MMA Odds and Ends for Wednesday: Johnson gets Khabib, does Rousey want Cyborg?

Khabib NurmagomedovMichael Johnson to take on Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 205 The final piece to what looks like the best MMA card of all-time was announced by the UFC on Tuesday, as lightweights Michael Johnson and Khabib Nurmagomedov will clash at UFC 205 on November 12th in New York City. The matchup between two top contenders at 155 pounds marks the 13th and final fight on the UFC 205 card, which is headlined by the lightweight championship bout between champion Eddie Alvarez and Conor McGregor. Johnson (17-10) had called for a big money fight following his impressive first-round knockout of Dustin Poirier at UFC Fight Night 94 less than two weeks ago. He got it in the unbeaten Nurmagomedov (23-0), who looked to be next in line for a title shot against Alvarez (28-4) until McGregor (20-3) became the more appealing and marketable name as he attempts to become the organization’s first fighter ever to simultaneously hold two belts. Other highlights — or lowlights depending on how you view them — from Tuesday’s UFC 205 press conference revealing the entire card included McGregor proclaiming “I run New York” and welterweight champ Tyron Woodley getting booed when he took the stage opposite challenger Stephen Thompson after previously stating he wanted a big money fight himself versus either Nick Diaz or Georges St-Pierre. Woodley later said it was “dope” getting booed. Here’s an updated look at the complete UFC 205 card… Eddie Alvarez (28-4) vs. Conor McGregor (20-3) for lightweight title Tyron Woodley (16-3) vs. Stephen Thompson (13-1) for welterweight title Joanna Jędrzejczyk (12-0) vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (10-0) for women’s strawweight title Chris Weidman (13-1) vs. Yoel Romero (12-1) Donald Cerrone (31-7, 1 No-Contest) vs. Kelvin Gastelum (12-2) Khabib Nurmagomedov (23-0) vs. Michael Johnson (17-10) Miesha Tate (18-6) vs. Raquel Pennington (8-5) Frankie Edgar (20-5-1) vs. Jeremy Stephens (25-12) Tim Kennedy (18-5) vs. Rashad Evans (19-5-1) Tim Boetsch (19-10) vs. Rafael Natal (21-7-1) Jim Miller (27-8, 1 NC) vs. Thiago Alves (21-10) Lyman Good (19-3, 1 NC) vs. Belal Muhammad (10-1) Liz Carmouche (10-5) vs. Katlyn Chookagian (8-0) Does Ronda Rousey really want to fight Cyborg? Another sidebar to Tuesday’s UFC news was president Dana White speaking on behalf of the former women’s bantamweight champ Rousey in saying she wants to fight Cris “Cyborg” Justino. Remember, the original plan was for Rousey to return for a title fight at UFC 205. Now White is obviously holding out a lot of hope that Rousey comes back later this year or in early 2017 and wins the title belt back from current champ Amanda Nunes. Then, the only matchups that really make sense for Rousey are a rematch with Holly Holm or a showdown with Cyborg in what would easily be the most hyped women’s fight in MMA history. The only problem is that Rousey is noticeably absent from this conversation and still in hiding while recovering from her painful knockout loss to Holm nearly a year ago. I wrote before Cyborg finished Lina Lansberg via second-round TKO last Saturday that the UFC is sending a bad message unless they make the Rousey fight happen soon. We’ve heard this before from White, and we need to hear it from Rousey herself in order to take the rumor more seriously.

Written by Matty

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