Welcome to “Spinning Back Clique,” MMA Junkie’s weekly show that takes a spin through the biggest topics in mixed martial arts. This week, Simon Head hosts the panel of MMA Junkie Radio hosts “Gorgeous” George and “Goze,” as well as MMA Junkie’s Danny Segura. Let’s get after it!
- This past Saturday at UFC 254, Khabib Nurmagomedov retained the lightweight title with yet another dominant performance, this time submitting Justin Gaethje in the second round of their main event. Afterward, Nurmagomedov shocked the masses by announcing his retirement, citing a promise to his mother not to fight anymore now that his father, Abdulmanap, has passed away. This one doesn’t feel like most other MMA retirements, so our question is simple: Will Khabib’s stick?
- On the heels of his retirement, everyone’s been talking about Nurmagomedov’s place among all-time great MMA fighters after he leaves with a perfect record of 29-0. One person not down with anyone’s claim of Khabib as the GOAT is Jon Jones. But what do you think? Is Khabib the MMA GOAT, or does he at least have a case?
- Nurmagomedov’s retirement means the lightweight championship will be made vacant, which will have some major ramifications in the division, affecting the next bookings of Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, Tony Ferguson, Michael Chandler, Gaethje, and more. What does the UFC do now with the most stacked division in the sport?
- Formier middleweight champion Robert Whittaker won his second straight fight at UFC 254 with an impressive performance against Jared Cannonier, and just like that, “The Reaper” has set himself up for a possible title rematch with Israel Adesanya. HOWEVER, Adesanya has options. While a new challenger in Cannonier made all the sense for him to defend his title, Whittaker’s win complicates matters. Perhaps now is the time for Adesanya to move up and either challenge for the light heavyweight title or set up a showdown with rival Jon Jones?
- Bellator 250 features one of the biggest fights of the year for the promotion as welterweight champ Douglas Lima moves up to fight Gegard Mousasi for the vacant middleweight title. Would it be better for business for Bellator to have a champ-champ in Lima or for Mousasi to reclaim the title?
For answers to all of those questions, watch Episode 50 of “Spinning Back Clique” above.