UFC 223 Preview

ufc-223It has been a long road in the past few years as fight fans have seen a change in the way that the UFC has done business.

Ever since they began preparing to sell the company the UFC has focused on what most people refer to as money fights.

These fights make no sense in the grand scheme of things but they attract fans from outside of the hardcore base that watches most if not every fight.

The money-fight era has been entertaining but frustrating as the best fighters have not necessarily been given the chances they deserve.

Although this new era is far from over 2018 seems to be a new version of the era where the big fights are still happening but waiting for the stars is ending.

The best fighters are getting their chances at titles and when there isn’t much left in their divisions they are moving on to super-fights, see Miocic-Cormier.

UFC 223 seemed like the real turning point for this new version of the UFC’s money-fight era, as it included two of the biggest fights of the year that involved fighters who more than deserved their shots.

There was the strawweight title fight between current champion Rose Namajunas and the woman she beat to get the title, Joanna Jędrzeczyk.

This is a rematch that many have been waiting for as Jędrzeczyk was thought of as being the best female fighter in the UFC

Nobody thought she would give up her title to anyone with the way that he was beating the other strawweights.

Namajunas surprised everyone and not only beat Jędrzeczyk but knocked her out essentially beating her at her own game.

It was one of the many surprises in 2017 and Namajunas has the chance to show that it was far from a fluke.

She will look to get another win and prove that she is the queen of the strawweight division officially starting a new era in a division that wasn’t supposed to see a new era for years.

Then there was a fight between the two best lightweights in the world who both had been waiting and calling out the current champion, Conor McGregor who hasn’t fought in over a year.

Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov was the fight that fight fans wanted to see and there was little doubt that this was the fight with the most talent in the division.

The problem was that the fight had been scheduled three times before and each time one of the two fighters couldn’t make the fight.mma-sidebar.fw

It became a bit of a joke that people couldn’t mention the fight without jinxing it and ensuring that the fight was going to be cancelled.

Of course, that joke became reality when Ferguson tore his LCL in a freak accident while doing press for the fight.

It was a major disappointment but the new version of this money fight era was only further on display when they announced the replacement.

Nurmagomedov would instead fight featherweight champion Max Holloway in what is essentially a last-minute super fight between two of the best fighters on the roster.

Although Holloway is far from clearing out his division he is the owner of one of the longest win streaks in the UFC while Nurmagomedov has never lost a fight.

It is both a money fight and a fight between two extremely talented fighters who aren’t a part of that exclusive superstar group.

This is a fight built for this era and although there may not be a lot of outside fans watching and hardcore fans are disappointed the UFC couldn’t have done much better.

With McGregor officially stripped of his title, this fight will be for the lightweight title providing a unique opportunity.

If Holloway can win this fight he will become only the second fighter ever to hold two belts at the same time, the first being the last person to hold both the Feather and Lightweight titles Conor McGregor.

That is going to be a big task though as Holloway took a fight on six days notice against one of the scariest fighters in the UFC.

Nurmagomedov is 25-0 and showed just how dominant his combat sambo is when he walked through Edson Barboza in one of the most dominant performances in recent memory.

Nurmagomedov is a fighter that some believe everyone is avoiding and is also a fighter that many thought could go through McGregor to get the title anyway.

Taking the fight against someone like Nurmagomedov is tough enough for Holloway with a full camp, the fact that Holloway is an undersized lightweight and Nurmagomedov is an oversized lightweight doesn’t help either.

To do it in six weeks is going to be an extremely tough task but taking the fight is what Holloway does and there is very little to lose for him.

The new version of the money-fight era is beginning and despite the changes, UFC 223 remains a turning point in this change.

ufc-223

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