Is The Notorious One – McGregor Close To Returning To The Octagon

This past week, we have heard “The Notorious One” Conor McGregor’s name mentioned in various news media articles and his name has been tied to several rumors in the world of MMA. The media hype began last month when UFC President Dana White announced that at UFC 223 Tony Ferguson would be facing Khabib Nurmagomedov for the UFC lightweight title.

White Gets the Party Started

White stated during the press conference, “it’s not for the interim title, that fight will be for the title” meaning that Conor McGregor would be strict of the UFC lightweight title due to the fact he wanted to take time off from MMA and the fact that the UFC needed to continue with business as usual.

Dana White has stood firm in his belief that the world of MMA may never see McGregor step back inside the octagon due to the overwhelming amount of money he has made over the last 2 years. White has stated time and time again that McGregor made life-changing money for his boxing match with Floyd Mayweather and he does not believe that McGregor will make a return to the UFC.

Many people believed and are under the assumption that Floyd Mayweather is attempting to make a UFC debut and that is the fight that Conor McGregor would be shooting for with the hopes of another huge payday for the Irishman. Dana White also nixed that idea stating that Floyd Mayweather was not in active negotiations to compete in the UFC however he did state that “anything is possible”. For anyone that knows Dana White or has followed him in the media over the years, knows that this means Mayweather is most likely on his way to the UFC.

McGregor And his Social Media

McGregor took the social media on Thursday in response to Dana White questioning whether he would ever fight again. McGregor stated “I am fighting again. Period. I am the best at this. I put my name forward to step in at UFC 222 to face Frankie Edgar when Max Holloway pulled out, but I was told there wasn’t enough time to generate the money that the UFC would need. I was excited about bouncing in last minute and taking out the final featherweight, without all the rest of the stuff that comes with this game. Please respect the insane amount of work outside the fight game that I have put in. On top of the fighting. I am here. It is on them to come and get me. Because I am here. Yours sincerely, The Champ”.

In most situations, the general public and the media would like to blame the UFC and president Dana White but the reality here is that McGregor has not fought since November 2016, when he beat Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 for the UFC lightweight championship. Since that point in time, McGregor has held the lightweight division hostage while not making any attempts to return to the octagon.

The UFC has 2 high-caliber lightweights that are going to battle it out at UFC 223 in Brooklyn, New York. This fight will truly determine who is the top lightweight in the UFC. For the UFC, this is the best and most competitive fight that they could put on at this point in time in the lightweight division.

But what happens with McGregor? He claims that he wants to return to the octagon but is he willing to accept the fight with someone other than Floyd Mayweather? There are really only 2 options for the UFC and McGregor.

Option A is the UFC will pit McGregor against the winner of Ferguson and Nurmagomedov. This would be a huge money maker as the winner of this fight will be considered the top lightweight the world and a fight against McGregor would be the money fight for either of these 2 guys.

Option B is the UFC puts on Conor McGregor versus Nate Diaz III. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that this fight is eventually going to happen but do they do it now or do they wait until the end of the year to feature what would be probably the biggest event UFC history!

Whichever option UFC and McGregor decide to go with, there is no doubt that a ton of money will be made. Conor McGregor has formed himself into a marketing machine and whether you like him or hate him, he creates a hype unlike any other and is a proven asset UFC. There is not another single fighter out there that creates the pay-per-view buys, sponsorships and media hype like “The Notorious One” does!

For that reason and that reason alone, it is very likely that we will see “The Notorious One” Conor McGregor back in the cage before long and possibly 2 times before the end of the year of 2018.

How Much Does Missing Weight Affect An MMA Fights Odds

This past Saturday Night, we saw the UFC head to Australia for UFC 221 and in the main event, the premier MMA organization featured a fight between Luke Rockhold and Yoel Romero.  The fight was for the Interim UFC Middleweight Championship but after Friday, only one of the fighters could actually win the title due to missing weight.

You may be asking yourself how is it a championship fight, when only one fighter can win the title? Well, the answer is because only one fighter was professional enough to make weight.  Luke Rockhold stepped on the scale at the scheduled 185 pounds but Yoel Romero failed to make weight, stepping on the cage at 188.3 pounds, which is 3.3 pounds heavier than the allowed amount.  Romero had 2 extra hours to cut the weight but still only made it down to 187.7 pounds.

Rockhold Expresses His Displeasure With “Unprofessional” Romero

If you watch the weigh-ins, it was abundantly clear that Luke Rockhold was not happy whatsoever! During the weigh-in interview, Rockhold simply said that he was a professional and that he may wait however it was clear that his remarks were speaking of the unprofessional Romero who missed weight.

There was still some questions even after the weigh-in, on whether Rockhold would accept the fight with Romero being overweight. All of the UFC fighters are under a contract and the contract clearly states what the weight requirements are. If a fighter misses weight, his opponent is not required by contract to accept the fight.

As we saw last week in the John Dodson versus Pedro Munoz fight at UFC fight night 125, if a fighter doesn’t accept a fight when his opponent comes in overweight, that fighter may not get paid their show money and in most cases it handcuffs the fighter to accept the fight so they can collect a paycheck. Last week, John Dodson made the decision to not accept the fight and therefore he did not get a paycheck for his training camp or any of his expenses leading up to that fight.

That being said, Rockhold took to twitter to accept the fight and to continue his rant on Romero.  Rockhold stated, “Should have be doing the salsa in the sauna. Some bull shit as usual”.

More About Romero Missing Weight

The easiest explanation to answer the question of why Romero missing weight would simply be to say he accepted the fight on short notice.  Rockhold was originally scheduled to fight Robert Whitaker for the undisputed UFC middleweight title but Whitaker was injured and forced to withdraw from the fight. The UFC then reached out to Romero, who accepted the fight on short notice.

Many will say, that Romero shouldn’t have accepted the fight had he known he couldn’t make the weight, but every fighter believes they can make weight when the time comes.  Part of the issue for Romero is that he is a 40-year-old man and not as young as he once was.  Romero is a very top-heavy fighter carries around a lot of muscle, therefore holding a lot of water prior to the weigh-ins.  It’s still no excuse for Romero who is a former Olympic wrestler and has made weight all of his life.

How Were The UFC 221 Odds Affected?

The next question is posed as to how missing weight affects the betting public and what it does to the actual odds?  If we look at last week’s fight as an example, we will find that Yoel Romero initially opened up as a -180 favorite in the fight, with Luke Rockhold being the underdog returning +150. When Friday’s weigh-in occurred, and Romero missed weight, the mma odds drastically changed in favor of Rockhold. In a matter of 12 hours, the odds had gone from Rockhold being +150 to -190 and Romero went from being -182 to being +155 in the same timeframe.

In the end, it was Romero that won the fight, knocking Rockhold out in the 3rd round.  Most experts on the internet that you read will tell you that you should never bet on a fighter that has missed weight because they lose more than the win but is that really the truth?  If we go back to 2013 and count every single fight that took place with a fighter missing weight, we find that the fighter that missed weight, won 26 times and lost 23 times, including the fight between Romero and Rockhold.  This leads us to the fact that the experts are incorrect and if anything, the edge is given to the fighter that misses weight.  

Part of that reasoning is due to the fact that most fighters when they know they are not missing weight, will stop their weight cut and start to rehydrate. This will give them extra time to replenish their bodies and prepare for the fight, while their opponent is draining their body of fluids, attempting to make weight.  

The fighter who misses weight will be penalized 20% of their purse but the benefit of being able to rehydrate in some instances, may outweigh the fact that they are losing some money, especially if it helps the fighter secure the win bonus!