There’s an unusually high amount of moaning and complaining coming from the UFC’s stable of fighters these days. These are unprecedented times. We are in the middle of a global pandemic, but the UFC is the outlier, now five cards in and counting as every other major sporting league sits on the sidelines. Dana White pulling off what many thought was a fool’s errand now looks like a miracle, and he’s making up for lost ground pumping out shows at will. For some reason this hasn’t seemed to quiet the outspoken behaviour of some of his more well-known draws. Light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones has been in a war of words with White for weeks, apparently wanting to fight heavyweight Francis Ngannou for “Deontay Wilder money”. Jones has now walked away from his belt (according to his always entertaining Twitter account), and White seems OK with calling his bluff and letting the legend go stir crazy. Then you have the sport’s biggest superstar of all-time, Conor McGregor, who stole the thunder from an excellent UFC 250 June 7 card by tweeting his “retirement” mere hours after Amanda Nunes and Felicia Spencer went five rounds for the women’s featherweight title. While Nunes retained her belt in convincing fashion, the Canadian Spencer scored some serious points for hanging around all of 25 minutes, but the oxygen got sucked out of the room with one tweet from one really famous Irishman. McGregor’s retirement is highly unlikely to stick, as many MMA pundits think it’s just Conor being Conor, trying to both keep the limelight on himself, and get what he wants. What McGregor wants right now is pretty clear, he wants to fight. White seems to think the best thing for McGregor is to sit tight and wait for the winner of Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje for the lightweight belt later this year, which would mean “Notorious” wouldn’t be back in the Octagon for at least another seven months, if all goes according to plan. It’s tough to fault McGregor for getting antsy. The 31-year-old’s return at UFC 246 in Las Vegas this January, where he absolutely humiliated Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in 40 seconds was a spectacular show-stopper. McGregor fired up the international press circuit as once again, the world took notice of the realm of mixed martial arts, and the energy was back. But White revealed McGregor was then given the chance to slide into UFC 250 , however passed on the short notice fight. Then the coronavirus came and threw a wrench into the plans of literally everyone on planet earth. White scrambled, trying to host a UFC fight on tribal lands in a Native American casino, and finally got UFC 250 off after what would become a two month hiatus for the sport. McGregor, who wanted to fill up his dance card with two more fights in 2020, now has not set foot inside the Octagon in more than five months. There does appear to be a solution here, but for some reason what seems like an easy fight to make has yet to come to fruition. Jorge Masdival, the “BMF” belt holder, wants to eat his cake too. Masvidal, to his credit, has been doing all the requisite trash-talking, telling ESPN’s Dan Le Batard he wants to “break” McGregor’s face. Mcgregor, in typical McGregor fashion, has given passing, lukewarm enthusiasm to Masvidal and his challenges, knowing full well if and when this fight does ever take place, he gets to call the shots. So why not now, why not on Dana White’s Fight Island just off the coast of Abu Dhabi? Something is holding up this fight, and if you do a deep dive into the elements at play, this is a bit of a risky bet during a very risky time. First, there is no denying the UFC wants McGregor to fight in front of fans, amid the roaring cheers of a packed arena, and the accompanying gate revenue it brings for the company. Joe Rogan says UFC fighters should be paid more No one is going to deny that argument, but don’t desperate times call for desperate measures? The other problem is how a potential Masvidal win could throw a wrench in the UFC’s narrative. McGregor looked fantastic at 170 pounds against Cerrone, but Masvidal is another beast: a tough, rugged fighter would prove much more of a contest than Cerrone ever could have. If Masvidal were to beat McGregor, it then calls into question McGregor dropping to 155 to take on either Nurmagomedov or Gaethje, who quite frankly looks deadlier than ever after convincingly dispatching Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 on May 9. White wants his moneymaker McGregor fighting – obviously – but it’s clear to see the president of the UFC is being strategic when it comes to his prized pony. Masvidal doesn’t have a lot of leverage and his complaints about money have mostly fallen on deaf ears given Jones’ dispute with White, along with McGregor’s supposed retirement, has stolen a lot of the press away from arguably the UFC’s biggest fighter of 2019. But there is a slapdash solution to at least a few messes here, McGregor vs Masvidal at Fight Island is by no means a match made in heaven, but it does take the focus off the UFC’s star power inaction and kick-starts what would be a deliciously appetising foul-mouthed lead up to their tilt. Both men would make big paydays – people will buy that pay-per-view in droves, with or without fans there – and then everyone’s a winner So, we find ourselves faced with a conundrum when it comes to the UFC and giving two of its stars a chance to square off: to fight, or not to fight, that is the question.