What is the UFC’s new ‘BMF’ belt for UFC 244? The unofficial top 10 ‘Baddest M***** F*****s’ including Conor McGregor, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Nate Diaz

12 Sep

Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal are set to square off at Madison Square Garden at UFC 242 in a fight few could have predicted at the start of the year.

With Diaz still inactive after his 2016 defeat to Conor McGregor and Masvidal languishing outside the UFC’s top 10 welterweight rankings, it seemed unlikely the two should cross.

Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz will throw down in NYC to determine who is the BMF
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However, Masvidal’s resurgence since moving up to 170-lbs and Diaz’s emphatic return against Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis have granted MMA fans with a Fight of the Year contender.

Biggie Smalls vs Tupac Shakur, Wu-Tang Clan vs NWA, Snoop Dogg vs P Diddy; the East Coast and West Coast rivalry is as complicated as it is bitter.

And Diaz and Masvidal have a chance to etch their names into history by claiming the inaugural (albeit unofficial) ‘Baddest M***** F*****’ belt in New York.

After calling out Gamebred at UFC 240, Diaz insisted the Miami-native was the only gangster  left in the game and insisted the duo would be competing for the right to be crowned the ‘BMF in the game.

The idea quickly became a reality and Dana White explained to fans why the ‘BMF’ belt will never be defended after the main event at UFC 244.

“No. It’s a one-and-done,” White said when asked to elaborate on the future of the title. “Whoever wins, wins the belt and claims the title. ‘BMF.’”

White gave credit to Diaz for the concept after the Stock-native’s use of colourful language to call out Masvidal, who was in attendance in California.

“This fight is one of those fights that sort of took on a life of its own,” White said. “Nate said in his interview this is a fight to see who’s the baddest mother f****** in the game. He’s like, ‘That’s what this championship is.’ So alright, I’m in.”

Diaz returned to the octagon after three years with an emphatic victory
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But if these two are the baddest in the game, who are their closest competitors?

Anyone who steps into the octagon deserves respect, but there are some who are just that little bit more charismatic; be it with their fighting style or with their enigmatic personality.

So, without further ado, we have counted down the unofficial top 10 baddest m***** f******s in the UFC at this very moment in time. Check it out below!

10. Lerone Murphy

Lerone Murphy literally spat out bullets after being shot
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Four weeks before UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi, Murphy was given a call by the UFC to see if he wanted to fight Zubaira Tukhugov.

The Mancunian Featherweight went into the contest as an underdog, but secured a split decision draw after landing 80 strikes in the three-round contest and did not look out of place, despite the late call up.

Nicknamed ‘The Miracle’, it actually is a wonder the 28-year-old is even alive.

At 3.30pm on Saturday, May 25 in 2013, Murphy was shot in the neck n a suspected gang-related activity.

Murphy still bears the scars from the entry wounds but, after spitting out the bullets himself, the slugger understandably fears no man.

9. Francis Ngannou

The Predator is as deadly as they come
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Before he became one of the most fearsome finishers in the UFC, Ngannou was fighting to survive and reach his teenage years.

Born in Batie, Cameroon, Ngannou had a limited education and lived in complete poverty. By the age of 12, he was working in a sand quarry to try and support his family.

After rejecting the chance to join several gangs, Ngannou decided to stick to fighting and began undertaking boxing training at the age of 22. He moved to Paris four years later in an attempt to fulfil his dream, but was forced to live on the streets.

With no money, no friends and no place to live, the ‘Predator’ trained for free and was eventually introduced to the world of MMA by coach Didier Carmont.

The rest, as they say is history; Ngannou possesses freakish power and took a combined 96 seconds to finish former UFC world heavyweight champions Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos.

8. Mike ‘Platinum’ Perry

Platinum has his nickname tattooed on his face
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Prior to his promising career as a UFC welterweight, Mike Perry spent six months in a Central Florida prison after falling into a life of drugs and crime.

“I felt like, ‘I’m stronger, tougher and badder than everyone else. Why can’t I have what I want? I’m tough enough to take it, so I’m gonna go get it,'” Perry told ESPN’s Five Rounds.

“I went about it the wrong way. Now, in fighting, I actually get to be the tougher guy and go take it — and it’s legal. It’s really crazy I get this opportunity. I didn’t get any guidance earlier.

“The things I looked up to were drug dealers and thieves, who had what I and my family never had — nice house, nice cars, nice clothes. I said, ‘Well, I’m strong. I can go get these things.'”

Perry is famous for his no-nonsense style of fighting and his desire to engage opponents at every opportunity.

While a title shot seems some way away, Perry’s bravery was never more evident during his previous contest against Vicente Luque where, despite sustaining one of the most brutal broken noses seen in the sport. However, he managed to escape a guillotine despite being unable to breathe through his nose.

7. Conor McGregor

As Dustin Poirier said: “He went from apologising to nobody, to absolutely everybody”
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While even the most ardent Conor McGregor cannot forgive the Notorious’ latest indiscretions, there is no doubting his place on the list.

McGregor arrived in the UFC in 2013 and set about wiping out the entire featherweight division in his quest for gold.

