Conor McGregor teases UFC comeback date, Khabib Nurmagomedov blasted by PETA, Justin Gaethje eyes mega fights after ‘Cowboy’ win

16 Sep

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

Return of the Mac

Conor McGregor appears to have potentially announced his UFC return for December 14 in Dublin, Ireland.

The 31-year-old former two-weight champion posted a tweet containing just this date and venue in the early hours of Monday morning, prompting many fans to assume the information is his next fight plan.

However, no official confirmation has followed and people currently remain unsure if he’s confirmed a comeback or something else.

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Khabib upsets PETA

Khabib Nurmagomedov has been blasted for his ‘loathsome’ behaviour towards bears by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

The UFC, meanwhile, has been encouraged by the organisation to evaluate its relationship with the lightweight champion.

A video of an eight-year-old Nurmagomedov wrestling a bear has been widely circulated online and is often used to highlight the fighter’s toughness and upbringing.

Khabib has been blasted by PETA
@khabib_nurmagomedov

However, the 30-year-old unbeaten fighter has been told to stick to fighting humans.

“PETA urges Mr Nurmagomedov to stick to wrestling with willing human opponents.”

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Planning ahead

Justin Gaethje wants the winner of Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov following his TKO victory over Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone.

The Arizona-born lightweight recorded his third consecutive win by knockout, by stopping the veteran Cerrone in the first round at Fight Night 158 on Saturday in Canada.

“I want the winner of Tony and Khabib,” Gaethje said in his post-fight interview.

“I want to fight for the world title. I want to prove I’m the best in the world. So that’s what’s next.”

While McGregor had previously mentioned Gaethje as a potential opponent, the latter has welcomed that fight should the Irishman decide to go through with it.

“As far as I know he’s retired. He is in the rankings so he either fights or he gets out. That’s how I see it,” Gaethje said about McGregor. “I absolutely would love to fight him.”

PETA slam Khabib Nurmagomedov for ‘loathsome’ treatment towards chained bears and urge UFC to ‘evaluate’ relationship with the lightweight champion

16 Sep

Khabib Nurmagomedov’s behaviour towards bears has been labelled ‘loathsome’ by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

The animal rights organisation also said it ‘encourages’ the UFC to evaluate its relationship with the lightweight champion ‘until he shows a clear change in attitude and a commitment to showing animals the respect that they deserve.’

Khabib has been blasted by PETA for wrestling a bear aged eight
Getty

A video of an eight-year-old Nurmagomedov wrestling a bear has been widely circulated online and is often used to highlight the fighter’s toughness and upbringing.

However, the 30-year-old unbeaten fighter has been told to stick to fighting humans.

Elisa Allen, the UK director for PETA, told Business Insider: “Wrestling with a chained bear is loathsome behaviour that shows an utter lack of respect for and consideration of who these animals are.

“In the wild, bears roam across vast territories, foraging, swimming, digging in the dirt, climbing trees, searching for a mate and expressing other essential, natural types of behaviour.

“Those used in Russia for ‘boxing,’ ‘dancing’ or other archaic forms of entertainment are typically torn from their mothers as cubs, chained, caged, muzzled, beaten and deprived of everything that’s meaningful to them.

“PETA urges Mr Nurmagomedov to stick to wrestling with willing human opponents.”

His father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, said it was to test his character more than exercise.

“It is a pity that there was nothing more interesting when he was younger,” he said.

“In the end, this was a test of character more than exercise.”

On his Instagram page in April, Nurmagomedov shared a picture of himself posing with a chained bear and the caption: ‘With my old friend.’

View this post on Instagram

With my old friend 🐻 ✋🤚

A post shared by Khabib Nurmagomedov (@khabib_nurmagomedov) on

Earlier this month, he dominated and beat Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 to retain his title in Abu Dhabi.

The Russian forced Poirier to submit with a rear naked choke in the third round of their contest to extend his record to 28-0.

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
AFP

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
Getty Images - Getty

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.

View this post on Instagram

I taught these guys how to ride bikes..

