UFC’s excellent placard in months overshadowed by the absent 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 might never happen

On Saturday night, the UFC will render what is possibly the most appropriate poster in five months with two title opposes including information with rising female whiz Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Its a lineup so good that last summers lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez isnt even on the prime 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 fight in more than five months. And there is nothing to say this quandary 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 congressmen next week. His proclamation was a bigger spate than anything that happened in the pre-fight discourse in Dallas, save for Fridays announcement that Jon Jones is going to meet Daniel Cormier in July. Whatever McGregor does stands as the biggest situation going on with Whites UFC.

Perhaps a year ago it wasnt this space. A year ago, McGregor was just originating off his non-title loss to Nate Diaz, monotonous his soaring adept. There was also talk Ronda Rousey might revert that summer 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 owners and White says he is certain Rouseys through after Amanda Nunes took her apart in UFC 207. This leaves McGregor where the united nations one enormous draw.

He has get big in his planned half-year hiatus and paternity leave. He tower larger than ever over the UFC, technically supporting both the UFCs lightweight and featherweight entitles though hes since had to return the featherweight loop after pulsating 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 doughnut 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 revelry of how deep the UFC abides. The Miocic-Dos Santos rematch is a pairing of two explosive hitters. Jedrzejczyk is a enraged fighter who has overwhelmed her last-place various resists. Alvarez remains a skilled fighter who merely 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 they are able to pull together a McGregor-Mayweather fight .~ ATAGEND I will do the Mayweather-McGregor fight because I think he deserve it, White told CNN this week .~ ATAGEND On a weekend when all the narrations should be about a loaded card, “theyre about” a proposed oppose that White supposes will form zero cents for the UFC.

There isnt much he can do about this unless another great whiz comes along. Jones, the organizations once-great champion, is eventually coming back from the year-long drugging suspension that devastated UFC 200. His engagements with Cormier are always good entertainment. But after all of Joness difficulties in recent years “were not receiving” certainty he will be the fighter he was once. Cris Cyborg has been cleared of a possible doping abuse and accommodates hope of being as arousing as Rousey had been. But will any of them have the flair of McGregor and Rousey? Can they introduce the same mainstream petition? 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 immense 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 coin 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 everybody 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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