Before the main event for UFC 205 was announced, there was much speculation as to whether UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor would get the lightweight title fight against Eddie Alvarez, or whether undefeated Dagestani fighter, and #1 ranked lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov would get the fight against Alvarez.
While initial reports were that McGregor and Alvarez would be the main event fighters for the historic event on November 12th, UFC President Dana White shot those rumors down, stating that McGregor’s leg wasn’t healed from his UFC 202 scrap with Nate Diaz. White also revealed that it was Nurmagomedov who was going to be getting the lightweight title shot against Alvarez.
Despite that, there were no updates on the Alvarez vs. Nurmagomedov fight for quite some time, which resulted in ‘The Eagle’ releasing photos of two contracts that he signed for a fight with Alvarez, one being for UFC 205, and the other being for UFC 206. While Nurmagomedov had signed both contracts, Alvarez reportedly hadn’t.
Suddenly, it was announced that it would be McGregor vs. Alvarez in the main event of UFC 205, not Nurmagomedov. During the UFC 205 press conference, UFC President Dana White revealed that Nurmagomedov would be fighting #6 ranked Michael Johnson on the card.
While that fight announcement surprised many fans, Johnson saw the fight coming. He recalled the situation to MMAJunkie:
“Me and Eddie [Alvarez] still keep close contact with each other. “He’s a good friend of mine, so I was talking to him about his fight and I was thinking to myself, ‘If they get Conor to fight (Alvarez), Khabib’s gonna be left open for me to fight, and this is perfect.’ I think you guys heard me after my last fight – I wanted to fight in Madison Square Garden, and the timeline couldn’t be more perfect. Everything was just lined up.
“I’m fortunate Khabib got passed up, and I knew that he wanted to fight. I knew there was no way he was going to sit out that long and not fight. So I just took my chance, and I got it.”
“It’s a big fight, and it seems like they can never get anybody to fight him,” Johnson said. “And they’ve built so much hype around him and they think everybody’s scared to fight him. So I’ve just been training, taking out my opponents on my way to get to the title. I have to go through him, so let’s get this fight out of the way. I wanted to fight him earlier, and now I’m getting my chance.”
Come November 12th, with Michael Johnson be able to become the first man to defeat Khabib Nurmagomedov? Give us your predictions for the fight below PENN Nation!