MMA has its own storied history in the betting and gambling scene as it serves as a key component for how the business operates often serving as a metric for success for many events – even with the location with UFCs home being set in Vegas it certainly encourages a bit of wagering on the event – this year has been a little different as many have had to change their casino trips to online alternatives as favourites such as Borgata and slots are now primarily virtual, and the UFC has changed its home to Yas Island as it now makes up the main hub for many bigger events – with the next big event hosting one of the best fighters in UFC history.
We’re just a week away from the next big UFC Lightweight title fight that sees Khabib against Justin Gaethje – whilst Khabib remains the obvious favourite, it’s certainly not a sure thing as many feel Gaethje is well equipped to pose a threat with a strong stand up game and good enough on the ground to not make it such a one sided affair – is it good enough? That answer will be given soon enough, but with a win bringing Khabib closer to his clean 30-0 record, could this mean we only have one fight left from him?
Rumours of the retirement at this point in time had started quite early, namely coming from Khabib’s late father after suggesting that as a fighter himself he felt himself slowing dramatically when getting into the mid-30’s for age, having just turned 32 Khabib is certainly approaching that point in time and whilst he may still be as spritely as ever, every year that passes brings the risk that a loss is just around the corner whilst young fresh fighters continue to push the pace. There is a lot of speculation that the 30-0 goal could have changed after the Poirier after he had stated that going into the fight he was perhaps in the best shape he’s ever been in and had the easiest weight cut, but then he has also stated no desire to continue fighting for pay checks in to his late 30’s so either way time is certainly running short.
It seems the grudge matches are over too, we’ve seen how the fight between Khabib and McGregor was handled and it’s unlikely a rematch will ever take place with McGregor being retired and showing seemingly little interest in coming back in a competitive way, and similarly Khabib has beaten all the big names in the division. The only real fight left for fan service would be any potential for a fight between Khabib and Ferguson to actually take place following another cancellation this year due to the pandemic which then saw Ferguson losing to Gaethje, but could certainly be a great fight for Khabib to end his career on and reach that undefeated goal he’s aiming for. Either way, it does certainly look like we’re running out of time to see big performances, but with rising stars like Islam Makhachev and Khazmat Chimaev, we’re certainly in for some interesting fights moving forward.