After a brutal run of knockouts, he fought Chad Mendes on 10 days notice to win the interim belt. He finally got his chance to become undisputed featherweight champion against the pound-for-pound king Jose Aldo, who was unbeaten in a decade. The Irishman knocked him out in 13 seconds.

After that, he jumped up two weight classes to take on Nate Diaz, beating him in a rematch widely considered to be one of the best in the history of the welterweight division.

McGregor then became the first fighter in history to hold two belts simultaneously after beating lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez, before going ten rounds with the greatest boxer of all time.

After two years out of the octagon, he decided to jump straight back in against the fearsome Khabib Nurmagomedov. Although he was unsuccessful, the 31-year-old is as game as they come and the sport would be worse if he never returned to competitive action.

6. Khabib Nurmagomedov

Khabib is undoubtedly the best lightweight on the planet at this moment in time
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While there are plenty of boxers who can spend most of their career protecting an unblemished record, the feat is far more difficult to replicate in MMA.

However, Khabib Numragomedov has mauled 28 men in his professional career and arguably only ever lost one round in his entire career.

The Dagestani destroyer wrestled bears as a child and was hardened by the environment he was raised in, his father Abdulmanap pushed the youngster all the way.

But Khabib never lost sight of the respect of martial arts and has shown compassion and cruelty in equal measure to his opponents. During his annihilation of Michael Johnson at UFC 205, he told the southpaw to quit so he could stop pulverising his face.

After vaulting the cage at UFC 229 after his win over Conor McGregor, the ‘Eagle’ was handed a suspension and a $500,000 fine.

But he refused to fight unless his friends, who were also involved in the brawl, were given lesser sentences. Proof that loyalty cannot be bought.

5. Derrick Lewis

The Beast is a certified fan favourite and has a sponsorship deal with Popeye’s Chicken
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Derrick Lewis one of the most lovable and hilarious chacracters in MMA, but the ‘Beast’ has a dark past.

One of seven siblings, Lewis was raised by a single mother in New Orleans, Louisiana, where trouble followed him. He took to street fighting, until the family moved to Houston, Texas.

Boxing training helped the 34-year-old, but the gym he as training at shut while he was 17 and his life was plunged into chaos. Violence and crime went hand in hand for Lewis, who was charged with aggravated assault, and was placed on probation two weeks after graduating high school.

He was then given a full scholarship to Kilgore College to play American Football, but Lewis violated his probation and was sentenced to five years in prison, up serving three and a half.

Boxing was again his saviour, but he soon developed a love for MMA and, after spells in Bellator and Legacy FC, the heavy-hitter made his way to the UFC and racked up a string of impressive wins.

4. Justin Gaethje

Gaethje is durable and likeable in equal measure
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In a sport filled with drama and excitement, earning a reputation as ‘The Human Highlight Reel’ suggests you are doing something right.

Justin Gaethje is undoubtedly one of the most thrilling fighters to watch in the UFC, earning four Fight of the Night and two Performance of the Night awards in his five fights in the UFC.

Born in Arizona, Gathje wrestled from the age of four and became a a two-time Arizona state champion as a wrestler at Safford High School, and an NCAA Division I All-American during his time at the University of Northern Colorado.

But the 30-year-old very rarely attempts takedowns in the octagon and would rather stand and trade heavy leather with his opponents in a gun fight – which can end disastrously.

Given his wrestling ability, powerful striking and ability to absorb punishment like kitchen roll, there are many who believe Gaethje may well be the man to finally end Khabib’s unbeaten streak in MMA.

3. Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone

Cowboy has been a certified fan favourite for years
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Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone is certainly guaranteed a spot in the UFC Hall of Fame when he decides to hang up his gloves and his hat.

Nobody in the world perhaps embodies the ‘Anytime, Anywhere’ philosophy as much as the veteran. And while a world title has evaded him in two different weight classes, the 36-year-old will forever be etched into the history books.

After defeating cocky young rising star Alex Hernandez in 2018, Cowboy earned his 21st win in the UFC and his 15th stoppage – the most in history.

Cerrone’s most endearing quality is perhaps his humility; he takes losses on the chin with grace and fights anyone at any given opportunity for the love of the sport.

Entertainment is guaranteed with every Cowboy fight and he is as likely to finish a fight with a four-strike combo or a wonderfully crafted submission.

Cerrone owns a Muay Thai gym out in New Mexico called BMF Ranch. The mantra is simple: “We don’t breed livestock, we train Bad Mother F*****”. Says it all really.

2. Jorge Masvidal

Gamebred shut down the Ben Askren hype in just five seconds
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Jorge ‘Gamebred’ Masvidal has been fighting quite literally all his life. At school, the youngster scrapped on the streets of Miami.

How he got there is even more incredible; according to Masvidal, his father defected from Cuba in a self-made raft, ending up in the Virgin Islands.

The scrapper took up wrestling at St Brendan High School, but failed to get the necessary grades to continue.

He found infamy fighting under the legendary Kimbo Slice on his YouTube channel, beating Slice’s famous protégé Ray via brutal knockout.

Professional fighting was the obvious route to take, with stints as a boxer, kickboxer and with Bellator, Strikeforce  before making his way to the UFC.

