MMA News: Patricio Freire and Donald Cerrone reveal how to beat Khabib, Colby Covington lashes out, Justin Gaethje injury scare

12 Sep

After the roaring success of the UFC’s first show in Abu Dhabi after a five-year hiatus, the attention of the MMA world turns to the weekend’s activities.

Khabib Nurmagomedov once again reinforced his reputation as the best lightweight in the world after choking out Dustin Poirier in the third round of their title fight.

Ryan Bader defended his Bellator world heavyweight title against Cheick Kongo, while Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal were confirmed as the main event for UFC 244 in New Yokr City.

Here’s what is making news in the world of MMA today.

Khabib defended his lightweight belt on Saturday
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Bellator ‘champ champ’ wants Khabib

Particio Freire believes he will KO Khabib Nurmagomedov if the two were to ever meet.

The Bellator featherweight and lightweight world champion is recognised by CombatPress as No.9 in their pound-for-pound list in the world.

And the 32-year-old believes he would be able to close the distance on the fearsome wrestler to knock him clean out.

Nurmagomedov dominated Dustin Poirier from start to finish
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“Khabib is very tough, has phenomenal wrestling and sambo, but he has a huge deficiency on the feet so I can catch him,” Freire told MMA Fighting. “Nothing is impossible. I think he’s very tough, 28-0, but another fighter from Rio Grande do Norte, (Gleison) Tibau, put on a very tough fight with him, and I think there’s a path to beat him.

“I believe we can do it. If my hand lands — and it would land — it’s over.”

Since that fight at UFC 148 seven years ago, the Dagestan native has improved to become one of the most fearsome fighters on the planet thanks to the rigorous training methods employed at the American Kickboxing Academy.

But Friere is not impressed with what he has seen.

“He has the same fight pattern since his first fight,” Freire said. “He backs his opponent against the fence, moves and shoots to the leg. No one has ever tried … maybe someone did try to land a knee, but I don’t remember anyone getting close to landing.

“Iaquinta was doing well against him, moving well on the feet, but he was closing the distance the wrong way. I think I can close the distance better.”

Cowboy welcomes grappling match with Khabib

Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone has underlined his fan favourite credentials yet again by welcoming a GRAPPLING match with Khabib Nurmagomedov.

The 28-0 Russian once wrestled bears as a child and has only ever lost one round in professional MMA career, largely thanks to his aggressive sambo style.

But Cowboy, who has a large variety of attacks in his arsenal with which to hurt opponents, believes taking the ‘Eagle’ to the ground may not be such a bad idea.

Cowboy has been a certified fan favourite for years
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“I didn’t see the fight [with Poirier]. I don’t know, I was on the lake,” Cerrone said. “I figured [Khabib won], I heard the news. But I think people need to welcome Khabib to the ground. I’d let him. Come on in, let’s go.”

Cowboy has 17 wins via submission from his 36 since his debut in 2006 and is a black belt in both BJJ and Gaidojutsu. So the chance to take the best grappler in the world down to the mat does not worry the 36-year-old.

“How does Khabib do on his back?” Cerrone asked. “What if I take Khabib down? Who knows? S***.”

Covington explains beef with Masvidal

Colby Covington is beginning to make a career out of trash-talking his opponents and even his friends.

The American Top Team member has lashed out at former friend Jorge Masvidal as the duo battle to reach gold in the welterweight division.

With champion Kamaru Usman refusing to fight Covington at MSG, Masvidal and Nate Diaz will headline the card on November 2, leaving the ‘Chaos’ without an opponent.

And it seems as though the damage is irreparable as the former interim champion explained where the rivalry originated form.

“That tweet came from Jorge trying to get in the way of my money and I take that money very serious,” Covington told MMA Fighting. “That’s food on the table for my mom, my dad, the life they never had, my family. I come from a very broke background and now he’s trying to mess with my money and my business so now you’re a competitor.

Covington has hit back at Masvidal
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“Now you’re in my sights. That’s been a long time coming. People think we’ve been friends recently but that friendship ended a long time ago.”

While the welterweight title contenders continued to root for each other publicly in interviews, Covington says he hasn’t been close with Masvidal for nearly two years.

The origins of their issues started after he fought Demian Maia in Brazil and the friendship effectively ended after he won the interim welterweight title with a victory over Rafael dos Anjos in 2018.

“When he got beat up by Demian Maia and then I had to come up and clean up the scraps and completely decimate Demian Maia in his hometown of Sao Paulo, that’s when the relationship ended,” Covington explained. “Jorge got jealous. He got bitter. He wanted something that he couldn’t have, which was beating Demian Maia and be in position to fight for the title.

“Then as soon as I won the belt, that’s when he completely turned on me and he started talking s—t to me at the gym, at fights he’s saying stuff to me. I’m like dude stop. You’re a light round. You want to see how me and Jorge goes? Go look on YouTube. I wasn’t even trying hard. I know the haters don’t know how to turn on a girl but they should learn to turn on YouTube.”

