talkSPORT.com brings you a round up of all the biggest news and gossip from the world of UFC…
Bisping wants to see McGregor vs Aldo 2
There has been rumours that a Conor McGregor vs Jose Aldo rematch is in the works for November.
UFC legend Michael Bisping wants to see this fight happen rather than a potential rematch between the Irish fighter and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
“That’s the fight to make, if I’m honest,” Bisping said in his Believe You Me podcast. “Listen, Conor’s got to get back in the winning circle. If he fights Khabib, more than likely that’s not gonna happen. Could he catch him with a good shot and rock him and follow it up? Yeah, of course he could. But more than likely Khabib’s gonna take his best shot, he’s gonna take him down, and we’re gonna have a replay of what happened last time.
“Aldo and McGregor, the buildup to that fight was huge and it ended amazingly in 13 seconds and well done to McGregor. I think people would love to see that because a lot of people feel that Aldo can do better in the rematch and that’s definitely a very winnable fight for Conor. We saw what happened the first time. . .
“That makes sense. Aldo’s coming off a loss, McGregor’s coming off a loss. Pair them together, Madison Square Garden, there’s your main event, winner gets a title shot.”
Covington to walk out to Kurt Angle’s theme music
Colby Covington is taking on Robbie Lawler at UFC on ESPN 5 on Saturday.
ESPN’s MMA expert Ariel Helwani explained: “He [Colby Covington] has reached out, through a friend, to Kurt Angle, the former WWE Champion, who’s theme song was very popular while he was an active wrestler.
“It was popular because fans loved to chant ‘You suck!’ in the middle of the theme song. So the song would go something like ‘dun da da dun dun, you suck, you suck’ – the fans just couldn’t help themselves.
“He has asked Kurt if he can use that song because he wants people to chant ‘You suck!’ as he makes his way to the cage. So that’s a guy who clearly is very comfortable being booed.”
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Cris Cyborg continues to criticise Joe Rogan
Cris Cyborg has hit out at Dana White and Joe Rogan for the way they have acted towards her and even demanded they apologise publicly.
She has now spoken about the way Rogan commentated during her recent win over Felicia Spencer.
Cris Cyborg has been critical of Dana White and Joe Rogan[/caption]
“For sure for sure, they work together,” Cyborg told theScoreMMA. “The commentator has a lot of influence like the UFC have a lot of influence, because they have a lot of media behind it, like Dana White. But you have to be real, you cannot be on people’s side because ‘I like my favorite fighter so I’m going to help this guy.”
‘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.
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.
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Winner of Khabib vs Poirier
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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’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]
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.
Cris Cyborg wants apology from Dana White and Joe Rogan
Dana White has been critical of the Cris Cyborg in the recent months since her loss to Amanda Nunes.
He claimed the former UFC Women’s featherweight champion looked ‘scared’ against Nunes and was in the twilight of her career.
White also said Cyborg does not want a rematch with the current champion despite calls for an immediate fight.
Cris Cyborg’s contract at the UFC has ended and she is yet to sign a new deal[/caption]
Joe Rogan has also come under fire for the comments he made during commentary during Cyborg’s unanimous decision win against Felicia Spencer at UFC 240.
The Brazilian fighter is now out of contract with the UFC and it is not clear if the promotion will sign her to a new deal.
“Of course he has to apologise,” she said of White to ESPN. “He has family, he has kids and if he wants to be honest, he’s supposed to do this.
“I don’t know if he has a heart, but what he’s doing is not just touching me, if he doesn’t like me. He’s touching people around me, my family. It’s not right. He always wants to avoid his family with things he does, but when he does this it affects my family.
“Public,” she added later. “It’s easy to say it in private like Joe Rogan did when there were no cameras. No, you want to talk about me, how I have a d***, you have to talk in public.
“You’re not a man, to me you’re not a man. If Joe Rogan a man, he will say I am sorry in public, not in my ear.”
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Next BJ Penn opponent promises to end his career
UFC hall of famer B.J Penn was surprisingly given another fight by the promotion considering his recent record.
He has lost his last seven bouts and has not had a victory since 2010.
Penn will face Nik Lentz but the place and date are still to be determined.
Lentz promised to make it the last time that the 40-year-old stepped into the Octagon.
“The guy hasn’t won a fight since we went to war in Iraq,” Lentz said. “It’s ridiculous. But I’m going to end his career. I’m going to do him a favour.”