Gamebred is currently on the back of two devastating KO’s. First, he stopped Darren Till in London with a brutal barrage of punches, before ending Ben Askren’s undefeated streak via a flying knee in just 5 seconds – the fastest knockout in UFC history.

Masvidal has been dropped three times in fights before going on to win and has never been stopped in his MMA career. The Miami native is as tough as they come and is a born fighter.

Before we reveal who holds the unofficial BMF title in the UFC, we would like to take this chance to deliver some honourable mentions:

Tony Ferguson, Robbie Lawler, Max Holloway, Robert Whittaker, Korean Zombie, Amanda Nunes

1. Nate Diaz

Diaz is without doubt the “Baddest M***** F*****” in the game
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Nate Diaz is without doubt the master in the subtle art of not caring what anyone thinks about you and has achieved celebrity status in MMA.

Born and raised in Stockton California, the younger brother of Nick, Nate has become the ultimate anti-hero for the UFC. The 34-year-old threatened to become nothing more than a entertaining journeyman until he shocked the world.

On 11 days notice, Diaz submitted Conor McGregor in 2016 and when asked by Joe Rogan post-fight how it felt to have shocked the world he replied; “I’m not surprised mother f*****s.”

The image of Diaz bloodied and cut became a mural in his home town. But perhaps the reason behind Diaz’s super-stardom is the fact he just does not care. Prior to his comeback fight against Anthony Pettis, Diaz strolled into the open workout and smoked a CBD joint in front of the crowd, before passing it to fans.

“Myself and the fans, his fans, have just come to learn that he is very unique,” the U.F.C. president, Dana White, said in a phone interview. “He looks at things completely different than most normal people do.”

Although his record in MMA is not outstanding (21-11) Diaz has endeared himself to fans by entertaining and surprising in equal measure. After securing a triangle choke against Kurt Pellegrino, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert flung two middle fingers into the sky.

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I taught these guys how to ride bikes..

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When a potential rematch with McGregor was teased, Diaz told Dana White to take him out for a steak dinner, just as he had for the Irishman, to hash out terms. Diaz also convinced White to let him deliver the infamous ‘Stockton Slap’, which the fighter promptly posted on Instagram.

“That’s what this culture loves,” White said, explaining that Diaz gives the finger to ‘The Man’ and does his own thing. “Nate Diaz is absolutely difficult to deal with, but I don’t dislike Nate Diaz.”

MMA News: Patricio Freire and Donald Cerrone reveal how to beat Khabib, Colby Covington lashes out, Justin Gaethje injury scare

12 Sep

After the roaring success of the UFC’s first show in Abu Dhabi after a five-year hiatus, the attention of the MMA world turns to the weekend’s activities.

Khabib Nurmagomedov once again reinforced his reputation as the best lightweight in the world after choking out Dustin Poirier in the third round of their title fight.

Ryan Bader defended his Bellator world heavyweight title against Cheick Kongo, while Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal were confirmed as the main event for UFC 244 in New Yokr City.

Here’s what is making news in the world of MMA today.

Khabib defended his lightweight belt on Saturday
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Bellator ‘champ champ’ wants Khabib

Particio Freire believes he will KO Khabib Nurmagomedov if the two were to ever meet.

The Bellator featherweight and lightweight world champion is recognised by CombatPress as No.9 in their pound-for-pound list in the world.

And the 32-year-old believes he would be able to close the distance on the fearsome wrestler to knock him clean out.

Nurmagomedov dominated Dustin Poirier from start to finish
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“Khabib is very tough, has phenomenal wrestling and sambo, but he has a huge deficiency on the feet so I can catch him,” Freire told MMA Fighting. “Nothing is impossible. I think he’s very tough, 28-0, but another fighter from Rio Grande do Norte, (Gleison) Tibau, put on a very tough fight with him, and I think there’s a path to beat him.

“I believe we can do it. If my hand lands — and it would land — it’s over.”

Since that fight at UFC 148 seven years ago, the Dagestan native has improved to become one of the most fearsome fighters on the planet thanks to the rigorous training methods employed at the American Kickboxing Academy.

But Friere is not impressed with what he has seen.

“He has the same fight pattern since his first fight,” Freire said. “He backs his opponent against the fence, moves and shoots to the leg. No one has ever tried … maybe someone did try to land a knee, but I don’t remember anyone getting close to landing.

“Iaquinta was doing well against him, moving well on the feet, but he was closing the distance the wrong way. I think I can close the distance better.”

Cowboy welcomes grappling match with Khabib

Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone has underlined his fan favourite credentials yet again by welcoming a GRAPPLING match with Khabib Nurmagomedov.

The 28-0 Russian once wrestled bears as a child and has only ever lost one round in professional MMA career, largely thanks to his aggressive sambo style.

But Cowboy, who has a large variety of attacks in his arsenal with which to hurt opponents, believes taking the ‘Eagle’ to the ground may not be such a bad idea.

Cowboy has been a certified fan favourite for years
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“I didn’t see the fight [with Poirier]. I don’t know, I was on the lake,” Cerrone said. “I figured [Khabib won], I heard the news. But I think people need to welcome Khabib to the ground. I’d let him. Come on in, let’s go.”