A post shared by Nate Diaz (@natediaz209) on

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
getty images

“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
Getty Images - Getty

“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.”

UFC news: Conor McGregor’s coach hints at return, Tony Ferguson brands Khabib ‘lazy and one-dimensional’, calls for Octagon girls to be scrapped

10 Sep

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

Conor McGregor’s coach hints at UFC return

McGregor has not fought since his defeat to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 and there are no slated bouts for the Irishman.

We have been teased with his return several times with both Dana White and McGregor speaking about match-ups.

Conor McGregor has not fought in the UFC since October
Getty Images - Getty

The former two-weight champion immediately called for a rematch with Nurmagomedov following his victory over Dustin Poirier.

McGregor’s coach, Jon Kavanagh, replied to a tweet from ESPN’s Ariel Helwani suggesting that a return could be soon.

Helwani was tweeting about a trailer for Nate Diaz vs Jorge Masvidal, which is taking place at UFC 244 on November 2, and Kavanagh wrote: “See you there.”

McGregor is unlikely to fight on that card as he will want to be the sole headline act for any return but it means something else could be on the horizon.

Ferguson unimpressed with Khabib

Khabib Nurmagomedov’s record in MMA is staggering with a record of 28-0, including 12 wins in the UFC.

Not everyone is impressed with his skills, though, with Tony Ferguson seeing flaws in his style in his win over Poirier.

Khabib defended his lightwweight belt on Saturday against Dustin Poirier
Getty Images - Getty

Ferguson is also the man next in line to take on Nurmagomedov for the UFC lightweight title.

Speaking to Ariel Helwani on EPSN, Ferguson summed up Khabib’s efforts in the cage as being ‘lazy, one-dimensional’.

“When I see someone pushing against the cage and not really doing much, just kind of putting themselves as a wet blanket,” Ferguson said.

“When I fought Danny Castillo, he did the same kind of thing. It’s interesting how Khabib fights but to me it’s just boring. It’s lazy.”

Calls for UFC Octagon girls to be banned

Dana White and the UFC are under increasing pressure from figures in Australia to scrap their Octagon girls for the upcoming event in Melbourne.

UFC 243 will see middleweight champion Robert Whittaker take on Israel Adesanya at Marvel Stadium in the city.

Lord Mayor of Melbourne Sally Capp is leading the charge to see the tradition scrapped.

There have been calls to scrap Octagon girls
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She told the Herald Sun: “It’s 2019, do we really still need scantily clad women to wander around the middle of a fighting ring between rounds?

“Grid girls are no longer part of Formula One, walk-on girls are no longer part of professional darts – surely it’s time to move on.”

Khabib Nurmagomedov earns £5million for submitting Dustin Poirier at UFC 242… as loser takes home just £235k

9 Sep

Khabib Nurmagomedov reportedly earned £5million ($6m) for defeating Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 on Saturday night.

The Russian forced Poirier to submit with a rear naked choke in the third round of their contest in Abu Dhabi to extend his record to 28-0 and retain his lightweight crown.

Khabib defended his lightweight belt on Saturday
Getty Images - Getty

It was the first time Khabib had been inside the Octagon for almost a year, his last fight being the infamous victory over Conor McGregor at UFC 229 last October.

For that bout the unbeaten 30-year-old allegedly made $2m, but was fined $500,000 for his part in the post-fight brawl, which saw him vault the cage to attack members of McGregor’s entourage.

While the payout figures are not official, Khabib’s career earnings now total slightly over $8m, according to MMA Manifesto, meaning he’s come a long way from the $16,000 sum he was given for his first fight in the company back in 2012.

Poirier entered the bout on the back of a four-fight win streak and, while he was dominated from the start in the searing heat, earned praise for his performance.

The Louisiana native took home considerably less that the champion, making just £235,000 ($290,000).

Before the fight, Khabib spoke about the dangers of making huge sums of money.

“I like money but the important thing is that not everything is about money,” he said.

Khabib dominated Poirier from the start and submitted him in round three
Getty Images - Getty

“Money is very important, but, at the same time, money can be very dangerous too.

