UFC’s best card 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 volunteer what is possibly their best poster in five months with two title contends including information with rising female superstar Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Its a lineup so good that last summertimes lightweight endorse Eddie Alvarez isnt even on the prime card.

But much of the UFC news this weekend is less about the contests at Dallass American Airlines Center and more about someone who hasnt fight in more than five months. And there is nothing to say this quandary is going to end soon. Even as the UFC pushings on exchanging 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 congressmen next week. His decree was a bigger deal 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 holds as the most difficult concept going on with Whites UFC.

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

He has get bigger in his planned half-year hiatus and paternity leave. He tower larger than ever over the UFC, technically holding both the UFCs lightweight and featherweight claims although he since had to return the featherweight region after thumping Alvarez for the lightweight entitle 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 echo with Mayweather. Until he does that, the talk all over the UFC will be McGregor even if McGregor continues to sit out.

Saturday night should be a occasion of how deep the UFC stands. The Miocic-Dos Santos rematch is a pairing of two explosive hitters. Jedrzejczyk is a frenzied boxer who has devastated her last-place several opposings. Alvarez remains a skilled boxer who simply wasnt a match for McGregor as few are.

But many of the UFC headlines at the end of the coming week are about Whites deadline and his confidence that he was able to 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 storeys should be about a loaded poster, “theyre about” a proposed fighting that White says will oblige zero pennies for the UFC.

There isnt much he can do about this unless another enormous stellar comes along. Jones, the organizations once-great champion, is eventually coming back from the year-long doping suspension that broke UFC 200. His engagements with Cormier are always good recreation. 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 abuse and braces hope of has become a rousing as Rousey had been. But will any of them have the flair of McGregor and Rousey? Can they draw the same mainstream entreaty? Can anyone?

For now, McGregor awaits. He can afford to do this after taking four fights in 11 months and bearing the UFC to its massive auction 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 weight class is longing for a shot at him, knowing the only real fund is in a McGregor fight. Diaz, for instance, remains on the sidelines since his 20 August rematch loss to McGregor, scoffing at Whites volunteers 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 passion for their McGregor chance as McGregor chases Mayweather money.

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

Is anyone paying attention?

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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