At the UFC 168 post-fight press conference, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White unveiled a sneak peek at the poster for the upcoming UFC 170 pay-per-view (PPV) event, which included a lightweight fight between Gilbert Melendez and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
See the pic here.
Not long after, White was forced to backtrack on that announcement and reveal the fight was "not happening," which immediately led to speculation that Melendez -- who has been in Nurmagomedov's crosshairs for weeks -- was injured or perhaps (gasp!) "scared."
Turns out "El Nino" wasn't planning on fighting until April and UFC 170, headlined by a women's bantamweight title contest pitting Ronda Rousey against fellow undefeated Olympian Sara McMann, takes place in just over a month in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Team mate Jake Shields explains to MMA Sucka:
"He's okay. That was a fight that was never signed. It's a fight he wants as well, it just didn't fit in the time frame. I don't think he ever planned on fighting that early, he was looking to fight in April. I think that fight is gonna happen, I just think the time frame was off for the February card."
Perhaps that explains why Nate Diaz -- who also trains with Melendez and Shields under coach Cesar Gracie -- was not on board with a potential Nurmagomedov fight, one White claims Diaz recently "turned down." The fiery Stockton slugger shot back and said his boss was "full of shit" (read it).
Regardless of who is right and who is wrong, UFC has come under fire over the past few months for announcing fights that have not been signed (like this one), which in turn leads to false reports and disappointed mixed martial arts (MMA) fans.
The only thing we know for certain at this point, is that Nurmagomedov is not fighting at UFC 170.