Gaethje explains injury scare ahead of UFC Fight Night

After providing fans with a match up made in heaven, it seemed as though the MMA Gods were set to intervene once more and put a halt to the Cerrone vs Gaethje fight scheduled fro Saturday in Canada.

But thankfully the 30-year-old will not back out of the fight, despite suffering from an eye infection.

Gaethje is durable and likeable in equal measure
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“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.”

Conor McGregor hits out at Dustin Poirier after being called out for UFC rematch by The Diamond

11 Sep

Conor McGregor has called for more respect from Dustin Poirier after the American called for a rematch between the pair.

Poirier has set his sights on McGregor in the wake of his convincing defeat by Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242 last Saturday.

Conor McGregor has fired shots at Dustin Poirier after being called out on social media
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The 30-year-old Louisiana native wrote on Twitter: “I think me and Conor running it back makes a lot of sense at this point.”

McGregor beat Poirier at UFC 178 back in 2014, when they were competing in the featherweight division, with a devastating first-round TKO.

And the Irishman was keen to remind his former opponent of that fight, while stoking the flames for a potential rematch.

He replied to the tweet: “I fed you to the canvas in 90 seconds bro. You should have spoke my name with a bit more respect in that build up. ‘McGregor’s not next’ Motherf*cker, it’s McGregor always! McGregor is the goal! Always! Say that now and I’ll think about it. #GoneIn90seconds #NicCage #AJolie.”

 

McGregor is plotting a return to the Octagon after almost a year away from the sport.

He hasn’t fought since his defeat by Nurmagomedov last October, and the Irishman claims he will happily face anyone at this point.

“I’m not going to wait around [for Nurmagomedov],” he said ahead of UFC 242.

Poirier was soundly beaten by Nurmagomedov on Saturday
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“If Dustin goes in and does it [beats Nurmagomedov] then it’s Dustin, it could be Nate, Jorge [Masvidal], I don’t know what size.

“[I’ll fight] Anyone, Tony Ferguson, Justin Gaethje, [Max] Hollaway rematch, [Jose] Aldo rematch, there’s so many bouts for me, so many.

“It doesn’t matter about who, it just matters me getting back in there and being who I am, not a shell of myself.”

Wrestling news: Two-time UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez in talks with both WWE and AEW

10 Sep

WWE are known to enjoy bringing in an attraction or two in the past and it seems like they may be set to once again.

Hell, they even had NBA star Enes Kanter win one of their titles on RAW this week – albeit briefly.

Cain Velasquez and Brock Lesnar battling over the UFC heavyweight title
UFC

Now, it seems like Cain Velasquez could be in line to make a move to the big leagues of professional wrestling – and that includes potentially joining All Elite Wrestling.

The two-time UFC heavyweight champion has already competed in AAA – Mexico’s top promotion – and because of his strong Mexican heritage, he dons a mask when he competes.

However, as one of the UFC’s top names, the 37-year-old is exploring the possibility of joining a top promotion in what could be a money-spinning deal.

He told the Ariel Helwani show that he has been in talks with both WWE and AEW.

Of course, this is the man that beat Brock Lesnar for the UFC heavyweight title at UFC 121 when he won it for the first time.

In AEW’s favour, when he made his debut in AAA, he competed alongside now AEW executive vice president, Cody Rhodes.

UFC 244: WWE legend The Rock accepts Jorge Masvidal’s invitation to have cool role at UFC 244 Vs Nate Diaz

9 Sep

UFC 244 is shaping up to be a beast of a card already, but WWE legend and highest-earning actor in the world The Rock is set to take it up a notch.

Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz are going to meet in a welterweight clash at Madison Square Garden to headline the event with the one-time ‘Bad Motherf*cker’ title on the line.

Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal are going to lock horns at UFC 244

Rock already tweeted out that he is going to do everything in his power to attend the fight and he pretty much speaks for every MMA fan with his excitement – this will be a genuine war with no promotional rubbish beforehand. This fight speaks for itself.

While Rock has respect for both men, Masvidal is a fellow Miami-native and he tweeted out that he will ask UFC president Dana White to have The Rock put the title on him if he wins.

It didn’t take long for The Great One to reply and get on board Masvidal’s idea. Now, he promises he is doing everything he can to be at the event in New York, which is easier said than done for the busiest man in Hollywood.

Elsewhere on the card at MSG, light-heavyweight phenomenon Johnny Walker takes on Corey Anderson while former heavyweight title contender Derrick Lewis battles Blagoy Ivanov.

What a night it’s going to be in Madison Square Garden already, but with one of the most famous men in the world tied to the main event too? Watch those PPV records get adjusted.

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

9 Sep

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

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

Khabib defended his lightweight belt on Saturday
Getty Images - Getty

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Khabib dominated Poirier from the start and submitted him in round three
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“Money is very important, but, at the same time, money can be very dangerous too.

