Dustin Poirier responds to Conor McGregor as war of words continues, no trash talk between Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz

19 Sep

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

Poirier responds to latest McGregor taunt

The war of words between the two shows no signs of slowing down.

Poirier was the instigator by calling for a rematch with McGregor just days after his submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Dustin Poirier was last beaten by Khabib Nurmagomedov
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The Irish fighter responded with a brutal reminder of how he ended their previous fight at UFC 178 in the first round.

McGregor then served up another reminded on Wednesday as he tweeted a picture of him finishing Poirier.

The Diamond was not one to let that go and quickly responded by saying: “Run it back tough guy!”

This feud does not look like it will end anytime soon.

UFC middleweight banned after positive drug test

David Branch pulled out of his fight with Andrew Sanchez in Vancouver last weekend for an unknown reason.

USADA announced the 37-year-old had failed an out of competition test in May as he tested positive for ipamorelin, a human growth hormone stimulator.

He has been banned for two years, which could put his future in the UFC in doubt.

Branch was on a two-fight losing streak in the promotion and also aired his frustrations on social media with his latest Instagram post.

No trash talk between Masvidal and Diaz

The war of words between fighters before a matchup is usually a given but do not expect any between Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz before they meet at UFC 244.

Speaking on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show, Masvidal explained why there would not be any trash talk.

“Man he knows everything that there is to know about me. Between me, between real men it just takes a glance.

“You just exchange that look and know, ‘bro it’s gonna be go time player’.

Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz will fight in New York
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“F*** we’re going man. The engines are running, we’re going. And that’s the thing. I don’t have to go back-and-forth with that dude.

“(When I stand across from him) I go ‘man that dude is coming to turn my f****** lights out’. We don’t need to be f****** talking s***.”

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
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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..

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.”

Nate Diaz vs Jorge Masvidal to headline UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden and fans love Dana White for making it

7 Sep

Nate Diaz will face Jorge Masvidal in the main event of UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden on November 2.

According to EPSN journalists Ariel Helwani and Brett Okamoto, the welterweight scrap is set to headline the card which also features Darren Till.

Nate Diaz is back in the octagon against Jorge Masvidal
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The Scouser is making his debut at middleweight against Kelvin Gastelum, but the main event is one fans have clamoured for.

With welterweight champion Usman and No.1 contender Colby Covington failing to agree terms to a title fight, it seemed as though White turned to two men he knew would love a scrap.

According to Helwani, things between the UFC and Usman got so bad, the company threatened to pull his fighter privileges for UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi.

British fighter Leon ‘Rocky’ Edwards was a potential contender to take on Masvidal, but talks progressed with Diaz as of Thursday and the deal was completed on Friday after intense negotiations.

Jorge Masvidal is renowned as being one of the toughest fighters in the UFC
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Both men scored impressive wins in their previous fights, with Diaz returning after a three-year absence to blow Anthony Pettis away.

After securing a unanimous points win over ‘Showtime’, Diaz instantly called out ‘Gamebred’ to determine who was the ‘Baddest M***** F*****’ in the company.

And Masvidal continued his resurgence up at 170lbs by stopping Ben Askren with a flying knee inside five seconds at UFC 239.

Given how both men are renowned for having granite chins, superb striking and nasty ground games, the rhetoric suggests fight fans are in for a serious treat.

Conor McGregor sends classy message to old rival Nate Diaz three years on from UFC 202 clash

21 Aug

Conor McGregor insists he is ‘prepared’ for a trilogy fight against old rival Nate Diaz.

The Notorious sent a message on social media to congratulate Diaz on his mixed martial arts comeback, with the California-born fighter beating Anthony Pettis at UFC 241 last Saturday.

The score is 1-1 between these two after their epic August 2016 encounter
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The bout in Anaheim was Diaz’s first since losing to McGregor in an epic rematch on August 20, 2016.

And McGregor was full of praise for his old rival following his successful return to action.

On Wednesday, the 31-year-old wrote on Instagram,: “Three years to the day myself and this Mexican warrior went to war.

“Congrats on the win this weekend Nate, it was motivating to see it for my own comeback. I don’t blame you not mentioning me for the trilogy bout post fight, you know what I’m like when I get going. Vicious.

“I loved the round three style from round one that you implemented. It’s what I was hoping you would implement for this bout and was glad to see you do it.

“I’ll be prepared for it when we go again. If we go again.

“If not, respect always. A war for the ages. No b**** talk. Just real s***.”

McGregor has not fought since losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 last October.

