UFC Hopes At Least 5 Title Bouts in 3 Months
During last week’s massive UFC 214 pay-per-view card, the UFC announced a schedule of events for the final three months of 2017. The schedule includes a Nov. 4 pay-per-view at Madison Square Garden in New York City (UFC 217), the first-ever UFC event in China later that month, and an end-of-the-year UFC pay-per-view (UFC 219) in Las Vegas.
It is being reported that during these three months, the UFC wants to book at least five title fights, if not more. Last week’s UFC 214 pay-per-view played host to three title bouts.
One of these title fights was reported last week, as Michael Bisping is scheduled to defend his UFC Middleweight Championship against the returning Georges St-Pierre, with the bout targeted for the Madison Square Garden event. This will be GSP’s first UFC bout in four years. The challenge of the returning GSP was originally going to go to Tyron Woodley, but White gave it to Bisping following a critical performance from Woodley in his UFC 214 title defense against Demian Maia.
It was reported last wee that Woodley is likely to next face Robbie Lawler, the man he took the title from at UFC 201 and the man who won a highly-praised bout with Donald Cerrone (dubbed “the fans’ fight”) at UFC 214. But any confirmation on this fight and its scheduled date is not confirmed yet.
Very recently, Cody Garbrandt stated he is eyeing a return to the Octagon at Madison Square Garden in November. Garbrandt was scheduled to make his first UFC Bantamweight Championship title defense against former champion and former Team Alpha Male teammate TJ Dillashaw at UFC 213. A back injury, however, put that bout on hold. This bout has been rumored for UFC 216, one month earlier, but Garbrandt feels he will not be ready for then, but ready for the New York card.
An Interim Lightweight Championship bout between the top two lightweight contenders, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson, is also reportedly in plans. The two were scheduled to fight for the interim title back in March at UFC 209, but a bad weight cut and illness caused Nurmagomedov to pull from the bout 24 hours before the event. It is likely the winner would then meet Conor McGregor in an undisputed title fight, and this could pipe down any rumors of a trilogy bout with Nate Diaz.
A UFC Featherweight Championship contest that sees Max Holloway defend the title for the first time against Frankie Edgar is also in the planning stages.
And with the next season of The Ultimate Fighter being focused on women’s flyweight competitors, a new division for the UFC, the season’s finale, scheduled for Dec. 1, one night before UFC 218, will surely determine the inaugural champion.
Original story: MMA Fighting