Cowboy has 17 wins via submission from his 36 since his debut in 2006 and is a black belt in both BJJ and Gaidojutsu. So the chance to take the best grappler in the world down to the mat does not worry the 36-year-old.

“How does Khabib do on his back?” Cerrone asked. “What if I take Khabib down? Who knows? S***.”

Covington explains beef with Masvidal

Colby Covington is beginning to make a career out of trash-talking his opponents and even his friends.

The American Top Team member has lashed out at former friend Jorge Masvidal as the duo battle to reach gold in the welterweight division.

With champion Kamaru Usman refusing to fight Covington at MSG, Masvidal and Nate Diaz will headline the card on November 2, leaving the ‘Chaos’ without an opponent.

And it seems as though the damage is irreparable as the former interim champion explained where the rivalry originated form.

“That tweet came from Jorge trying to get in the way of my money and I take that money very serious,” Covington told MMA Fighting. “That’s food on the table for my mom, my dad, the life they never had, my family. I come from a very broke background and now he’s trying to mess with my money and my business so now you’re a competitor.

Covington has hit back at Masvidal
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“Now you’re in my sights. That’s been a long time coming. People think we’ve been friends recently but that friendship ended a long time ago.”

While the welterweight title contenders continued to root for each other publicly in interviews, Covington says he hasn’t been close with Masvidal for nearly two years.

The origins of their issues started after he fought Demian Maia in Brazil and the friendship effectively ended after he won the interim welterweight title with a victory over Rafael dos Anjos in 2018.

“When he got beat up by Demian Maia and then I had to come up and clean up the scraps and completely decimate Demian Maia in his hometown of Sao Paulo, that’s when the relationship ended,” Covington explained. “Jorge got jealous. He got bitter. He wanted something that he couldn’t have, which was beating Demian Maia and be in position to fight for the title.

“Then as soon as I won the belt, that’s when he completely turned on me and he started talking s—t to me at the gym, at fights he’s saying stuff to me. I’m like dude stop. You’re a light round. You want to see how me and Jorge goes? Go look on YouTube. I wasn’t even trying hard. I know the haters don’t know how to turn on a girl but they should learn to turn on YouTube.”

Gaethje explains injury scare ahead of UFC Fight Night

After providing fans with a match up made in heaven, it seemed as though the MMA Gods were set to intervene once more and put a halt to the Cerrone vs Gaethje fight scheduled fro Saturday in Canada.

But thankfully the 30-year-old will not back out of the fight, despite suffering from an eye infection.

Gaethje is durable and likeable in equal measure
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“I’ll be honest to everyone, I’m wearing these sunglasses because I almost didn’t make it to this fight,” Gaethje said. “I had an eye infection and I’m through that now and I just got off the plane about an hour and a half ago and I came straight here because I was not gonna miss this opportunity to work out and get the blood flowing and get my mind into fight week.

“So these lights are super bright, but I’m 100 percent ready to go.

“I’ve fought blind my whole life, so unless my eyes are cut out I’m fighting.”

Conor McGregor next fight latest: Jose Aldo, Nate Diaz, Khabib Nurmagomedov all potential opponents for the Notorious’ UFC comeback

1 Aug

Former UFC champion Conor McGregor seems set to end his premature retirement and make a sensational return to the Octagon.

Back in March, the ‘Notorious’ announced via his official Twitter account he would be focusing on his other business ventures, namely his own whiskey brand and his collaboration with fashion designed David August.

Conor McGregor looks set to return to the octagon in early 2020
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But when pressed about the Irishman’s future after UFC 240, president Dana White confirmed a 2020 return was looking most likely, but refused to deny fans could see McGregor back in action much sooner.

‘Yeah I talked to him last week,” White confirmed. “He wants to come back so what he is doing is looking to see how everything plays out in September.

“I was just saying out there; as of right now, Khabib and Poirier are fighting. You know how this business works, anything can happen and usually does.

“So I think he is just sort of waiting to see how it all plays out and does he have an opportunity somewhere to jump in and make something happen.”

While the undisputed lightweight title fight at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi is still scheduled, Nurmagomedov’s struggles with weight cuts are well documented.

The ‘Notorious’ has spent time away from the sport promoting his other business ventures
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White also went on to say a fight at welterweight against Jorge ‘Gamebred’ Masvidal is unlikely due to the size difference between the pair, but McGregor has never shied away from a fight.

Given the 31-year-old’s star power and how his fame has transcended fight sports. there are no shortage of fighters on the UFC roster who would want a fight with McGregor.

So who could get their ‘red panty night’ against the former two-weight world champion? Here at talkSPORT.com, we have assessed the potential opponents and explained why they deserve a lucrative shot against Conor McGregor.

Winner of Khabib vs Poirier

Putting Conor McGregor back into the title picture may upset some UFC fans
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We start with perhaps the most obvious path for McGregor, given White’s comments and the star power the Irishman possesses.

His last appearance in the Octagon, the lightweight title fight against Khabib at UFC 229 in October heralded 2.4 million pay-per-view buys.

