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
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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
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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.”

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.”

Conor McGregor told to ‘get the f*** out’, Khabib Nurmagomedov tipped to lose Dustin Poirier fight, BJ Penn latest

4 Sep

The UFC returns this weekend with a stacked fight card, full of intriguing match ups.

The main event in Abu Dhabi promises to be explosive as Khabib Nurmagomedov returns to the octagon after his nine-month suspension to face interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier.

The ‘Diamond’ is well aware he is up against it in Abu Dhabi against the undefeated grappling specialist, but is hoping to pull off a huge shock.

As ever, there are always stories happening in the world of mixed martial arts.

UFC President Dana White is preparing for a dust up in desert in Abu Dhabi
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Tony Ferguson slams Conor McGregor

Tony Ferguson has told Conor McGregor to focus on fighting Mark Wahlberg and ruled out a clash with the ‘Notorious’.

Instead, ‘El Cucuy’ is planning to take on the winner of the UFC 242 main event at some point in the near future, whoever it may be.

Conor McGregor was allegedly videoed punching a man in a Dublin pub
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The former interim lightweight champion was desperate to fight McGregor during the Irishman’s reign at the top of the 155lbs division, calling him out on several occasions.

But given how long the former ‘champ champ’ has been inactive, Ferguson has set his sights on more dangerous, active opponents.

“No way man, the fans wouldn’t have it, they’d put up too much of a fight,” explained Tony during a recent interview on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show.

“He’s been fighting old men lately; he’s trying to fight Mark Wahlberg. Maybe that’s the fight for him. The dude’s got a couple of things, making his money, doing his thing. I don’t know if he wants to fight anymore, but he is not my concern.”

“He is like one of those ex-girlfriends,” Ferguson added. “I stopped worrying about that dude. At first he was in line trying to go for the title, and once he became irrelevant I stopped caring about him.

“Now he’s mentioning my name? Get the f*** out of here dude, come on.”

Chael Sonnen backs Poirier over Khabib

Khabib Nurmagomedov may well be the most dominant champion in UFC history, but former middleweight contender Chael Sonnen has raised doubts over the Dagestani destroyer.

The ‘Eagle’ returns to the octagon this Saturday at UFC 242 to face Dustin Poirier for the undisputed lightweight world championship, almost an entire year after he dismantled Conor McGregor.

Khabib Nurmagomedov takes on Dustin Poirier at UFC 242
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After the ensuing melee at the T-Mobile Arena, the 30-year-old was banned and has not fought since, while Poirier has been extremely active.

Since Khabib beat Al Iaquinta to win the belt in Brooklyn, the ‘Diamond’ has beaten Justin Gaethje, Eddie Alvarez and Max Holloway to earn his shot at glory.

And Sonnen feels this momentum could prove pivotal under the lights in Abu Dhabi on Saturday night.

“He’s been out for a while,” Sonnen said of Nurmagomedov. “For Khabib, it was because of a suspension. For other guys, it was because of an injury or a contract dispute.

“But that always becomes a talking point; ‘well how’s he gonna look, he’s been out, the other guy’s been busy, ring rust is a real thing’. For some reason, Khabib has penetrated the hearts and minds of the fans to the point that that dialogue is not even coming up.

“It’s as if this guy is bulletproof and we have fallen for that before. I could give you the Mike Tysons of the world, the night George St-Pierre fell down, Anderson Silva comes to mind. Nobody is bulletproof.”

“I don’t know why Khabib is bulletproof to that because a lot of those similarities are there,” Sonnen continued. “He’s all of a sudden ‘Mr. Famous’. He’s so famous that he’s got political pole in that region (Dagestan.) He’s training at the AKA with Javier Mendez but he lives in Dagestan, 21 hours away.

“I do think it’s a fair question, how much consistent training is he getting in conjunction with the push and pull of travel schedules, with the media, with all the new ‘friends’ he’s got, all the way up to politicians? I am surprised no one’s talking about it!”

Cris Cyborg joins Bellator

Cris Cyborg has signed for Bellator, in a deal said to be ‘the largest in women’s MMA history’.

