During the UFC's 25th anniversary press conference on Friday in Los Angeles, the blockbuster announcement was made thaton Oct. 6 against a returning Conor McGregor at UFC 229. While this is the bout that everyone has been anticipating for a while, just as with any fight, you have to start pondering what could be next for whomever emerges from Las Vegas as the lightweight champ. A legendary name may be stepping up to the plate, and that's where we begin our look at some of the biggest headlines for Monday, Aug. 6.
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GSP interested in Khabib vs. McGregor winner
While appearing in an interview with "Submission Radio" in Australia on Monday, former UFC welterweight and middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre was asked about his interest in potentially facing Nurmagomedov or McGregor following their Oct. 6 showdown. GSP didn't hold back in admitting that he has interest in that big-money fight, while also appearing somewhat worrisome that the UFC may be hesitant to award him a title shot given his history of relinquishing belts.
"I would be interested in that fight," St-Pierre said. "That's a win-win situation. It's a legacy upgrade and it's good money -- it's gonna be a big fight. Yeah. However, I fought at 170, I relinquished a title. I fought at 185, I relinquished a title. I don't think UFC will let me fight for the title at 155. They will be afraid I relinquish and I left the division in ruins.
"From my perspective, it's a very winning situation. For UFC, it's a big risk for them. Like I said, I'm older. I know Khabib, I've met Khabib many times. Khabib is actually bigger than me. He's a bigger guy."
Within the last five years, St-Pierre has twice vacated UFC titles. In 2013, he relinquished the welterweight title he put on the map about a month after a victory over Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 to take a hiatus from MMA. GSP would return to competition last year, immediately earning a middleweight title shot against Michael Bisping at UFC 217. Hein the third round but later vacated that championship, citing ulcerative colitis and his reluctance to hold up the division.
Concerns over the short-term status of a particular division aside, UFC would gladly welcome the chance to promote one of its all-time greatest competitors facing off with the current king of a stacked lightweight crew, no matter how fans may feel about St-Pierre earning another chance to jump the line.
More UFC news, rumors
- The bracket for the upcoming Bellator Welterweight World Grand Prix was announced on Monday. Highlighting the first-round matches is the long-awaited grudge match pitting Paul Daley against Michael "Venom" Page. Other bouts include former champ Douglas Lima vs. Andrey Koreshkov; Neiman Gracie vs. Ed Ruth; and reigning Bellator MMA welterweight champion Rory MacDonald vs. Jon Fitch. In the release from Bellator, it states that the welterweight title will be on the line during every match in which the champion at the time is competing, obviously beginning with MacDonald vs. Fitch. Only the Lima vs. Koreshkov first-round matchup has a date attached to it currently, with the bout scheduled for Sept. 29 at Bellator 206 -- the same card which will see the welterweight champ MacDonald move up to middleweight to challenge that division's champion, Gegard Mousasi.
- The incredible flyweight championship reign of Demetrious Johnson came to an end on Saturday at UFC 227, with "Mighty Mouse" he did reveal in a post-fight interview on Saturday that he believes he suffered a torn LCL and broken foot during his final bout as champion. . While Johnson has been classy in defeat and void of excuses since the loss,
- Two more fights are reportedly set to be added to the UFC 229 card in Las Vegas highlighted by the Khabib-McGregor showdown. Joseph Benavidez will take on Ray Borg in flyweight action, according to MMANYTT, while Yana Kunitskaya and Lina Lansberg will meet one another in a women's featherweight bout, according to Kimura.se.