Take one look at the latest headlines from the world of Mixed Martial Arts and the amount of ‘what if’ scenarios can keep fans and pundits debating for days. While most of the arguments often fade away the moment the real scenarios take place, it sure can be fun to forecast what may happen in the coming weeks, months and years.
On this week’s ‘Holy Smokes’ podcast, UFC Hall of Famer Frank Trigg compared Georges St-Pierre’s upcoming return to the octagon with a direct parallel to the potential 4 year suspension Jon Jons may receive for testing positive for a steroid once again.
“So much has changed” Trigg stated. “The game has changed since GSP left”. The sport has evolved, the fighters are faster, better and stronger. The answer Trigg will be looking for from St-Pierre is how will adapt once he gets in their after such a long layoff.
When Georges does return, it will be nearly four years to the day since his last fight ( vs. Johny Hendricks at UFC 167) and he will do so at the MMA advanced age of 36 years old. Should Jones get the maximum, he will be 34 years old by the time he will be eligible to compete inside the octagon.
The amount of “what ifs” that can take place in four years is incredible. Just take a look at what happened from November 2013 to today’s date. Now imagine from today until July 2021. It’s almost mind blowing to think what can happen and what will be in store for Jon Jones, should he choose to return to MMA.
One party connected to both St-Pierre and Jones, is Carlos Condit, who has finally announced he would like to return to action.
A teammate of Jones’ and former opponent of St-Pierre’s, ‘The Natural Born Killer’ has not competed since August of 2016, currently a 13 month hiatus. He competes in a division that could use an injection of excitement, despite the fact it’s kingpin, Tyron Woodley, is a man who defeated him via TKO (leg injury) back in March of 2014.
Look up and down the welterweight rankings and you can see a whole bevy of opponents the number seventh ranked Condit can be matched up with. Names like Stephen Thompson, Jorge Masvidal, Rafael Dos Anjos, Gunnar Nelson or Kamaru Usman.
One opponent who he won’t be facing or rematching anytime soon, is GSP training partner, Rory MacDonald.
The Canadian is set to take on Bellator MMA welterweight Champion Douglas Lima in January. While there is always a ton of pressure on a champion defending his title, I believe all the pressure is on Rory in this championship fight.
To many, MacDonald defeating Lima is a foregone conclusion, but realistically speaking, it’s far from it. Lima brings an A plus game to the cage and Rory will be in for a serious fight that evening. The most basic ‘what if’ that comes to mind is what if Rory loses? Then what?
He will always have options but leaving the UFC as a top contender generally means if one chooses to compete for another promotion, becoming a divisional ruler seems like a foregone conclusion. I get that analogy, but my goodness, what if he doesn’t pull off the expected victory?
The MMA calendar, both short term and long term is a salivating one to consume. How will GSP look in his return after such a long layoff. Can Condit still compete with top welterweights in the division? Can Lima prove to his critics and naysayers, that once and for all, he must be considered a top welterweight in MMA. And what will the MMA landscape look like when Jon Jones’ suspension is up?
Am I the only one that’s excited to see how all of this unfolds?