The former UFC featherweight champion was released by the organisation after suffering a defeat to bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes in 2018, which brought an end to her 20-fight winning streak.

Cris Cyborg is aiming to become a four-promotion world champion
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The 34-year-old perhaps was not the success story for the UFC as President Dana White will have hoped, even though the Brazilian American did win seven of her eight bouts with the company.

“I have worked with countless athletes over my 30-plus years of promoting combat sports, but there is no-one quite like Cyborg,” said Bellator president Scott Coker, who had previously worked with Cyborg at the Strikeforce promotion.

“Cyborg is the most dominant female fighter in the history of the sport and she will be a perfect fit here at Bellator.”

Cyborg will now have the opportunity to win a title at a fourth MMA promotion, having held belts at Strikeforce, Invicta and UFC.

“You guys know I have a lot of girls I want to fight at 145lbs and this means you’re going to have a lot of fights per year and I’m very happy about that,” she said.

“My goal is to be the only female fighter to hold four different major titles in the same division”

Her last fight in the division was a unanimous decision victory over Felicia Spencer.

BJ Penn addresses latest bar brawl incident

Former UFC lightweight champion BJ Penn is adamant the latest footage of him scrapping outside a club does not paint the full picture.

Penn has been involved in several altercations outside establishments in his native Hawaii, with the video from last month showing the 40-year-old punching a man in the head from back mount.

BJ Penn was involved in a street fight in Hawaii
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However, the former two-division champion insisted there is more to the story and that he is doing everything he can to avoid trouble given his long-standing custody battle.

“Just to begin with, there was another video posted on TMZ of me holding somebody on the ground,” Penn told TSN. “From that—because I’m in the middle of a custody case right now—I got a lot of slack already from the custody evaluator, from their lawyer, of course, from my lawyer.

“So the last thing that I’m looking to do—yeah, because everybody was saying that I held down a bouncer, but it wasn’t a bouncer or anything like that.

“It’s just something happened and I had to protect myself and hold a guy on the ground. So the last thing I want to do is get into any type of trouble.

“My custody case, me seeing my kids depends on all this stuff. It’s just really strange how things just happen and you never see this kind of stuff. But here I am in a custody case and this happened twice.”

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

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

UFC 242: Khabib Nurmagomedov dismisses Conor McGregor rematch and targets ‘legacy’ fights with Tony Ferguson and GSP

12 Jun

Khabib Nurmagomedov ruled out a rematch with Conor McGregor and instead targeted ‘legacy’ fights with Tony Ferguson and Georges St-Pierre.

Speaking at a UFC 242 press conference in London, the Lightweight champion refused to overlook his opponent Dustin Poirier ahead of their bout in September.

‘The Diamond’ picked up the interim belt by defeating Featherweight champion Max Holloway in April while Nurmagomedov served his suspension from mixed martial arts.

Khabib Nurmagomedov all-but confirmed he would not fight Conor McGregor again
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The Russian clambered over the cage at UFC 229 in the aftermath of his win against McGregor last October and was handed a retrospective nine-month ban and slapped with a $500,000 fine.

But when asked whether a rematch with McGregor was in the pipeline, Nurmagomedov said: “In the last three years, he only has one victory in amateur boxing.

“How does he deserve rematch? He tapped, he begged me; ‘Please don’t kill me.’ Tony Ferguson is on the line, guys with a win streak are on the line, not a guy who didn’t do nothing in three years.”

Ahead of his return, the 27-0 champion signed a new contract.

Khabib is escorted out of the T-Mobile Arena after defeating McGregor in October
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According to manager Ali Abdelaziz, one of the clauses included in the deal allowed the Sambo expert to fight former Welterweight and Middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre.

The Canadian retired from the sport in February, but speculation about a super-fight between the two has been brewing, and Khabib would not be against it happening.

“Honestly, I don’t know if he [GSP] will come back,” Nurmagomedov added.

“If I want to make my legacy big, I have to beat [Tony] Ferguson and GSP, then I can become pound-for-pound number one,” he added.

