UFC’s good placard in months overshadowed by the absent-minded Conor McGregor | Les Carpenter

UFC 211 on Saturday night in Dallas promises to be something special, but the headlines continue to be about the Irishman and a fight that is likely to never happen

On Saturday night, the UFC will offer what is possibly their best poster in five months with two title combats including one with rising female wizard Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Its a lineup so good that last summers lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez isnt even on the central card.

But much of the UFC news this weekend is less about the bouts at Dallass American Airlines Center and more about someone who hasnt contend in more than five months. And there is nothing to say this situation is going to end soon. Even as the UFC thrusts on selling Stipe Miocic v Junior Dos Santos as a headliner on Saturday the headlines continue to be about Conor McGregor and a fight that might never happen.

On Thursday, UFC president Dana White told radio emcee Jim Rome that he is setting a Sunday deadline for finishing peace negotiations with McGregor on a possible Mayweather fight before looking to work with Mayweathers congresswomen next week. His decree was a bigger cope than anything that happened in the pre-fight dialogue in Dallas, save for Fridays announcement that Jon Jones is going to meet Daniel Cormier in July. Whatever McGregor does digests as the most difficult concept going on with Whites UFC.

Perhaps a year ago it wasnt this path. A years ago, McGregor was just coming off his non-title loss to Nate Diaz, dulling his soaring stellar. There was also talk Ronda Rousey might render that summer after her startling loss to Holly Holm and in many ways Rousey was always the UFCs most-compelling figure. But now, 12 months ago, the UFC has been sold to corporate owneds and White says he is certain Rouseys through after Amanda Nunes took her apart in UFC 207. This leaves McGregor as the organizations one great draw.

He has gotten bigger in his planned half-year hiatus and paternity leave. He looms larger than ever over the UFC, technically impounding both the UFCs lightweight and featherweight names though hes since had to return the featherweight belt after trouncing Alvarez for the lightweight title in November. No fighter might better understand their leverage better and he is well aware that his only shot at a $75 m- $100 m payday is to step into a boxing reverberate with Mayweather. Until he does that, the talk around the UFC will be McGregor even if McGregor continues to sit out.

Saturday night should be a observance of how deep the UFC abides. The Miocic-Dos Santos rematch is a pairing of two explosive hitters. Jedrzejczyk is a furious boxer who has overwhelmed her last-place various foes. Alvarez remains a skilled boxer who only wasnt a match for McGregor as few are.

But many of the UFC headlines at the end of this week are about Whites deadline and his confidence that he can pull together a McGregor-Mayweather fight .~ ATAGEND I will do the Mayweather-McGregor fight because I think he deserves it, White told CNN the coming week .~ ATAGEND On a weekend when all the fibs should be about a loaded card, “theyre about” a proposed crusade that White says will induce zero pennies for the UFC.

There isnt much he can do about this unless another great sun comes along. Jones, the organizations once-great endorse, is lastly coming back from the year-long doping suspension that devastated UFC 200. His duels with Cormier are always good presentation. But after all of Joness troubles in recent years there is no certainty he will be the fighter he was once. Cris Cyborg has been cleared of a possible doping contravention and regards promise of being as rousing as Rousey had been. But will any of them have the panache of McGregor and Rousey? Can they create the same mainstream request? Can anyone?

For now, McGregor waits. He can afford to do this after taking four fights in 11 months and carrying the UFC to its gigantic marketing before his sabbatical. Whatever he decides to do will have a huge impact on the rest of the organization. Every top male soldier within realistic distance of his heavines class is longing for a shot at him, knowing the only real money is in a McGregor fight. Diaz, for example, remains on the sidelines since his 20 August rematch loss to McGregor, scoffing at Whites renders of boxers like Alvarez.

Call me with some real shit, Diaz recently told Ariel Helwanis The MMA Hour.

For now, Diaz must stand in line with everyone else longing for their McGregor chance as McGregor chases Mayweather money.

Meanwhile the UFC will put on a great prove Saturday night.

Is anyone paying attention?

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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