And while his comeback and opponent are still to be confirmed, plans are already in place for who it could be.
“I think him and Frankie Edgar would be a great fight,” Kavanagh said to The Mac Life.
“I think it was in the works when Conor was kind of going on that featherweight tear.
“He’s an ex-champion, great fighter. Yeah, if it was me, I would love to see the Frankie Edgar fight this year if possible. And then go on another run in 2020.”
Third and final
Daniel Cormier has admitted he would rather a trilogy bout with Stipe Miocic for his retirement bout as apposed to Jon Jones.
Miocic regained the UFC heavyweight title that he lost to Daniel Cormier in July of last year at UFC 241, having been knocked out by DC in the first round of their first meeting, he returned the favour with a fourth round beatdown.
While Cormier, 40 has faced both Jones and Miocic twice, a fight with the latter is on his agenda.
“We run it back. A true heavyweight rivalry will carry a sport, and I think right now we have that with Stipe and I.
“I intend to go back and get the job done and fight the way I train to fight.”
Robert Whittaker’s longtime jiu-jitsu coach Alex Prates has said the middleweight champion is a better version of UFC legend Georges St-Pierre.
Whittaker faces interim titleholder Israel Adesanya in Melbourne, Australia, at UFC 243 next month and his coach has compared him to the Canadian, who lost just twice in his MMA career.
“Maybe you’ll see Robert Whittaker using a style that I think is the one that suits him better but he never really needed it because it was always comfortable for him on the feet for most of his fights,” Prates told MMA Fighting.
“With Yoel Romero, for example, it would have been stupid to try to take him down. But Robert has great wrestling and great timing.
“I honestly think Robert is a better version of GSP. And we might see this now.”
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.
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.’
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.
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“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.”
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.”
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
"Ooh, right out of Cowboy's boot, and I'm sure it's been a long day!"
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
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1. Nate Diaz
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.
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.”
Here’s what is making news in the world of MMA today.
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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.”
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.
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.
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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.
“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.”