UFC 249 – Hypotheticals

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 17: Francis Ngannou of Cameroon celebrates his KO victory over Cain Velasquez in their heavyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Talking Stick Resort Arena on February 17, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The fate of UFC 249 continues to hang. Russia has now put in place flight bans. The only sliver of hope that remains are private flights. Dana White has not announced any cancellations at the moment. There appears to be a lot of movement behind the scenes. Several fighters are in talks with the UFC.

Blame for UFC 249 Fallout

Khabib Nurmagomedov has made it clear that he is not responsible for the fallout at UFC 249. Tony Ferguson thinks otherwise.

Rumours seem to abound on new matches that could possibly replace Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov. We do not expect these matches before the world resumes normalcy but all of them are definitely food for thought.

We take a look at some of them.

Ferguson vs McGregor

A confirmed April fools prank. Ariel Helwani recently put out a poll asking fans what Tony should do. The two options he gave were Justin Gaethje and a Nurmagomedov fight sometime down the line. Coach John Kavanagh chipped in. Maybe there’s a third option, he suggested. Soon enough he revealed the prank.

Needless to say, it caused a stir. Ferguson has been gunning for a big fight for a long time. Conor McGregor is always a money fight. It was an entertaining thought while it lasted.

Woodley v Colby

This too was a fight that was under discussion a while back. When the UFC first canned their London event, Colby Covington tweeted out his interest in facing Tyron Woodley. Alas, this too would not materialise. The two 170 pound stars went at each other over social media. While this fight seems like it has been coming together last minute, it has in fact been in the works for a very long time.

We still have not seen Woodley return since UFC 235, where Kamaru Usman continued his winning streak. Woodley looked outclassed. At the same time, it looked like an off-night for TWood. It has been over a year since we have seen him and will be great to see him return to the octagon. It would be even greater if we saw him return against Colby.

Ngannou v Rosenstruik

We are almost definitely going to see this fight at some point in time. Dana White has said that all fights which were cancelled in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic will be held at a future date.

Both men are known for their knockout power. Eight of Francis Ngannou‘s nine UFC wins have come via knockout. Seven of those eight have come in the first round.

Jairzinho Rosenstruik¬†has been on a tear himself. He knocked out Andrei Arlovski early in the first round and then went on to face Alistair Overeem with little turnaround time. While Overeem controlled the fight, Rozenstruik demonstrated why his power was not to be underestimated when he connected in the last few seconds of the very last round. Overeem’s lip was split badly and it lead to the stoppage.

However, both fighters would be wary of each other’s power. Should they face each other in a main event, the UFC runs the risk of a stalemate, similar to Ngannou vs Derrick Lewis. White said that he was trying to make this fight on the UFC 249 card, which would be the baddest card in history.

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