The Russian wants to define his legacy by beating GSP and Tony Ferguson
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Despite his newfound global fame and perfect record, Nurmagomedov is still humble enough to realise he will be in a serious fight in the UAE in three months time.

The Louisiana-native has added some serious names to his resume since moving to the 155-pound division back in 2015.

And Khabib is not planning on being the next to fall victim to the slugger’s incredible rise to the top.

He said: “I don’t want to underestimate Dustin, he’s a tough challenge, right now I don’t want to think about other opponents.”

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

9 Jun

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

25 Nov

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ferguson and Nurmagmedov could be finally set to meet in 2019

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

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

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

Khabib Nurmagomedov v Georges St-Pierre ‘in the works’ as manager Ali Abdelaziz rubbishes chances of Tony Ferguson fight

30 Oct

Khabib Nurmagomedov is reportedly being lined up for a lucrative super-fight with Georges St-Pierre at catchweight, rather than a title defence against Tony Ferguson.

The UFC lightweight champion confidently dismantled Conor McGregor at UFC 229 earlier this month in his first title defence.

Khabib is the undefeated, 27-0, UFC lightweight champion

Although a rematch has been mooted, President Dana White has suggested former interim champion Tony Ferguson was next in line for a shot.

However, multiple sources are now suggesting a fight with the legendary GSP is next for the undefeated Russian.

According to MMA Team Dagestan, the fight is ‘in the works’ for some point in the future. The Twitter account was the first source to confirm Nurmagomedov’s bout against the ‘Notorious’.

MMA legend St-Pierre has not been seen inside the octagon since he became a two-weight world champion in November last year after defeating Michael Bisping to become the undisputed middleweight champion.

The Canadian relinquished the belt and, at 37 years of age and after his prestigious career, it appears he is cherry-picking fights.

Khabib’s American Kickboxing Academy teammate Daniel Cormier also suggested the fight is likely to happen next on Monday evening.

Cormier said recently on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. “Tony is great. I don’t dislike Tony Ferguson at all. I think he’s a phenomenal fighter, this dude’s a beast.

Tony Ferguson - Click on the right arrow, above, to see the rest of the possible options on the table for McGregor.
Ferguson defeated Anthony Pettis at UFC 229 and is next in line for a lightweight title shot

“I think he’s the tougher match-up for Khabib but I say do Khabib vs. Georges St-Pierre. That’s the fight. It’s big.”

Given the Canadian has conquered both the welterweight and middleweight division, the bout would reportedly happen at 165-lbs – in between lightweight and welterweight.

Given the Russian struggled with seizures before his fight with McGregor and St-Pierre has endured terrible trouble with ulcerative colitis, both fighters would surely agree to the improvised weight class.

Khabib’s manager Ali Abdelaziz recently suggested his client was close to confirming his next opponent, by Tweeting: “We will blow your mind big news coming.”

However, the Egyptian appeared to pour water on lightweight contender Tony Ferguson’s chances of getting another title shot, after suggesting the American was not enough of a challenge.

He wrote: “You’re a good guy and you deserve a big fight. You should fight Conor or Nate or Gaethje or GSP I’m a big fan and love watching you fight but you’re one of the easiest fights in the top 5 stylistically for the eagle.”

Nurmagomedov is still awaiting punishment from the Nevada State Athletic Commission for his part in the brawl after the main event at UFC 229.

Although it is likely he will get a fine and a suspension of some sort, the hearing for both he and McGregor will take place on December 10.

 

Khabib Nurmagomedov latest: Manager Ali Abdelaziz teases new fight, with Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather waiting

29 Oct

Khabib Nurmagomedov’s manager has sent MMA and boxing fans into meltdown after suggesting the UFC lightweight champion could be about to fight again soon.

Ali Abdelaziz, CEO of Dominance MMA, Tweeted on Sunday evening saying: “We will blow your mind big news coming

Abdelaziz manages and trains with Nurmagomedov

While it is unclear who the Russian’s next opponent will be, the possibilities are endless.

