Who is going to headline UFC 205? That's a question that, with each passing week seems to have fewer and fewer good answers. It's the UFC's first trip to New York since 1995, shortly after which the sport was banned across the state and remained that way until early 2016. And so, with so much lost time to make up for and with one of the nation's premiere event venues at their disposal, it was anticipated that the UFC would move heaven and earth to fill it with their top drawing stars.
Of course, one of the keys to filling an event with stars is having the stars to fill it with. In an alternate universe, where Jon Jones didn't fail a drug test and Conor McGregor didn't talk his way off UFC 200, both men would probably be prime candidates for UFC 205. McGregor may still be the man for the job, if he can get out of UFC 202 unscathed and ready for a quick turnaround, but given his last Nate Diaz fight, that feels like a remarkably unsafe bet.
That leaves the 3rd member of the UFC's PPV triumvirate, Ronda Rousey, who has been on extended leave from the MMA spotlight after losing her title to Holly Holm back in November of last year. With plenty of time to plan and prepare, it only seems natural that a Jones-&-McGregor-less UFC 205 would be all hers. But, apparently this too is not to be the case, as pro-wrestling and MMA insider Dave Meltzer hinted during his recent interview with Submission Radio (interview starts at about the 1hr mark):
"I talked to one of her friends a couple of weeks ago," said Meltzer, "and the impression that I got - you know, we don't usually talk Ronda Rousey business - but I just go, what's your thoughts? Is Ronda gonna be ready to fight at the garden? And they said, no, probably early 2017. So that was the impression I was given two weeks ago."
This jives pretty well with Dana White's last news on the former bantamweight queen, as he explained back in June that Rousey had just come off knee surgery. He stated that the promotion expected her back either in December or somewhere around their big New Years show to start 2017.
So that brings us back to the question: Who headlines UFC 205? Or, will the the UFC's first trip to MSG just have to focus on celebrating the promotion and leaving its stars at home?