The pair were involved in a shocking post-bout brawl which resulted in a sixth-month ban for McGregor and a ninth-month suspension for Nurmagomedov.

MMA News: Stipe Miocic beat Daniel Cormier by ‘not fighting like a b****’, Anthony Pettis reveals injury suffered against Nate Diaz

19 Aug

Here is the latest news after another pulsating weekend from the world of mixed martial arts…

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Stipe Miocic reveals turning point against Daniel Cormier

New UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic revealed he beat Daniel Cormier once he stopped fighting ‘like a b****’.

The Cleveland-native was being out boxed by the pound-for-pound No.1 at UFC 241 for three rounds, before he began to dig a series of devastating left hooks to the body.

Miocic reclaimed the UFC world heavyweight title on Sunday
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After slowing DC down, Miocic finished the veteran superbly forcing referee Herb Dean to step in as punches rained down in the fourth round.

And the new champion revealed exactly how he pulled off the comeback.

“Stop fighting like a bitch,” Miocic told the media at the evening’s post-fight presser when asked what was going through his head when Cormier was out-striking him.

“I was fighting like a bitch, I really was. To take nothing from D.C., he’s tough. He fought the best in the world, he beat the best in the world, and it just took me a little time to get my mojo, I just couldn’t feel it.

“One coach told me, ‘When you walked into that fourth round, I knew it was gonna be over. I just see it in your face, your swagger, your hips are moving, I knew it was gonna be good.’”

Anthony Pettis reveals gruesome injury after UFC 241 loss

Anthony Pettis may have lost a unanimous decision against Nate Diaz in California, but ‘Showtime’ was lucky to make it through the fight at all.

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@natediaz209 you have a hard ass head homie lol

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Taking to Instagram after the pulsating welterweight scrap, Pettis uploaded a picture of his baldy swollen foot and revealed he had broken it in the first round.

This is not the first time the former lightweight champion has suffered an injury midway through a fight as he was forced to retire from his clash at UFC 229 with Tony Ferguson due to a broken hand.

He also received a conditional six-month suspension after that bout because of a nasal fracture.

Dana White reveals ruckus caused by Colby Covington

UFC president Dana White has revealed he had to intervene when several stars were agitated by the presence of welterweight contender Colby Covington.

The controversial star defeated Robbie Lawler in his previous contest and was one of a host of stars in attendance to watch the fights in Anaheim, California.

UFC boss Dana White could not believe what he was seeing unfold in front of his eyes
ESPN

And with his Donald Trump hat on and UFC belt strapped to his shoulder, it seems as though the grappling specialist caused quite the disturbance.

“Everybody in that section kept fighting with Colby,” White said at the post-event news conference. “So security kept coming over to me 50 times to get him out of there. And I said, ‘No, everybody needs to start acting like (expletive) professionals because I don’t have another seat in this entire building.’

“… That (expletive) game you play in kindergarten was going on over there when I went over there. So I asked those guys (to) listen to me: ‘We’ve got a big night going on here. We have a big fight. I don’t need a fight breaking out with you knuckleheads. Stop it.’”

White confirmed that UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman will return before 2019 comes to a close to defend his gold against Covington.

“Yeah, (expletive) will happen by the end of the year,” White said.

Nate Diaz once confused Clay Guida during UFC fight by repeatedly yelling ‘209’ in reference to Stockton postcode

16 Aug

The Diaz brothers are the master of mind games and have enggaed in psychological warfare throughout their careers.

Both Nick and Nate both happen to be particularly good at getting inside people’s heads during fights – just ask Robbie Lawler, Michael Johnson and Anderson Silva.

Diaz grew up on the streets of Stockton in California and regularly references its postcode
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And in case you hadn’t noticed, both are also proud of their Stockton roots as Clay Guida (22-8-0) revealed when discussing his split decision win against the Nate (20-11-0) in January 2009.

“It was the second round of my UFC 94 fight against Nate Diaz,” he explained to Fight! Magazine later that year.

“He was sort of on my back near the cage and he kept yelling: ‘209, b***! 209, b***!’ and I looked up and there was like 3:12 left on the clock. Later on I said to my coach: ‘Dude, this guy can’t even tell time. He kept yelling ‘209, b***!’

“Then he told me 209 is Stockton, California’s area code and not the time left on the clock. I had to laugh.”

Clay Guida had no clue what Diaz was talking about during their 2009 fight
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No doubt Anthony Pettis is well aware his eardrums are in for a battering at UFC 241 when he meets Diaz, who is fighting for the first time since 2016 when he lost the second of two epic fights with Conor McGregor.

