We’re one week closer to finding out if UFC 249 is going to take place on May 9, somewhere on earth. In the meantime, we are able to speculate about other things while we wait for that card to play out. The results of UFC 249 decide the future matchups that need to be made. If Justin Gaethje is able to pull off the upset and get the job done, He will have single handedly destroyed the “Cursed Matchup” Between Khabib and Tony. While we wait for that to play out, There are some other headlines that can be discussed.
Luke Rockhold Considering a Comeback
The former Middleweight turned Light Heavyweight recently said that he didn’t specifically retire for this reason. After his vicious KO in July at the hands of Jan Blanchowicz, Rockhold decided it would be in his best interest to step away from the sport for a while, focusing on other endeavors. While many like to speculate, saying that his career in the UFC is finished and he has a glass jaw, I’d like to disagree. Luke Rockhold is a top contender in any weight class. The UFC threw him into the heap when putting him against Jan, who is no walk in the park and is most likely challenging Jon Jones for the Light Heavyweight title next. Luke’s accolades include holding the StrikeForce middle weight title, which he defended twice. The UFC middleweight title was taken quick and swift from him by Michael Bisping, a decorated Middleweight out of Manchester, England. Rockhold has only lost to the cream of the crop of his divisions, and has a bright future in the sport as many aging legends start to retire. I think Luke made the correct decision not saying that he retired.
Gaethje says he will not consider himself champion until he beats Khabib
The lightweight division has been nothing less of a mudslide ever since Mcgregor Moved up in late 2016. Since then, the lightweight division has been extremely top heavy and almost anybody in the top 5 of the rankings can challenge for the title. So far, Khabib has defended his belt against Conor Mcgregor, and Dustin Poirier. Two former featherweights that filled the lightweight division nicely, as they found their new home. Khabib has been trying to fight Tony Ferguson, the clear #1 contender in the lightweight division. They have tried making that matchup 5 times, and has been cancelled every time it’s been put together. Now, since the virus, The UFC has decided to take a different approach. The UFC has decided to make an interim title, which is basically a belt that allows you to be champion while the actual champion is out. Once he is healthy and or able to fight, it gives you a direct shot at the undisputed title. Many fans are against an interim title, saying that it gives a contender false hope and it’s pointless. I’d like to disagree (I disagree with mainstream a lot). I think that an interim title does something different for fighters that many people don’t see. Interim titles give the holder a certain boost in confidence, and may give them the push they need to take out the current champion. For example, Israel Adesanya burst on the scene as one of the most popular fighters out at the moment. Israel fought Kelvin Gastellum for the interim middleweight strap in April of last year, and I think it benefitted Adesanya very much. Adesanya went into the undisputed fight unfazed, and looked like he belonged in a championship fight more than the current champion did. By Gaethje setting a path for the belt, he’s preparing himself for the tasks coming up. Gaethje isn’t trying to cut any corners. By saying he won’t consider himself champion until he beats Khabib, he’s saying that he won’t consider himself the best until he takes out the best. If he beat’s undefeated Khabib, it isn’t even a question that he is the best lightweight in the world. It’ll be interesting to see how May 9th plays out.
Its been a long few weeks. I miss my friends and I miss being able to escape my home. Please stay safe and stay inside! This virus is no joke and we need to start treating it that way. We can only beat this thing if we’re all in this together. Tonight we’re shooting a podcast with two of our life long friends that are absolute nuts, and will share some of their stories with our audience. Tune in! Thank you to everyone supporting me and my dream, you all mean the world to me. Wash your hands.