Given the animosity and the controversy surrounding that fight and the immediate aftermath, fans would no doubt love to see McGregor head back in after his fight with Poirier.

But the interim lightweight champion should not be overlooked. A former featherweight contender, the Coconut Creek-native made the decision to move up to the 155-pound division and has not looked back since.

After destroying the likes of Justin Gaethje and Eddie Alvarez, Poirier earned his interim shot against Max Holloway and delivered with a stunning performance.

Poirier celebrates after beating Holloway at UFC 236
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The American Top Team member has power in both hands and is skilled on the ground, plus his history with McGregor is evident.

At UFC 178, the Irishman stopped Poirier inside the first round and a rematch at lightweight certainly poses more questions than their first fight at 145-pounds.

Winner of Gaethje vs Cerrone

Fans are in for a treat when these two throw down in Vancouver on September 14
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The MMA community rejoiced when Dana White confirmed this lightweight fight would headline UFC Vancouver in September.

Both Gaethje and Cerrone are certified fan favourites and are never in dull fights, with neither man afraid to stand and trade – taking shots in order to dish them out.

‘Cowboy’ seemed to be heading for a title shot with Khabib, only for Tony Ferguson to hand the UFC veteran a debilitating loss in his last bout. Prior to that, the 36-year-old had lit up Alex Hernandez and then delivered a clinic on Al Iaquinta to put himself firmly within a shot at the title.

Conversely, Gaethje has jumped back into the wins column with a brace of significant victories. The ‘Highlight’ starched Jason Vick at UFC Lincoln before stopping Edson Barboza at UFC Philadelphia.

Rumours circulated that it would be Cowboy who welcomed McGregor back into the Octagon, with the fan favourite finally getting the lucrative fight he needed to ride off into the sunset. But an injury to the Irishman, plus the surge by Cerrone to the title put an end to the rumours.

Similarly, Gaethje has never been shy to put his name forward for a fight with McGregor. Back in April, the 30-year-old promised to KO the former Cage Warriors champion in his home country.

The winner of this fight will not only walk away from Canada with a huge pot from the bonuses this fight will incur, but a shot in early 2020 against Conor McGregor is a real possibility.

Tony Ferguson

Tony Ferguson is reportedly next in line for a shot at the belt, but taking McGregor out of the picture may also appeal
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No one in the UFC, let alone the lightweight division, is on a run quite like ‘El Cucuy’.

The 35-year-old is on a 12-fight win streak, the longest in the history of the division, and is generally seen as the bogeyman at 155-pounds. Nasty on the feet, with a mean ground game and a rock solid chin, critics argue Ferguson presents the greatest challenge to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s perfect 27-0 record.

And his performances have not gone unnoticed, with Dana White insisting Ferguson is next in line for the belt.

“Ferguson is the one who’s next in line,” White said to TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter (h/t BJPENN.com). “Then it would be Conor.”

However, a fight with Conor McGregor while the world waits for the outcome of the title fight in Abu Dhabi would make perfect sense. The UFC are preparing to go back to New York in November once again for their annual card at Madison Square Garden.

As it stands, there are no fights in line to headline that card and the lack of star power is evident given Jon Jones is by far the biggest name in the light-heavyweight division and heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier is fighting Stipe Miocic in August.

Nate Diaz III

The score is 1-1 between these two after their epic August 2016 encounter
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In 2016, Conor McGregor seemed capable of beating any man on the UFC roster. After bringing Jose Aldo’s decade-long reign as the featherweight king to a crumbling halt, the Irishman was then set to face Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 196 for the chance to become a two-weight world champion.

But the Brazilian pulled out and in stepped Diaz on 11 days notice, subsequently shocking the world.

The rematch was a pulsating affair, with McGregor claiming his revenge via a majority decision after five hard rounds.

Diaz is finally set to return on August 17 against Anthony Pettis at UFC 241 on August 17. Provided the Stockton-native can get through ‘Showtime’ a trilogy fight surely beckons.

The question is not ‘If’ these two throw down again, ‘it is simply ‘where’ and ‘when’. After two fights at 170-pounds, the suggestion is both men would drop down to lightweight, making the contest even more enthralling than last time.

Jose Aldo II

McGregor dethroned the former featherweight king in just 13 seconds at UFC 194
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McGregor’s fight with Floyd Mayweather in 2017 may have catapulted the slugger to worldwide fame, but his fight with Jose Aldo two and-a-half years prior was the making of the legend.

After years of verbal spars and one cancelled fight, the bitter rivals finally met and McGregor threw that trusty left hand to KO the only featherweight world champion.

A rematch was never arranged, despite the Brazilian pleading and admitting he would move up a weight class to fight the Irishman once more.

According to @TalkMMA, McGregor vs. Aldo 2 is being rumoured for the upcoming UFC 244 event at Madison Square Garden, scheduled for November 2 in New York City.

