We’re back for another MMA rumors article for you. In strange times as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will bring you the rumors from the world of combat sports every day, so don’t worry. Today’s article features developments on the location of UFC 249, the opening betting odds of the potential UFC Dublin main event and the potential of Jimi Manuwa making a return to the octagon.
UFC 249 Location
Rumor: Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov‘s father says UFC 249 main event will likely be in Dubai.
We know that the outbreak of COVID-19 has played havoc with cancelling cards in the world of MMA. No fight in the history of the sport has been more tainted than Khabib Nurmagodmedov vs. Tony Ferguson. Scheduled to fight four times previously, the two are yet to face off in the octagon. Originally due to fight in Brooklyn, New York on April 18th, we know this fight won’t go ahead as planned. For certain, we know that it won’t take place in New York and we know that UFC president, Dana White is looking for a new location for the bout.
Reports this morning suggested that the bout will more than likely take place in Dubai. Speaking to RBC Sports (Russia), Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov said ‘most likely it will be Dubai’ that we will see the UFC 249 main event. The reason behind this? Nurmagomedov states that it’s ‘easier to fight diseases because of the heat’ and that he believes that the ‘Emirates will pay for the UFC fight faster and easier’.
This would mean that Khabib Nurmagomedov will be fighting in the middle east for the second time in as many fights. Although this is only a rumor, it makes a lot of sense. With the fight just a month away, we can expect an announcement soon.
Whittaker Opens up as favourite over Till for UFC Dublin
Rumor: Robert Whittaker has opened up as a favourite over Darren Till for their potential bout at UFC Dublin.
We know that this fight is still only rumored itself but what a fight it would be. The former middleweight champion rumored a fight with the former welterweight title contender, Till on Twitter last week.
— Robert Whittaker (@robwhittakermma) March 13, 2020
The fight seemed to be confirmed by ESPN‘s Brett Okamoto on Twitter also.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) March 11, 2020
Since the announcement of the rumored fight (which makes a lot of sense by the way), people have been wondering who would be favourite. Whittaker is coming off a knockout loss to Israel Adesanya, where he dropped his title. Till is coming off his middleweight debut, where he defeated Kelvin Gastelum via unanimous decision.
The odds for this fight have been announced and they have Whittaker as a -182 favourite. This particular bookie has Till at a -150 underdog. We can assume that these will change if (and when) the fight announcement is made and will change the closer we get to the event itself.
You can check out the odds here:
— Jim (@MMA_Jim) March 17, 2020
Jimi Manuwa to return to action
Rumor: Former perennial contender Jimi Manuwa could make a return to the octagon.
Following a brutal knockout in June 2019, London’s Jimi Manuwa announced his retirement from MMA. Since that retirement, however, Manuwa has constantly teased a return. It was confirmed recently that if he was to come back, it wouldn’t be at heavyweight. Many suggested that this could be a logical move for the ‘Poster Boy’, but it seems this won’t come to fruition.
If the rumors are to be believed, we could see Manuwa face off against some former foes. He said to BJPenn.com, ‘The rematch with Rakic would be great or the trilogy with Jan Blachowicz would be something I would train for’. He also hinted that he could rematch Corey Anderson could be a potential return fight.
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