Ask Ant: Questions from the Twitterverse and Sherdog Forums

By Anthony Walker Sep 14, 2018
Sherdog contributor Anthony Walker fielded questions from Twitter and the forums for his regular mailbag:

[email protected]: Do you know why [UFC President] Dana [White] didn’t show up at the post-fight press conference [at UFC 228]?
Walker: This question can be answered in a simple sentence, but it deserves more than just a simple answer. A friend who attended UFC 228 representing his respective media outlet says he was informed that White had to catch a flight. I’ll be the last person to line up White for the firing squad without more information. For all we know, a pressing family emergency required his immediate attention and the post-fight press conference was no longer top priority. However, White has set a regrettable trend of going out of his way to speak ill of Tyron Woodley. Say what you want about the entertainment value of Woodley’s previous title defense against Demian Maia, but as a promoter, it’s probably ill-advised to take to a stage and verbally lash someone you expect to sell to the general public in the future. I was among the media members in attendance for UFC 214 and that post-fight press conference. The level of destruction White laid on the future of Woodley’s career was epic to say the least. As history has shown many times over, White’s views have a habit of planting seeds that grow wildly among fans. Knowing this power, it was very important that White show up post-fight at UFC 228 and lend Woodley the praise that was lacking after his last outing. As Brendan Schaub mentioned on his popular podcast, there is serious tension between Woodley and the UFC brass -- severe enough for executives within the promotion to actively root against him. Whether or not White was happy to once again put the belt around his waist is irrelevant. Woodley’s success will continue to line the pockets of the UFC, and that’s why promoters do their job.

JoeyDiaz420: Who feels Khabib [Nurmagomedov] won’t make weight against Conor [McGregor]?
Walker: In this day and age of weigh-ins having more drama than the fights, it’s only natural to ask that question. Nurmagomedov has certainly had his struggles with making the 155-pound weight limit. He came in heavy against Abel Trujillo at UFC 160; and who can forget the kidney issues that forced him off of UFC 209 against Tony Ferguson. However, those problems appear to be in the rearview mirror. Nurmagomedov managed to make the title limit with room to spare at 154.5 pounds for UFC 223. Before his previous fight against Edson Barboza, there were also no reported complications and he looked at ease on the scale. The real question: Will Nurmagomedov get injured ahead of 229? After all, he has had more fight bookings cancelled from injury than from weight issues. The American Kickboxing Academy’s reputation for constant injuries has only been enhanced by the Dagestani, who once spent two years on the shelf. While it is very likely that all the precautions in the world will be taken to ensure Nurmagomedov answers the bell on Oct. 6, Ferguson is booked in the co-main event for a reason.

Iron Monger: How about [Jose] Aldo versus Eddie Alvarez for Jose’s LW [debut]?
Walker: Shut up and take my money. Since the talks of the superfight with then-lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, we’ve been teased with the idea of “Scarface” making his grand entrance into the ultra-competitive 155-pound division. The match ups are very intriguing. Ferguson? Barboza? Kevin Lee? The possibilities are seemingly endless. Aside from the potential for action, Aldo moving up might be the best move for his career and health. His weight cuts have been notoriously tough, so no one knows how much of his combative brilliance was left on the floor of a sauna. While he is still the greatest featherweight the sport has ever seen, he suffered brutal knockout losses in three of his last four title fights. If Max Holloway’s health scare proves to be old news, it’s probably best that he forges a new path in a new division. Successfully debuting at lightweight against the former UFC and Bellator MMA champion in the lightweight division would be a tremendous way to kick in the door and announce his arrival. However, before we get ahead of ourselves and ask Boss Logic to do a poster for the Aldo-Alvarez fight, Alvarez needs to get his contract situation straight. Remember, he is now a free agent. While Aldo at 155 pounds should put a smile on all of our faces, don’t get your hopes up about “The Underground King” being the one to welcome him to a new weight class.
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