The Thomas Transition: UFC 202
Here we are again another UFC event in the books another “Thomas Transition” to write. But this event was unlike any other. Let’s all remember UFC 202 for what it was. A main event battle that pitted Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor, a match made in heaven together again. Diaz vs McGregor or McGregor vs Diaz really sells itself. Typically in UFC history the biggest fight’s are represented with a belt on the line, but not Part I or Part II, and probably not even Part III. But after watching Diaz vs McGregor 2 last Saturday night, does it really matter? Was anyone at any point bored during the main event? I can only speak for myself and say that I surely was not. So what’s next for the winners and losers of UFC 202. Let me break it down.
Conor McGregor: As they say in business it is always good to have multiple options and the Irishman has plenty. The biggest question in MMA right now is with the Diaz loss now avenged, where does Conor go from here? A rematch with Jose Aldo is possible with Aldo now the interim featherweight champion since UFC 200. McGregor vs Diaz 3 is a possibility with both McGregor and Diaz calling each other out after Saturday night’s fight and a unwritten agreement has been made between both fighters. Not only could they fight a third time, but at 155 lbs rather than 170 lbs. I like that idea. However, the UFC brass wants McGregor to defend his belt. A belt that he won in December of 2015. Among both options there is one option that should not be lost in translation. This option, in my eyes, is the best choice for Conor McGregor, the UFC, and for the sport of MMA.
A Lightweight Title match between Eddie Alvarez and Conor McGregor. Conor was originally slated to fight then Lightweight Champion Rafael Dos Anjos back at UFC 196. RDA hurt his foot which forced him out of the fight. That injury alone is the very reason McGregor fought Diaz not once, but twice in the first place. One fact that discouraged me from the excitement most felt about RDA vs McGregor was the fact that RDA would have a tough time “selling” the fight in comparison to the showman that is Conor McGregor. Eddie Alvarez would not have that problem. Not only does Eddie like to be an open book and say what is truly on his mind, but for a long long time Eddie Alvarez was considered the BEST fighter that was not in the UFC.
Now Alvarez is the champion of the UFC’s toughest weight division and is left without a dance partner. The question is just when will the Irishman be able to return to the octagon? A fractured foot injury was reported by the Nevada State Athletic Comission and Conor must be cleared by October in order to fight on the soon to be STACKED UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. That is a card that McGregor should be on, but if he is not healthy he simply won’t be. Not only will he not be on the bill for UFC 205, but he will be suspended from contact until February. That does throw a wrench in Conor’s future, but regardless, Alvarez vs McGregor needs to be made. Alvarez will have to hold out for some time but he deserves the long awaited “championship tour” being a mainstay in the sport for as long as he has.
-Conor McGregor takes on Eddie Alvarez in a champion vs champion bout that has long alluded the UFC since GSP vs Penn at UFC 94. Which took place back in January of 2009. This fight would be huge any time, any place, anywhere.-
Anthony Johnson: Rumble did what Rumble does best, scoring a quick 13 second knockout over one of the most durable fighters in the UFC. One flush uppercut was all he needed to notch himself another shot at Daniel Cormier. The DC vs Rumble rematch should be what’s next. Jon Jones should be given not one ounce of relevancy spotlight, let alone another chance at Daniel Cormier and the UFC Light Heavyweight Belt. The bridge hasn’t just been burned, it has been seared and sauteed.
Unlike Jones, DC and Rumble are class individuals which was clearly shown in Rumble’s octagon interview with Joe Rogan. Acknowledging that DC should be cheered for rather than booed was a class act move and just further shows that there are class individuals in this sport. Way to go Rumble. Not only did you sink your teeth into another title shot, but you now have a chance to avenge a loss and in the process you showed true class. Give this guy the title shot.
-Anthony “Rumble” Johnson takes on Daniel Cormier at UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden-
Donald Cerrone: At this point who doesn’t want to be the Cowboy? Well probably Daniel Cormier. But joking aside, Donald Cerrone has really put a nice run together with a 3-0 record as a Welterweight (170 lbs). Each welterweight bout has ended with not only Cerrone getting his hand raised but with Cerrone finishing his opponent via submission or technical knockout. Out of his three wins as a welterweight, his latest win vs Rick Story is his most impressive yet. The head-body-head combination in which Cerrone landed to finish Story was a beauty, and I only expect Cerrone to fight a higher ranked opponent at 170 lbs.
While he wants a title shot vs Eddie Alvarez, in case you skipped right to Cerrone, I have other plans for Alvarez. Also, Cerrone’s last loss as a Lightweight Title Fight loss vs the then Lightweight Champion Rafael Dos Anjos by technical knockout in 64 seconds. Simply put, I like Cerrone as a Welterweight. Not only has Cerrone been on a tear as a welterweight, but he is fighting well in a much healthier way and he has several intriguing matchups that will pay him very well. One being against former Ultimate Fighter winner Kelvin Gastelum. That’s the fight that makes the most sense for both fighters.
-Cerrone takes on Kelvin Gastelum in an important fringe contender Welterweight fight-
Nate Diaz: What is there really not to love about Nate Diaz. He is one of the most original fighters in MMA history, along with his big brother Nick of course. Four years ago Dana White referred to Nate Diaz a guy that “couldn’t move the needle”. Wow was he wrong. For a fight in which Nate Diaz lost, he really didn’t lose anything at all, in fact he gained 2 million dollars into his bank account.
Now that things are all knotted up at 1-1 between McGregor and Diaz, Nate has set himself up even further with a bigger payday for an eventual PART III. But I don’t see that fight happening just yet, and in that case Nate Diaz will wait for Part III. Which who knows at this point just when the trilogy match will take place, but either way Nate Diaz wants the “money fight” and he can sit on his 2 million and wait.
-Nate Diaz waits for epic Conor McGregor trilogy-
Glover Texiera: Boy do nice guys finish last. Poor Glover Texiera he inched his way closer to another UFC Light Heavyweight title shot and in 13 seconds his dreams were shattered. I hope he can make another comeback but we will only wait and see. Most of the opposition ranked within the top 10, Glover has already fought and beat so it will be very interesting to see who they set him up with but I think a date with former Strikeforce Champion Gegard Mousasi could be in order.
-Texiera takes on Gegard Mousasi-
Rick Story: Story entered his bout with Donald Cerrone somewhat as the favorite, and he left with an emphatic technical knockout loss. Story has been a welterweight for quite some time and has fought many contenders most of which he has beaten. For a long time former welterweight champion Johnny Hendricks had one loss one his record that was to none other than Rick Story. Simply put Story will bounce back.
-Story takes on Neil Magny-
Ryan Thomas covers MMA for MyFantasySportsTalk.com | Follow him on Twitter @thomastake92https://www.myfantasysportstalk.com/the-thomas-transition-ufc-202/https://i1.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/UFC-202-live.png?fit=600%2C397&ssl=1https://i1.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/UFC-202-live.png?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1AnalysisBoxingCombat SportsEntertainmentMMARecent PostsConor McGregor,Donald Cerrone,Nate Diaz,ufc 202Here we are again another UFC event in the books another 'Thomas Transition' to write. But this event was unlike any other. Let's all remember UFC 202 for what it was. A main event battle that pitted Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor, a match made in heaven together again....Ryan ThomasRyan Thomasbeantownboy92@yahoo.comContributorMyFantasySportsTalk