Conor McGregor instantly demanded a rematch with ‘the Eagle’ after being convincingly beaten at UFC 229 as the two rivals finally squared off.

However, with both men receiving indefinite suspensions for their parts in the shocking brawl after the conclusion of the fight, it seems unlikely a rematch would be arranged so quickly.

New UFC signing Ben Askren is looking for a fight after he completed his historic trade deal from ONE Championship with former Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson.

Welterweight star Ben Askren is looking for a fight after his transfer to the UFC

However, given the American is a welterweight and Khabib has just won the lightweight belt, the possibility of either fighter moving up or down a weight class seems unlikely at this time.

Realistically, this leaves two clear opponents for Nurmagomedov – Floyd Mayweather or Tony Ferguson.

The ‘hype’ for Mayweather to allow another MMA star to cross over to the world of boxing was generated by the fighters in question themselves.

After Khabib was pictured with Leonard Ellerbe (CEO of Mayweather Promotions) speculation began to intensify that the two undefeated fighters could square off in the squared circle just like the American did with Irish brawler McGregor back in August 2017.

McGregor lost a blockbuster boxing fight against Mayweather last August

Further substance was added to the story when it was revealed the Russian Boxing Federation were looking to host the fight in Moscow, if it came to fruition.

Considering how many fans felt conned after watching the Mayweather v McGregor fight and UFC President Dana White’s unwillingness to make the fight happen, it leaves Ferguson as the most likely candidate.

The former interim lightweight champion was stripped after an unfortunate knee injury ruled him out of a fight with Nurmagomedov back in April.

Instead, the Russian fought Al Iaquinta for the vacant belt and was duly crowned undisputed champion.

Ferguson and Nurmagomedov have been booked to fight four times but each time has ended in disappointment for both the fans and the fighter’s.

‘El Cucuy’ deserves his shot having racked up 11 straight wins in the lightweight division and Abdelaziz’s next announcement could well be to confirm the unorthodox mixed martial artist will finally get his shot at Khabib.

Dana White thinks Khabib Nurmagomedov should NOT fight either Conor McGregor or Floyd Mayweather, but face Tony Ferguson instead

19 Oct

Dana White believes Khabib Nurmagomedov should defend his UFC lightweight title against Tony Ferguson, rather than rematch Conor McGregor or face Floyd Mayweather.

The Russian dismantled the ‘Notorious’ in a rather lopsided title fight earlier this month in Las Vegas before UFC 229 descended into a brawl.

Dana White believes Ferguson deserves a crack at Khabib

With confusion about his future in the company, 50 Cent reached out to the grappler and Mayweather teased a potential fight.

However, the UFC President himself has named the fight he believes Nurmagomedov should take next.

In an interview with ESPN.com, White said he wants to see former interim champ Tony Ferguson – not McGregor – get the next shot at the title.

“As a fight fan, you’ve gotta go with Tony,” White said. “Tony had the belt, tweaked his knee, got stripped, (McGregor vs. Nurmagomedov) happens. Tony never lost the belt in a fight.

‘El Cucuy’ is on an 11-fight win streak and beat Anthony Pettis at UFC 229

“Neither did Conor, but Conor actually got the opportunity to fight for the belt. I think Tony deserves the next shot.”

McGregor infamously crossed over to the boxing world for a fight with Mayweather which ended in a tenth round technical knockout last August.

Although his bitter rival Khabib is not renowned for his striking abilities, his knockdown of the ‘Notorious’ has convinced fans another crossover fight would be huge.

However White (who helped promote the Mayweather v McGregor fight) has poured water on these suggestions.

The Notorious looks set to miss out on a lucrative rematch…for now

“First of all, the Mayweather team has not approached us at all,” White said. “Again, Khabib is under contract with the UFC. We haven’t talked to anybody from the Mayweather team.

“What I thought was Floyd’s trying to wrestle and train some MMA to see what it’s like.

“I don’t know if that’s the case, but that was what I thought. But we haven’t talked with anybody on the Mayweather side. Floyd’s good at getting himself back in the news.”