“If money gets inside your mind it is bad but, when you have it in hand your hand, it is good because you are able to help people.

“When money gets inside you head, that is when it is a problem.”

UFC 242 estimated payouts

  • Khabib Nurmagomedov: $6,090,000
  • Dustin Poirier: $290,000
  • Curtis Blaydes: $165,000
  • Belal Muhammad: $135,000
  • Paul Felder: $106,000
  • Edson Barboza: $95,000
  • Muslim Salikhov: $77,500
  • Ottman Azaitar: $73,500
  • Omari Akhmedov: $72,000
  • Carlos Diego Ferreira: $51,000
  • Islam Makhachev: $49,000
  • Joanne Calderwood: $45,000
  • Zak Cummings: $43,000
  • Nordine Taleb: $33,000
  • Shamil Abdurakhimov: $27,000
  • Mairbek Taisumov: $27,000
  • Sarah Moras: $26,400
  • Don Madge: $27,500
  • Andrea Lee: $22,000
  • Davi Ramos: $21,000
  • Zubaira Tukhugov: $18,000
  • Takashi Sato: $17,500
  • Teemu Packalen: $16,000
  • Liana Jojua: $15,900
  • Lerone Murphy: $13,500
  • Fares Ziam: $13,500

Conor McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov: Dana White says yes to rematch but only if Tony Ferguson snubs shot at UFC lightweight champion

9 Sep

The Conor McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov rematch could go ahead but only if the next fighter in line to face the UFC lightweight champion snubs the bout.

Nurmagomedov defended his title at UFC 242 on Saturday with the third round submission of Dustin Poirier.

Khabib Nurmagomedov beat Conor McGregor when they fought last October
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The 30-year-old now moves to a 28-0 record in MMA and has won 12 straight fights in the UFC.

McGregor immediately demanded a rematch with the Russian fighter, posting on social media platform Twitter: “Book my rematch for Moscow.”

It is a fight plenty of UFC fans want to see happen, especially with the Irishman being out of the Octagon for nearly a year.

UFC president Dana White had his say on what will happen next in the lightweight division.

“Tony Ferguson is next line [for Khabib] if he accepts the fight,” said White during the UFC 242 post-fight press conference.

“We’ll see how this thing plays out, when Khabib will fight again, and if Tony wants to fight.

“Tony Ferguson gets the next shot, and obviously, if for whatever reason Tony can’t take the fight or doesn’t want to fight at that time, then we would figure out what’s next.

“But yeah, Conor would make a lot of sense.

“Conor McGregor wants that fight really badly, and I’m sure the fans would want to see it.

“So we’ll see how this whole thing plays out.”

Khabib Nurmagomedov slams ‘b******t guy’ Conor McGregor for his lack of respect after UFC 242 triumph

8 Sep

Khabib Nurmagomedov was keen to forget the ‘b*****t’ with Conor McGregor following his comprehensive victory over Dustin Porier at UFC 242 on Saturday night.

The Russian tapped out Poirier with a rear-naked choke in the third round of their contest in Abu Dhabi to extend his record to 28-0.

Khabib proved why he is considered one of the worlds best fighters
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This was the first time Khabib had been in the octagon since dispatching of Conor McGregor 10 months prior, but the Irishman was watching.

Not only was McGregor watching, but he tweeted straight after suggesting he wants a rematch with Nurmagomedov in the champion’s homeland of Russia.

But it seems Khabib isn’t so keen on the idea, slamming McGregor for his lack of respect.

“I don’t understand why I have so much in my life,” he said after last night’s fight.

“I want to forget the b******t with the last guy (McGregor).

“Me and Dustin Poirier have showed MMA is about respect not trash-talking.

“This fight had so much respect unlike my last fight with that b******t guy.

“When you go to a gym you respect the trainer, the coaches, your team-mates and you opponents. You keep the gym clean and tidy it.”