“A source tells me that Conor McGregor vs Jose Aldo 2 is being rumored for #UFC244 at MSG,” the tweet reads. “UFC was looking to resign Aldo. Conor was the bait that reeled him in. Not to mention, Conor has to get back into the good graces of the NYSAC. Has some making up to do.” [sic]

McGregor attacked a bus carrying several UFC fighters, including Khabib, whilst in Brooklyn
UFC

A fight between the two would certainly bring a tremendous amount of hype once again, with both men coming off the back of defeats after Aldo’s loss to Alexander Volkanovski in May.

Should the 32-year-old level the scores, a trilogy fight could even be on the cards in years to come.

UFC news: Francis Ngannou ‘would send Jon Jones to sleep’, Cowboy wants Tony Ferguson, Nunes vs Holm to set records

5 Jul

talkSPORT.com brings you a round up of all the biggest news and gossip from the world of UFC…

Record breakers

The co-headliner for Saturday’s UFC 239 show, sees two-division UFC champion Amanda Nunes take on Holly Holm in an intriguing battle for the bantamweight title.

Heading in to this fight, both women will have or will create a number of records on the night.

Nunes will be competing in her 11th UFC women’s bantamweight bout, the most appearances in divisional history, while her eight-fight winning streak in women’s competition is the longest in company history.

At 37, Holm is the oldest of the 24 fighters scheduled to compete at the event and becomes the oldest female to compete in a UFC championship fight.

Holly Holm is the oldest fighter on the card
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Nap time for Jones

Former UFC middleweight Michael Bisping is the latest fighter to comment on the freakish power of Francis Ngannou and says he would put Jon Jones ‘to sleep’ in a mega fight.

The ‘Predator’ beat former heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos in 71 seconds at UFC Minneapolis for his second knockout of the year.

Michael Bisping – undecided
Michael Bisping believes Ngannou beats Jon Jones
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Jones fights Thiago Santos at UFC 239 and if he wins, the light heavyweight king will have few challenges left at 205, with calls for him to step up a weight.

However, Bisping believes Jones would be handed his first ‘real’ loss in the Octagon.

“I’m telling you, Ngannou connects with Jon Jones flush, Jones is going to sleep,” Bisping said on his podcast ‘Believe You Me‘.

“That’s a fact. I’m sorry, I’m not being a hater on Jones for saying that. I’m being pro-Ngannou.”


Cowboy’s redemption

Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone is desperate to have a rematch with Tony Ferguson after their first bout was stopped by the doctors due to a sickening injury a UFC 238 in June.

In a fight billed as ‘The People’s Main Event’, the two lightweight title contenders traded blows in the United Center in Chicago.

‘Cowboy’ admitted he made a mistake after trying to blow his nose between rounds – causing his eye to swell so tightly he was left unable to see.

Ferguson caught Cerrone and left him with a broken nose
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“Tony Ferguson rematch, I’m begging for it,” Cerrone told MMA Junkie Radio.

“August, hopefully no later than September. I can’t fight any later than September, because now I’m running into not being able to get two more at the end of the year.”

Jon Jones vs Thiago Santos at UFC 239 is live on talkSPORT on 6 July

UFC 238 result: Donald Cerrone suffers gruesome eye injury against Tony Ferguson after blowing his nose

9 Jun

Donald Cerrone was forced to apologise to fans after he retired from his fight with Tony Ferguson after suffering a sickening eye injury.

‘Cowboy’ admitted he made a mistake after trying to blow his nose between rounds – causing his eye to swell so tightly he was left unable to see.

Donald Cerrone’s eye was completely shut after his brutal war with Tony Ferguson
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In a fight billed as ‘The People’s Main Event’, the two lightweight title contenders traded blows in the United Center in Chicago.

However, it ended in a manner which left both fighters and the watching public feeling disappointed.

Between the second and third rounds, the 36-year-old tried to blow his broken nose, but it only caused his right eye to practically triple in size.

Speaking in the octagon, UFC veteran Cerrone said: “That was the fight I think everybody wanted.

Cerrone reacts after the doctors entered the octagon and called off the bout in Chicago
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“I’m so sorry. I don’t quit. I don’t back down.

“Man, I just wanted to keep fighting. I was just asking, ‘Can you just push the air back down?’ That’s all I wanted.

“You’re right, I shouldn’t have blown my nose.

“I’m a veteran, I’m old school, and I should’ve known that.

Ferguson caught Cerrone and left him with a broken nose
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“But I did, and I humbly couldn’t finish the fight, and I apologise.”

The rest of the card managed to live up to the hype, with Valentina Shevchenko stopping Jessica Eye with a brutal headkick and Henry Cejudo becoming a two-weight world champion by beating Marlon Moraes.

The UFC fights fans want to see in 2019 including Conor McGregor, Jon Jones and Nate Diaz

10 Feb

After a slow start to the year, 2018 proved to be a historic and record-breaking year for the UFC.

The heavyweight super-fight between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier thrust the light-heavyweight champion into super stardom and cemented his legacy.

President Dana White knows he has to deliver for UFC fans

After his money-spinning fight with Floyd Mayweather, Conor McGregor returned to the octagon in an emotionally charged and brutal fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov.

And arguably the greatest of all time, Jon Jones, capped the year off with a sensational performance against former foe Alexander Gustafsson to win back his world title at 205lbs.

President Dana White will be hoping to carry on that momentum by making the best fights he possibly can.

