UFC’s best poster 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 might never happen

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

But often of the UFC news this weekend is less about the bouts at Dallass American Airlines Center and more about someone who hasnt struggle in more than five months. And there is nothing to say this situation is going to end soon. Even as the UFC pushings 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 negotiations with McGregor on a possible Mayweather fight before looking to work with Mayweathers congressmen 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 accepts as the biggest thing going on with Whites UFC.

Perhaps a year ago it wasnt this channel. A years ago, McGregor was just coming off his non-title loss to Nate Diaz, dulling his soaring whiz. There was also talk Ronda Rousey might return that summer after her stunning 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 great draw.

He has get bigger in his planned half-year hiatus and paternity leave. He tower greater than ever over the UFC, technically hampering both the UFCs lightweight and featherweight names although he since had to return the featherweight loop after pulsating 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 sound 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 occasion of how deep the UFC remains. The Miocic-Dos Santos rematch is a pairing of two explosive hitters. Jedrzejczyk is a ferocious boxer who has overwhelmed her last-place various opposings. Alvarez remains a skilled fighter who only 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 this week .~ ATAGEND On a weekend when all the floors should be about a loaded placard, “theyre about” a proposed crusade that White says will prepare zero pennies for the UFC.

There isnt much he can do about this unless another great wizard comes along. Jones, the organizations once-great champion, is finally coming back from the year-long drugging suspension that devastated UFC 200. His battles with Cormier are always good entertainment. But after all of Joness difficulties 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 holds hope of has become a provoking as Rousey had been. But will any of them have the elegance of McGregor and Rousey? Can they make the same mainstream appeal? 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 huge sale before his sabbatical. Whatever he decides to do will have a huge impact on the rest of the organization. Every top male fighter within realistic interval of his heavines class is longing for a shot at him, knowing the only real fund is in a McGregor fight. Diaz, for example, remains on the sidelines since his 20 August rematch loss to McGregor, flouting at Whites offerings of soldiers 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 longing for their McGregor chance as McGregor chases Mayweather money.

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

Is anyone paying attention?

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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