His fight with Pettis takes place in California, the state that shaped him into the man known as ‘The Stockton Slugger’ and will have advantage on his side.

Diaz has not fought since losing to Conor McGregor in 2016 – the second of two mega fights between the pair, with the American winning the first
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Diaz will fight Anthony Pettis at welterweight at UFC 241
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The younger Diaz brother was introduced to the sport by his brother, but admitted to ufc.com he only took up jiu-jitsu because it meant he could eat.

“The older guys would sometimes buy me a burrito if I went and worked out with Nick,” he said.

“At home we didn’t have s**t. I was starving all day. So that was actually the main reason I wanted to go train. Before I knew it I was a blue belt.”

 

Nate Diaz smokes joint at UFC 241 open workout, Conor McGregor hits man in pub, Francis Ngannou to star in Fast and Furious 9

15 Aug

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

Octagon to silver screen

Francis Ngannou has made a major impact in the UFC and will be looking to have a similar impact when he turns his hand to acting.

The fearsome heavyweight is set to join the cast of the ninth Fast & Furious film due out on May 22, 2020.

Francis Ngannou is set to make his acting debut
getty

WWE superstar John Cena and actor Vin Diesel will also be in the cast of the newest film.

The Cameroon knockout artist has enjoyed a dominant 2019 so ,far with knockout wins over former world champions Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos.


Cheap shot

Conor McGregor is understood to have spoken to police about his role in an assault in Dublin.

The Irishman was seen in the Marble Arch pub in the Irish capital on April 6 and was lining up glasses on the bar for everyone to have some of his Proper Twelve whiskey.

One man sitting at the bar is thought to have refused the offer of a drink.

The Irish fighter is believed to have spoken to detectives over the assault report, but was not formally arrested over the matter.

A file has been passed by police to Ireland’s Director of Public Prosecutions to make a decision over whether to charge the star.

A Garda spokesman said: “(We) are investigating an incident at a pub in Drimnagh, Dublin, on April 6.

“No arrests have been made. Investigations are ongoing.”


Cat cut

Cat Zingano has been released from the UFC.

Zingano, a former bantamweight title contender, is no longer part of the roster having been with the company since 2013, fighting seven times.

She has not fought since losing to Megan Anderson in her featherweight debut at UFC 232 in December 2018, where she was toe poked in the eye and unable to continue.

“I didn’t want to take the ultimatum this time,” Zingano said in her statement.

“So I guess you can say it was mutual. I had a project that was very, very important to me, and to the MMA community and fans, and I needed to put me, my son, my training and that first before I had anything to give to the UFC,” she added.

“It’s shitty timing, but it happens, and I’m still a fighter and ready to fuck shit up.”

Her career has seen wins over the likes of Meisha Tate and Amanda Nunes, before losing to Ronda Rousey in 14 seconds in 2015.


Lighting up

Nate Diaz lit up a marijuana cigarette on stage during the UFC 241 open workouts.

The welterweight returns to action this Saturday after a three-and-a-half year hiatus, as he takes on Anthony Pettis in the co-main event.

A huge fan favourite, the 30-fight veteran was warmly received, before he proceeded to casually share his smoke with some of the crowd and then walked away to shadow box.

FULL STORY

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.

Conor McGregor news: Fans fall for cruel April Fool’s joke as coach ‘announces’ Nate Diaz trilogy fight

1 Apr

Conor McGregor’s coach has announced a trilogy fight with Nate Diaz at UFC 239 – but unfortunately it was just an April Fool’s joke.

McGregor announced his retirement from MMA last week and has only fought once since 2016.

Conor McGregor has fought Nate Diaz twice in the UFC

The former two-weight UFC world champion walked away from the sport with a 21-4 record.

He is thought to have wanted a share in the UFC but Dana White made clear the only way he was going to get a piece of the company was to buy his way in.

McGregor retired from MMA last week

The 30-year-old has many lucrative enterprises outside of the Octagon but fans feel he may have some unfinished business inside of it.

One thing people want to see if a third fight with Nate Diaz.

The Irish fighter lost their first bout in March 2016 but went on to beat the same opponent the following August.

Fans have been crying out for the pair to complete the trilogy and thought they might have had their prayers answered.

John Kavanagh, McGregor’s coach, tweeted: “FINALLY!! See you all #UFC239 #trilogy.”

He later tweeted a meme confirming it was nothing more than an April Fool’s prank.

It was enough to get fans’ hopes up, though.

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.