Like the first signs of tension on the eve of war, we could be seeing the beginnings of an epic MMA battle royale in the making. The best welterweights in the world are banging their drums and screaming their war cries, the greatest series of 170 pound fights could be on the horizon.
I say welterweight, but this developing situation actually involves a lightweight fighter. The men involved in this would-be tournament are Khabib Nurmagomedov (UFC lightweight champion); Rory MacDonald (Bellator welterweight champion); GSP (former two weight champion) and Ben Askren (ONE welterweight champion).
Georges St. Pierre versus Ben Askren has always been one of those fights that people speculate on. It is seen by the hardcore fandom as the greatest fight possible at 170 pounds. It would be the most dominant welterweight of a bygone era versus the most dominant, undefeated welterweight of the current era.
Askren is the best fighter never to make it to the UFC. This is chiefly due to his beef with UFC president, Dana White. The bout with GSP can never happen unless Askren is allowed into the UFC. However, talk of the proposed fight has increased amongst the fans recently, so much so that both men have addressed it. This could be enough incentive for White to put his pride aside and instead do what’s best for the sport and his bank account.
Enter Khabib. The new UFC lightweight champion has talked about a move to welterweight a number of times. The weight cut to 155 pounds is a difficult one for him. He would no doubt be even more monstrous without having to cut the weight. Therefore, when he called out GSP after winning the lightweight belt, he was no doubt talking about a bout at welterweight.
Askren and Khabib have been discussed as a good matching but this talk purely originated with the fans. With that being said, Askren responded on social media claiming Khabib would be an easy fight.
This fight also has a great narrative to it as they are both known for their extremely high level of grappling. They are both wrestling specialists that made the jump to MMA and used that ground game to rack up a massive unblemished record. That fight, could be an utter masterclass.
The fight with the most clout though, is Ben Askren vs Rory MacDonald. The two have expressed a strong desire to fight recently, trading shots on social media. Rory MacDonald is the current Bellator welterweight champion and on a quest to be amongst the greats in the hall of the immortals.
Ben Askren was once Bellator champion and has retired undefeated with praise like: ‘best of all time’, ‘most dominant welterweight ever’. ONE FC chairman, Chatri Sityodtong has expressed an interest in putting the fight on and talks have apparently begun.
If these bouts can get made, we could see some amazing MMA. There are so many compelling combinations out of those four fighters. Could this be the best saga in MMA history?