It’s a good week to be a fan of the UFC, as there are two major events set to go over the coming week. We have a rare Wednesday Fight Night coming before we turn our attention to UFC 257 and the long-awaited return of Conor McGregor. It has been the return of the Irishman that has dominated most of the headlines over the past few weeks, but there is also more news and rumors to discuss besides that, including some of the fallout from Fight Island 7, which took place in Abu Dhabi this past weekend. There is a lot to cover here, so let’s get right to it and then you can continue making your bets against their UFC odds.
MMA 2021 News and Rumors Jan 18th Edition
Besides McGregor, a lot of attention has been given to Khabib Nurmagomedov and whether his decision to retire is one that is going to stuck. The feeling was that the only way he would consider a return was if Georges St. Pierre showed interest in making a comeback. We can now maybe finally put that talk to bed, as Dana White has revealed that neither of the fighters are interested in making the fight a reality. That said, Khabib’s agent has said that his man is interested in a bout with GSP, so it’s tough to know who to believe at this point. The reality is that everyone just wants Khabib back, no matter who he fights.
The list of fighters who want a piece of Conor McGregor continues to grow, with Alexander Volkanovski throwing his hat in the ring. Dana White has previously stated that he would love to see Volkanovski and Max Holloway meet up for a third time, with that idea looking even better after Holloway destroyed Calvin Kattar over the weekend. Volkanovski, the current featherweight champion, wants no part of that bout, though, as he is all about facing the Irishman next. Much of what happens next is sure to hinge on the results this coming weekend.
As mentioned, Max Holloway looked great in his win over Calvin Kattar at Fight Island 7, which begs the question of where Kattar goes next. A win over Holloway would have put him very much in title contention, but he is now going to need to go back to the drawing board and pick up a couple of wins before getting near the top again. In his defense, he put in a gritty performance against Holloway in a fight where he was outclassed from the start. I would not bet against Kattar bouncing back just yet.
We close out this week’s news and rumors piece with some sad news from the world of MMA. In the early days of the UFC, one of the fan favorites of the time was Paul Varelans, who was known as “The Polar Bear.” Varelans was hospitalized in mid-December with COVID-19 and spent much of his time on a ventilator. He fought bravely to the end, but eventually passed away on Saturday. It is certainly sad news to hear of the passing of one of the sports pioneers.