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

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

UFC 242 estimated payouts

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

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

8 Sep

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UFC 242: Paul Felder calls out Conor McGregor among others following win over Edson Barboza and MMA fans love it

8 Sep

Paul Felder and Edson Barboza put on the second war of their careers in Abu Dhabi at UFC 242 last night.

However, this time it was Felder that had his arm rasied after three rounds 27-30, 30-27, 29-28.

Paul Felder going to war with Edson Barboza at UFC 242
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The Irish Dragon immediately suggested after the fight that he wanted a top five fight now and mentioned the names of Conor McGregor, Justin Gaethje and Tony Ferguson as possible next foes.

The Philadelphia native figures to move close to the top five with this victory, probably seventh at least. But, the kickboxing specialist represents a tough test for any of those guys who are all probably looking forward, not back.

McGregor would be an intriguing option, though. A ‘Battle of the Irish’ would sure sell a lot of pay-per-views.

McGregor tweeted after UFC 242 suggesting that he wanted a rematch with Nurmagomedov and in the lightweight champion’s home country of Russia.

With Tony Ferguson confirmed to be next in line by UFC president Dana White, McGregor could do with a different contest to tune-up.

 

If the price and location was right, he might just be tempted.

UFC 242: MMA fans are not happy with what Conor McGregor tweeted after Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated Dustin Poirier

8 Sep

Khabib Nurmagomedov moved to 28-0 last night in Abu Dhabi as he defeated Dustin Poirier via submission to become the undisputed UFC lightweight champion.

The Russian main evented UFC 242 and locked in a guillotine choke in the third round after a dominating display to wow MMA fans once again.

Khabib Nurmagomedov taps out Dustin Poirier
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This was the first time Khabib had been in the octagon since comprehensively dispatching of Conor McGregor 10 months prior, but the Irishman was watching.

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

Whether this is lip service or not is up for debate, but not many fans believe this is a good idea for Notorious.

McGregor is the undisputed pay-per-view king in UFC and there is no question that another date with Nurmagomedov would set pay-per-view records once again.

However, having watched The Eagle in action again last night against someone the quality of Poirier who had essentially beaten a slew of the very top lightweights coming into the bout, there’s nothing to suggest things would go any differently for McGregor the second time around.

Hardly being able to find one shred of support on your own post when you have over 7 million followers is quite something.

According to UFC President Dana White, Tony Ferguson is next in line anyway. White said in the post-UFC 242 press conference that all Ferguson has to do is accept the fight.

UFC 242: Khabib Nurmagomedov totally dominates Dustin Poirier to become undisputed UFC lightweight champion

8 Sep

UFC 242 saw two lightweights battle it out to see who was the true UFC lightweight champion, and Khabib Nurmagomedov emphatically made sure it was him.

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

Khabib Nurmagomedov taps out Dustin Poirier
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The Eagle, 30, is regarded as the best pound-for-pound fighter alongside Jon Jones at this point and the truth is he dominated Poirier from the start.

The opening minute of the contest saw both men feeling each other out before Nurmagomedov shot on Poirier and took him to the ground.

From there, the Russian did his usual game of wearing down his foe and at the end of the first, a flurry of shots had the interim champion in trouble.

The second round was more of the same despite Poirer landing one heavy shot that sent Nurmagomedov scurrying.

Khabib’s dad has been previously unable to gain entry to the US to watch his son fight live
YouTube | UFC

At the start of the third round, Poirier managed to get Nurmagomedov in a guillotine choke, catching the undefeated fighter on his way in.

Unfortunately for Diamond, he was too tired to make it stick and in a matter of moments, Nurmagomedov had rolled out and locked in the rear-naked choke to secure the win.

Following the bout, he vaulted the fence and hugged Dana White to re-write the horrible scenes from his mass brawl with Conor McGregor’s team 10 months ago.

He also swapped shirts with Poirier at the end because of the world Poirer does for charity, Khabib wants to help and sell those shirts too. Any money he raises he will give directly to Poirier to donate and White will match that amount.

UFC 242: Khabib Nurmagomedov vaults the octagon again following Dustin Poirier win just like Conor McGregor episode

7 Sep

Khabib Nurmagomedov proved he is one of, if not the very best fighter in the world right now once again with a dominating victory over Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi.

The Russian was all over the American from start to finish and even though he found himself in a guillotine choke at the beginning of the third round, it was only a matter of moments before he had the rear-naked choke in and it was over.

Khabib just about made weight on Friday ahead of UFC 242
YouTube

Only Jon Jones could be considered the pound-for-pound conversation with Nurmagomedov and even though Poirier was game, he just wasn’t on the same level.

Following his victory over Conor McGregor last November, the Russian vaulted the octagon to attack the Irishman’s team as the bad blood from their rivalry spilled over.

He vaulted the octagon again following his victory, but this time he hugged UFC president Dana White. Check out the video below.

Khabib moves to 28-0 in his professional MMA career and he’s beaten a who’s who of the lightweight division.

It’s expected that Tony Ferguson will be next, but Nurmagomedov was non-committal of that straight after the fight.