But just what do the hardcore MMA supporters want to see? Scroll down to see the fights the fans want to see fans want to see!

Conor McGregor v Donald Cerrone

McGregor certainly does not need the money, but the desire to fight is still strong

After taking a pummeling against Khabib and with two defeats in his last four fights, McGregor finds himself in a state of flux.

Like ‘The Eagle’, McGregor was hit with a retroactive suspension following the UFC 229 brawl, but will be allowed to fight in April.

Fans were left salivating after Cowboy’s incredible resurgence saw him call out the Irishman, with the two men even sharing messages on social media.

This fight is a win-win for everyone; the UFC gets to bring the McGregor show back to Las Vegas, Conor gets to fight against a striker and the legendary Cerrone gets a lucrative ‘red panty night’.

Khabib Nurmagomedov v Tony Ferguson

Erratic and downright bizarre, but ‘El Cucuy’ may be the most dangerous man in MMA at 155lbs

The lightweight division is currently brimming with talent at the moment, but there is very little doubt these two superstars are the best in the world right now.

After taking out Anthony Pettis on the McGregor v Khabib undercard, Ferguson is in direct line for a title shot next.

The UFC have tried to make this fight on four separate occasion, but injuries and outside issues suffered by both fighters caused the bouts to be cancelled.

With Nurmagomedov free to fight in July, both fighters have plenty of time to get fit and ready for the fifth booking. ‘El Cucuy’ represents the most dangerous challenge to the Russian’s undefeated streak.

Jon Jones v Daniel Cormier III

Fans are desperate to see the trilogy fight

While many of the rivalries you see in fight sports are engineered to sell fights, these two have a genuine animosity for one another.

Having outpointed Cormier in 2015, Jones was then suspended. Another failed drugs test for Jones prevented a rematch at UFC 200 before they finally got to run it back a year later.

Jonny ‘Bones’ knocked DC out in the second round, but the fight was overturned to a no-contest after another contentious drugs test.

With neither man needing to prove themselves as light-heavyweights anymore, a super-fight for Cormier’s heavyweight belt surely beckons in the near future.

Max Holloway v Al Iaquinta

Holloway deserves, and will get, his shot at McGregor in the lightweight division

Max Holloway is undoubtedly the greatest Featherweight of his era having beaten Jose Aldo twice and now Brian Ortega.

The Hawaii-native struggles to make the 145lb limit and a move up to lightweight will surely be his next career move.

While many will want to see ‘Blessed’ jump straight back in against McGregor, Holloway will want to test himself and build a legacy first and foremost.

‘Raging’ Al has gatecrashed the top five rankings after a strong performance against Khabib Nurmagomedov and then a convincing victory over Kevin Lee and deserves another top fight.

Justin Gaethje v Nate Diaz

Everyone wants to see the Stockton Slapper back in the octagon

Admittedly, this fight is probably the least likely to happen out of all the ones mentioned. However, the fans would be treated to an absolute war.

Diaz has not fought since losing to Conor McGregor in 2016, although he came agonisingly close to getting back into the octagon against Dustin Poirier at the end of last year.

The Stockton native always entertains when he is in the cage and Gaethje has proved he is a true warrior and an ultimate fan favourite.

How willing Dana White will be to stump up the funds required to bring Diaz back remains to be seen however.

Amanda Nunes v Holly Holm

Holly Holm against Nunes is the fight everyone wants to see in the Women’s division

Admittedly Holm will have to deal with Aspen Ladd at UFC 235 before she can think about her future, but a fight against two-weight champion Nunes is so appealing.

The ‘Lioness’ added the Featherweight title to her Bantamweight crown by producing a spectacular knockout of Cris Cyborg at UFC 232 to become the first ever women ‘champ champ’.

At 37, Holm knows she cannot afford to wait for too long to make the fight, but the public demand may well prove too much for the UFC matchmakers.

However, Cyborg may well exercise her right to get a rematch considering she had her 13-year unbeaten streak snapped in just 51 seconds.

Johnny Walker v Glover Teixeira

After a scintillating highlight reel knockout win over Justin Ledet in Fortaleza in Brazil, Walker is ready to gatecrash the light-heavyweight top ten rankings.

The Brazilian is naturally charismatic, dangerous in the octagon and comfortable on the microphone – a marketing dream for the UFC.

Headlining a main event in his home country would represent a huge opportunity for the UFC, with the legendary Glover Texieira an ideal dance partner.

With Jimi Manuwa rejecting Walker’s call out, a new sacrificial lamb is required to help propel the 6”6 slugger to super stardom and, just maybe, a title shot in the not-too distant future.

UFC news: Conor McGregor v Donald Cerrone ‘close’ as Dana White looks to also book Khabib Nurmagomedov v Tony Ferguson

25 Nov

Conor McGregor’s return to the UFC could be confirmed very soon.

That’s according to former heavyweight contender Brendan Schaub, who also confirmed Khabib Nurmagomedov is set to return in 2019.

McGregor could be set for a return to the octagon against ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone

Both fighters are currently serving indefinite suspensions after their Lightweight title fight at UFC 229 descended into anarchy.