Khabib vs Poirier: Moroccan killer Ottman Azaitar scores massive one-punch knockout on UFC 242 undercard

7 Sep

Ottman Azaitar moved to 12-0 with a stunning first-round, one-punch knockout on the undercard of Khabib vs Dustin Poirier on Saturday night.

The Moroccan lit up the UFC 242 prelims in Abu Dhabi by putting Teemu Packalen to sleep after just three and a half minutes.

The smaller man landed an eye-catching overhand right, despite his reach disadvantage, and ended the contest on the spot.

His opponent was quite clearly unconscious before hitting the ground and so Azaitar opted not to jump on him and deliver further blows.

Thankfully, Packalen was soon tended to by medical professionals and got back to his feet not long afterwards.

You can watch the video of the knockout above.

Conor McGregor and Edson Barboza failed to do what one slice of tiramisu did – beat Khabib Nurmagomedov

7 Sep

Twenty seven men have stepped into the octagon with Khabib Nurmagomedov and every single opponent has left battered and bruised.

Never in mixed martial arts has one fighter been as dominant, nor as vicious, as the ‘Eagle’ once the cage door closes and Dustin Poirier is next in his sights.

The defending lightweight champion will put his world title on the line against the interim champion, with the ‘Diamond’ well aware of the sheer magnitude of the task he is facing in Abu Dhabi at UFC 242.

Khabib just about made weight on Friday ahead of UFC 242
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In fact, it can be argued Nurmagomedov has only lost one round of a fight in his professional career. And plenty of critics will tell you he eased off the gas in the third round of his grudge match with bitter rival Conor McGregor in Las Vegas last October to demolish the ‘ Notorious’ in the following round.

And while no man has ever bested Khabib, the Russian has always struggled with his weight cuts down to the 155lbs lightweight limit. Considering he walks around at almost 30 pounds over that limit, it is clear to see why.

Back in 2017, MMA fans seemed destined to finally get the fight they had craved for so many years as the UFC booked Khabib in to face Tony Ferguson at UFC 209. With Conor McGregor focusing his attention on a Floyd Mayweather super fight, the interim belt was put on the line.

But what happened next horrified and stunned the fight community in equal measure, with Khabib rushed to hospital at 4am on the morning of the weigh in upon a doctor’s recommendation as a result of the excruciating pain in his liver.

For the third time, a fight between Ferguson and Khabib was to be cancelled to injury and fans were left devastated once again. But the story was not yet over.

It transpired that on an episode of the UFC’s Embedded series, Nurmagomedov was seen at a restaurant with his close friends enjoying slices of tiramisu.

While it is not clear whether or not Khabib indulged himself in the delicious dessert, Ferguson was left mortified.

“I would love to fight Khabib, but there’s no guarantee he’s going to show up and make the weight.” Ferguson said on the MMA Hour. “I found out, too, the he was eating tiramisu, a couple weeks ago on Embedded.

“I’m like, what is this guy doing? Really? It’s plain disrespectful, it unprofessional.

“My next fight needs to be a title fight. I’ve earned every single right of the way,” Ferguson continued. “Somebody that’s guaranteed to show up. I’ve done all my homework, I’ve done, made my ends me for this fight.

“But if we’re talking Khabib, there’s got to be some sort of guarantee or insurance for this, man. It’s a crazy bug that I can’t squash and it’s a tough pill to swallow right now.”

While the notion of Khabib devouring a calorie-loaded cake in the build up to a huge fight seems ridiculous, the MMA world made several jokes at the Russian’s expense.

So much so, the two-time Sambo world champion felt the need to actually declare to the world he was not bested by a slice of cake.

“I no understand why people talk about this. I don’t eat this,” Nurmagomedov told MMA Fighting. “We’re going to restaurant and we chill together, everything, but [I was the only one] cutting weight.

“The other guys, no cutting weight, and everybody eat everything. But I don’t eat any of this stuff. I eat only my food. I no understand why people talk about this.

“Somebody ordered cake and somebody eat cake — of course somebody eat cake — but I don’t eat nothing.

“I don’t eat this cake. I did nothing, but I don’t understand why people talk about this.”