The featherweight and lightweight title pictures are both in utter chaos right now. Conor McGregor came and went like a three-year Irish hurricane, rearranging the lives of two divisions in his wake before going on a well-dressed paternity leave.
Right now, Jose Aldo is ready to abandon unifying the featherweight title with Max Holloway to go up for a interim lightweight title shot. Meanwhile, that fight is still supposed to go down between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson. Now, Nate Diaz is even rumored to be offered a shot as well.
As big of a mess as this situation seems, it's nowhere near as insane as the night of World Series of Fighting 22.
"I’m not like this bullsh-it guy Nate Diaz, who’s all talk. Maybe he’ll come tomorrow to support his teammate, Shields. It’s OK. I’m not like this. But if you go crazy with me, if you don’t give me respect, I’m not sleeping." — Khabib Nurmagomedov said to MMAJunkie.
He did come that night. Nate and his brother Nick Diaz showed up to WSOF 22 to support Jake Shields who unfortunately got his eyeballs ripped out by Rousimar Palhares. Nurmagomedov was there as well for his cousin Abubakar Nurmagomedov. Everything seemed chill, but Nurmagomedov's words in hindsight echoes through the annals of Stockton Slap history. ...It seemed like something was in the wind. A confrontation was inevitable, er whatever, homie.
Bedlam was what was in the wind. Destruction. Complete pandemonium, yo.
"Nate went to Khabib and they just got talking. They exchanged words and Nate threw a punch. I saw Nate throw a punch." — Ali Abdel-Aziz said to MMAFighting.
That's right. He got slapped. BLAM. Open hand slap. POW! This skirmish eventually rolled around the arena like a violent version of the Katamari Damacy video game. It absorbed people. Swallowed the Vegas venue. Drinks and chairs were thrown. Things were broken. Even a confused Leslie Smith makes a cameo mid-brawl.
"In the arena, I told myself to stay calm and not to fight. I kept calm and professional, but the second time [Diaz] started a fight, I went crazy too. It was me and my team and him and his, but after his team started running, a lot of police came. I didn't start the fight. He started it, but I have to protect myself." — Nurmagomedov to Bleacher Report.
After the smoke cleared, and by that I mean the Nate and #NickDiaz post-brawl hot-box session, #KhabibNurmagomedov wanted nothing more than to destroy the younger Diaz brother. Legally. In the UFC Octagon. Now, he may finally get his chance.
"If the UFC gives me that fight, I'm happy to do it because I want to smash this guy. I want to take him down, smash his face with hard elbows and knock him out. I have to teach this guy respect. I'm a UFC fighter and I can kill someone in the street. I could do it easily if I had to, but we are supposed to be professional. The skills we know aren't supposed to be used that way, and that's why we have to always be professional because this is very dangerous. If the UFC gives me the chance to fight him inside the Octagon, I will do it because he needs to be taught a lesson."