The ‘Eagle’ lived up to his nickname by vaulting the octagon and launching himself at McGregor’s friend Dillon Danis outside the ring, while two of his own teammates attacked the Irishman inside the ring.

However, it seems as though once their Nevada Athletic State Commission hearing on December 10 is out of the way, UFC President Dana White will look to organise McGregor’s return to fight UFC legend Donald Cerrone in 2019.

‘Cowboy’ dispatched with Mike Perry at Fight Night Denver to ensure he has the most wins in the company’s history, before issuing a challenge to the Irishman on Instagram.

Khabib was escorted from the T-Mobile Arena after beating McGregor at UFC 229

And Schaub said on his Below the Belt podcast: “You could not get closer to the situation [than my source].

“They told me that the Conor McGregor-Donald Cerrone fight was offered, that’s the plan but they’re waiting for Conor to sign the contract,” Schaub said on his Below the Belt podcast.

“It’s up to Conor if he wants that to be his next fight. That’s where they’re at with it.

“And Khabib vs. Tony Ferguson is what’s next for Khabib but what do I know?”

Ferguson and Nurmagmedov could be finally set to meet in 2019

Ferguson and Nurmagomedov were due to meet at UFC 209 for the interim belt, but the bout was cancelled after Khabib’s team declared their fighter dehydrated and struggling with a weight cut.

However, ‘El Cucuy’ and his team were left infuriated after it was alleged the Russian was being unprofessional by eating junk food before the bout.

It was the fourth time the pair were scheduled to meet, with many pundits adamant that Ferguson is the one fighter who presents the most serious threat to Khabib’s 26-0 undefeated record.

UFC news: Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone ‘waiting on’ Conor McGregor to sign contract for incredible 2019 fight

14 Nov

Donald Cerrone is reportedly ‘waiting on’ Conor McGregor to sign his half of a contract to fight the Irishman next year.

‘Cowboy’ claimed a sensational win over Mike Perry on Saturday at Fight Night Denver to make it 21 UFC career wins – an organisation record.

Cerrone celebrates after submitting Mike Perry at UFC Denver

The former lightweight world title contender submitted ‘Perry’ with an extraordinary armbar and, shortly after the contest, issued a challenge to current 155lbs king Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Having competed at welterweight in the latter stages of his career, it seems as though the 35-year-old is keen on dropping back down to his former division for a lucrative payday with the ‘Notorious’.

Taking to Instagram on Tuesday night, Cerrone wrote: “Just waiting on him! I know a guy”

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Although McGregor is still awaiting to find his punishment for his part in the brawl after UFC 229 with Nurmagomedov and his team, a decision will be reached after December 10 and he could escape with a fine – leaving the door open to a fight in 2019.

McGregor tapped out at UFC 229 and is awaiting his next opponent

The Irishman has insisted he wants to rematch the undefeated Russian on several occasions, but is willing to fight whoever he has to in order to climb back up the rankings.

With UFC President Dana White insisting Tony Ferguson is next in line for a title shot, it seems as though McGregor will have to wait his turn.

Shortly after defeating ‘Platinum’, Cerrone revealed the UFC had offered him a ‘very exciting’ fight back at his former weight.

”There is someone, they already came up and told me,” he revealed with a grin. “There’s your clickbait. You son of a b***h, you ain’t gonna get me to say it. Not gonna happen. They told me the who for once in my life first. 155. It’s very exciting. Guy’s very exciting. You’ll like it. You’ll all like it.”

McGregor also promised to ‘snap Cerrone in half’ in 2015

Cerrone last fought for a title in 2015, but was defeated in the first round by Rafael dos Anjos, who was then scheduled to defend the belt against McGregor before pulling out with injury.

The two have previous dating back to just before Cerrone fought Dos Anjos. AT the UFC ‘Go Big’ press conference they traded verbal barbs after McGregor promised to ‘change his bum life’ with a ‘red panty night’ fight.

 

Darren Till’s stunning win against Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone ahead of UFC welterweight title fight against Tyron Woodley

4 Sep

Ahead of Darren Till’s welterweight title fight against Tyron Woodley, talkSPORT.com looks at his stunning victory against the legendary Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in 2017.

The 25-year-old Scouser never looked in trouble against one of the most respected fighters in the UFC.

He didn’t know how to combat Till’s punching and the fight in Poland was eventually stopped in the first round.

Till, from Liverpool, has the chance to become UFC welterweight champion

His opponent, the 36-year-old Woodley, won the belt Till will be trying to claim at UFC 228 on 8 September when he stopped Robbie Lawler in 2016.

Since then he has seen off Stephen Thompson and Demian Maia to retain his crown.

However, this is a ‘super fight’ according to the champion.

“My focus right now is fighting Darren Till, going out there and putting on a great performance,” he said. “A fighter that’s worthy of my attention, bringing true skills to the table. I think that should be my focus. We’ll talk about any other type of fights after this fight is over with.”

Till is undefeated in 18 mixed martial arts fights. “Getting this belt won’t make me content,” he said. “Winning the middleweight belt after this one won’t make me content. The only time you will see me content is when everyone is calling me the greatest fighter of all time.”