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Is #14 Ranked Nate Diaz the Spiritual Gate Keeper to the Lightweight Title?

AJ Camacho

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Now that Anthony Pettis has lost his title, he will clearly take the most obvious route back to redemption..

…by taking on #14 ranked Nat Diaz?

Since the Reebok deal and its dependence on the internal UFC ranking system (cough*** cough** CONFLICT OF INTEREST** cough**) people have wondered if the UFC would leverage its ranking system in order to manipulate circumstances towards their own self-interests. If you’ve been following the Nate Diaz saga, then you would know that they’ve been tooling within the ranking system way before Reebok wanted to even put shoes on shoeless fighters.

Back in May of 2014, Nick Diaz was essentially removed from the UFC’s ranking system due to “inactivity” being shuffled from #6 in the Lightweight division and out of the top ten.

Coincidentally, Diaz was in the middle of contract negotiations when this ranking shift occurred. From a business standpoint, it would look like his inactivity was due to an extended negotiation period. However, pro-Diaz supporters believe that this time span was then used against him in order to harm his division ranking and potential contract leverage.

“Nate Diaz is in this position where he’s turning down fights…” stated Dana White back in May of 2014. “We don’t know how long he’s going to be inactive, so take him off the rankings.”

Before negotiations, Nate Diaz defeated Gray Maynard to take the #6 ranking in the Lightweight division. Due to the negotiations, he was potentially denied a ranking spot and he came back in December of 2014 to fight current Lightweight Champion, Rafael Dos Anjos. He lost the bout in a decisive unanimous decision and his reward for the contest? Welcome to a #14 rank.

Despite the politics in play, fighters seem to understand that the spiritual gatekeeper to a Dos Anjos bout is Nate Diaz.

“I haven’t thought about who I want to fight next,” said Pettis on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. “I can’t even say when I can fight next. But I would love to fight Nate Diaz.”

Despite the fact that the current Fight Matrix rankings place Donald Cerrone, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Will Brooks, and Jorge Masvidal before #14 ranked Nate Diaz. Pettis clearly has his sights set on the bout with Nate. Some people point to an entourage scuffle back in 2013 as the motivation for the bout. However, even Pettis downplays the altercation.

Potentially, despite the politicized rankings, it could just be generally understood that Nate Diaz is the spiritual gatekeeper to the title. I don’t know what weight this observation has to the Zuffa brass but apparently Dos Anjos’ win over a #14 ranked Nate Diaz was enough to bullshit launch him past Khabib Abdulmanapovich Nurmagomedov’s 22-0 record and right into the lap of title contention in order to earn his current title. All of this despite the fact that he had just lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov prior to his bout with Diaz.

It’s a strange world where MMA rankings are a meta-game unto themselves, Dos Anjos beats a #14 ranked Nate Diaz and he gets a title shot against Showtime. Meanwhile, Nurmagomedov beats Dos Anjos, and earns a contender match against Donald Cerrone hoping he can rematch the guy he already beat, Dos Anjos.

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*WATCH* DaveNoseMMA – Aljamain Sterling Knockout Aftermath

Harry Davies

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In this video, MMA Latest’s Dave Noseworthy shares his thoughts on Marlon Moraes’ brutal knockout of Aljamain Sterling that took place this past weekend at UFC Fresno.

Check out Dave’s thoughts below:

 

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Fight Announcements

Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou Official for UFC 220

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UFC 220 in Boston, Massachusetts has its main event. Stipe Miocic (17-2) will put his belt on the line for the third time against rising heavyweight star, Francis Ngannou (11-1)

Rumors surrounded the match-up for UFC 220 after Ngannou’s first round knockout over Alistair Overeem, at UFC 218. The Cameroonian heavyweight called for the fight himself. In his octagon interview proceeding his most recent victory, Ngannou stated:

“I’m feeling good… I’m on my way to a title shot”.

The heavy handed Ngannou has finished all of his opponents in all of his six UFC bouts. A streak which includes a kimura submission over Anthony Hamilton and a TKO victory against former UFC heavyweight champion, Andrei Arlovski. Overall, he holds a ten fight win streak. His only defeat came by way of unanimous decision to Zoumana Cisse, in his second professional MMA fight.

If victorious, Ngannou would become the first African-born champion in UFC history.

Not to be diminished, Stipe Miocic rides his a streak of his own into the beantown match-up. Five consecutive wins, five knockouts and the past four of which, ended in the first round. A victory in Boston for the champ would make him the longest reigning heavyweight champion in UFC history. Currently, Miocic is one of three heavyweights, in the promotions entirety, whom has successfully defended the belt twice.

UFC 220 will be held at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts on January 20th, 2018. The pay-per-view (PPV) card will also feature light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, as he faces challenger Volkan “No Time” Oezdemir.

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Events

Ladies Fight Night 7: “Double Trouble” Preview

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Polish women’s federation Ladies Fight Night is going to celebrate their second birthday this year on the 15th to 17th of December. Two days, two events with a lot of great bouts.

LFN in Poland is being titled the new Invicta FC. The Polish owners created this federation to give European women a chance to fight on a big platform.

Hosting their first ever event in December 2015, LFN will hold two great cards next week, that will feature women who have fought under many prestigious promotions, such as the UFC, Invicta, Bellator, Glory, and Kunlun.

Two days of fantastic fights, intensified by a double dose of sports impressions. The name is not accidental, LFN 7 / LFN 8 combines two events, during which the best Polish fighters will be shown, as well as the best fighters from Europe (including France, Sweden, Italy, the Czech Republic and Romania)

The stakes are high, and we are electrified by the clashes between warriors such as Żaneta Cieśla vs Silvia La Notte and Patricia Axling vs. Cindy Silvestri. Mainly due to their vastness of their experience in the cage.

In the fight of the evening, the talented Romanian Cristina Stanciu will face Magdaléna Šormovádo. Stanciu fought twice in the UFC, but she was unfortunately cut from the promotion after suffering consecutive losses to Cortney Casey and Maryna Moroz.

Judyta Rymarzak vs Marta Waliczek is an amazing fight between two experienced kickboxers. Both making their pro MMA debuts on the night, we will witness a one-of-a-kind duel between two kickboxing perfectionists, as they look to transcend their skills into the MMA world.

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