever shied clear of a frightening struggle, and Lawler is not in his top. Now not way back, Lawler fought Donald Cerrone, whom Pettis simply beat. What is the large struggle at light-weight for Pettis at this time? I do not see one. Those are two veterans with a historical past of entertaining fights and an identical mindsets. Get started the principle card with a bang.

Zabit vs. Yair. This type of two may well be the way forward for the featherweight department. They have danced across the thought of squaring off a couple of occasions up to now few years. Combat of the yr possible.

Until vs. Whittaker. This struggle used to be firstly scheduled for August, and the fan reception to it used to be a 10 out of 10. I do not believe there used to be any individual who noticed this matchup and did not straight away fall in love with it. Let’s stay it in combination and throw it at the island.

I do know what a lot of you’re almost certainly considering: A flyweight struggle because the co-main match of Combat Island’s debut? Although you just like the flyweights, that is some severe actual property to provide the 125-pounders. However glance, that is roughly the purpose. This department has all the time suffered from a loss of normal hobby, however here is what I’m going to inform you about this struggle:

1. It is an entertaining taste matchup. Cross rewatch their first assembly. It used to be a dangerous standup affair for each, and I imagine the rematch would be the similar.

2. It has storylines: Benavidez’s closing shot; Figueiredo lacking weight closing time; the head-butt controversy. Lots to discuss within the buildup.

three. It is value selling. Give it some shine. Put it the place it’ll draw in numerous eyeballs.

McGregor vs. Diaz. I kicked round a couple of concepts for the principle match, however in the long run, I stored coming again to the most obvious one. McGregor. He is the most important megastar within the game, and Combat Island is essentially the most distinctive thought/thought for a struggle location in UFC historical past. It needs to be McGregor, and the opponent needs to be Diaz. Jorge Masvidal can be a laugh, however he must struggle Kamaru Usman. Justin Gaethje can be a laugh, too, however he is taking a look at Khabib Nurmagomedov. Tony Ferguson can be wonderful, however he can not make that turnaround after that brawl with Gaethje on Might nine. McGregor vs. Diaz three has all the time needed to occur. All the time. It is only a subject of timing. How about we end the trilogy right through an international pandemic at a spot referred to as Combat Island? Sounds best.

Marc Raimondi’s leading card for Combat Island debut

Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz

Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa (middleweight identify struggle)

Henry Cejudo vs. Jose Aldo (bantamweight identify struggle)

Rob Whittaker vs. Darren Until

Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Chan Sung Jung

McGregor, Diaz, Adesanya, Costa, Cejudo and Until on an island. What is the worst that might occur, proper?

The McGregor vs. Diaz trilogy is a no brainer on the height. It will be a disgrace for the 1/3 struggle to not be in entrance of a dwell crowd, however even worse if it had been in an empty area. The 1/3 will likely be on an island, and what higher position to cap one of the most game’s supreme rivalries? The primary two bouts had been a few of the top-selling pay-per-view occasions in UFC historical past. With now not a lot going down within the sports activities global within the close to long run, consider how a lot hobby this may create.

The co-main match is a scrap between the sector’s two height middleweights. Costa would have had the identify shot quicker had he now not suffered a biceps damage. Adesanya used to be ready to edge out Yoel Romero at UFC 248 on March 7. That used to be now not an excellent struggle, however Adesanya vs. Costa has all of the components for fireworks, together with dangerous blood.

Cejudo “retired” after his a hit bantamweight identify protection over Dominick Cruz at UFC 249 on Might nine. Will it stick? What he in reality desires is a bump in pay, reimbursement befitting one of the most height pound-for-pound opponents on the planet. So how about pay-per-view issues at the McGregor vs. Diaz trilogy card? Plus, Aldo is the opponent Cejudo has sought after all alongside, although he isn’t the highest bantamweight contender. It is nonetheless an amazing struggle.

The Combat Island leading card is rounded out via a couple of contender fights. Until needs to be booked for this match, proper? He is the social media quarantine king. Plus, if somebody falls out of Adesanya vs. Costa, Until or Whittaker may fill in. And then you definately get started issues off with a featherweight combat between two of essentially the most creatively violent males in MMA. Can not cross incorrect with Zabit and The Korean Zombie.

Jeff Wagenheim’s leading card for Combat Island debut

Jon Jones vs. Jan Blachowicz (mild heavyweight identify struggle)

Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa (middleweight identify struggle)

Alexander Volkanovski vs. Max Holloway (featherweight identify struggle)

Colby Covington vs. Leon Edwards

Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Chan Sung Jung

It is all the time about championship fights for me. I’d have cherished to have constructed this big-splash card round essentially the most intoxicating identify tussle at the UFC’s horizon, Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje, however the canoes will likely be leaving for Combat Island slightly too quickly for that one, particularly with the champ’s father within the sanatorium. So let’s exchange it with a glittery trio of identify fights, together with the second-biggest one destined for global waters. Adesanya-Costa is a pairing during which warmth is only a highly spiced facet dish to a major process 19-Zero vs. 13-Zero.

I am making it simply my co-main match, although, as a result of identify bout custom — heavier champs struggle later — and since Jones, even in a matchup now not just about as eagerly awaited, is pound-for-pound royalty and a GOAT candidate. A dominant efficiency right here would douse the sour aftertaste of his two directly slim choices and would fortify a heavyweight showdown with Francis Ngannou. By way of the best way, I am giving the identify shot to Blachowicz, now not Dominick Reyes, as a result of I imagine a challenger who falls quick, even via a razor-thin margin, must must struggle his as far back as a moment probability.

Bonus: Having Jones and Adesanya caught on an island in combination may spin off into its personal reality-TV drama.

Volkanovski vs. Holloway merits higher than to be a third-billed afterthought, however this match merits not anything lower than seeing champ and ex-champ run it again. And that makes two Town Kickboxing identify bouts.

Then there are the 2 opening fights, both of which might scouse borrow the display. And Covington vs. Edwards may create a No. 1 contender in a welterweight department with quite a lot of transferring portions. Gotta stay harvesting uncooked fabrics for a higher crop of championship fights.

Why no McGregor leading match, like my colleagues? I am simply conserving it actual. Love gazing Conor compete, however he is the sort of pot o’ gold all via himself that the UFC has a tendency to not stack his playing cards. And I sought after to stack this card. But even so, the McGregor matchup I would like — a rematch with Poirier, which might be a professional path to top-contender standing — does not have the momentum that Nate three does. So I’m going to move for now.

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