Dana White Lays Out a Path to Conor McGregor vs. Georges St-Pierre

In the age of the “money fight,” it’s tough to avoid the possibility of a showdown between cash cow Conor McGregor and former pay-per-view king Georges St-Pierre.

McGregor has stated numerous times that he’s on board with the biggest fights that the UFC could offer him and he’s already competed in three different weight divisions since joining the promotion.

Meanwhile, St-Pierre makes his long awaited return to the Octagon in November after four years away, but during his previous run with the promotion, he was a massive draw who has said he wants to make history as he returns to fighting.

Put all those elements together and it seems like McGregor vs. St-Pierre could be one of the most lucrative fights in UFC history. It’s not out of the realm of possibility.

UFC president Dana White admitted during a recent interview with TSN that any potential McGregor vs. St-Pierre bout couldn’t take place until deep into 2018, but he also didn’t deny the possibility that it could happen.

“GSP would need to defend his title first at 185 [pounds] and Conor has some business to handle himself. It would be a year and a half down the road before we would even talk about that,” White said about the fight.

“Everybody’s intriguing for Conor McGregor. I mean, if you look at Conor McGregor at 145, 155 and 170 [pounds], everything is intriguing.”

The tease of such a massive bout between McGregor and St-Pierre probably has the owners behind the UFC salivating at the chance that this fight may happen one day.

While a lot would have to fall into place before fantasy could turn into reality, White knows that the UFC would have a huge promotion on its hands if McGregor was actually going to face St-Pierre.

In fact, White says right out of the gate that there are three possible landing spots for a fight of that magnitude and all of them make sense in one way or another.

“I don’t know where that would be,” White teased about a destination for McGregor vs. St-Pierre. “We could do it in Croke Park in Ireland, where there’s like 100,000 seats. You could do it here in Toronto, where we had 56,000 people, and you could do it in Vegas, which is always good, too.”

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Of course, White never fully committed to the idea, but given the star power that McGregor and St-Pierre carry, it’s impossible not to at least address the possibility.

McGregor has mentioned St-Pierre as a possible opponent in the future and there’s no denying the power he maintains to control the destiny of his career. As for St-Pierre, he’s stated that he never asks for fights against opponents from lower weight divisions, but he’s teased a move down to lightweight before and a match-up with McGregor would be massive.

For now, McGregor vs. St-Pierre remains a super fight with a lot of hurdles to clear before it could happen, but that hasn’t stopped McGregor before. Remember when Mayweather vs. McGregor was little more than a pipe dream?

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Source: MMA Weekly

Will Brooks vs. Nik Lentz Expected to Be Rebooked for UFC Fight Night in Australia

A lightweight matchup between Will Brooks and Nik Lentz that was originally scheduled for UFC 216 is expected to get shifted to UFC Fight Night in Australia on Nov. 19.

Sources close to the matchup confirmed the news to MMAWeekly.com on Monday after Brooks first teased his placement on the card via Twitter. MMAJunkie.com also reported the matchup although UFC officials have not confirmed the bout yet.

The fight between former training partners at American Top Team was cancelled after Lentz was deemed medically ineligible to compete just a day away from the event. Nik Lentz UFC 203 interview

With no time remaining until the card took place, Brooks was also pulled from the card while he awaited word on getting back in action. 

Lentz later explained that his body was not responding to insulin correctly and he ended up in the hospital rather than the weigh-ins, which ultimately forced the fight to be cancelled. 

As it turns out, Brooks didn’t have to wait long as the UFC appears ready to rebook the matchup on Nov. 19 to join the line up at UFC Fight Night in Sydney, Australia.

Assuming Brooks vs. Lentz is made official, the lightweight matchup would join a card that also includes a heavyweight main event between former champion Fabricio Werdum and Marcin Tybura.

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Frankie Edgar Explains Why His Style Will Give Max Holloway Problems at UFC 218

From the moment Max Holloway landed the final punch to finish Jose Aldo in June to become featherweight champion, Frankie Edgar was waiting to get the first shot at the new king of the division.

Edgar has long been considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world after reigning as lightweight champion and then dropping down to 145-pounds where he’s been unbeatable outside of two fights against Aldo.

In May, Edgar silenced any doubters that he was somehow losing a step when he handed highly touted prospect Yair Rodriguez a lopsided beating before the fight was stopped due to the sheer damage that he had accumulated on the former ‘Ultimate Fighter’ winner over two rounds.

Now as he approaches his third featherweight title fight, Edgar’s confidence hasn’t slipped whatsoever even considering Holloway will step into their bout after winning his last 10 fights in a row in the UFC.

“I think it’s exciting. I match up well with him. I matchup well with anybody,” Edgar told MMAWeekly.com. “I feel like I can excel in different areas in this game and I think I mix it up probably better than anybody except maybe a few guys. I think the fact that I can mix it up, keep him guessing, he can’t just keep coming without being a little weary about what I’ll do next.

“He brings a heavy pace like myself so it’s going to be an exciting fight. We’re definitely not going to have to look for each other.”

It’s tough to argue against Edgar’s logic considering his boxing has become some of the best in the sport under head coach Mark Henry and his roots will always lie in wrestling where he’s been able to ground nearly every opponent he’s ever faced.Max Holloway

The variety of weapons give Edgar the opportunity to give Holloway a lot of different looks over five rounds and that’s just another reason why the top ranked contender is convinced this will bring a huge spotlight to the featherweight division.

“I think this is the biggest fight Max could fight at featherweight,” Edgar said. “Conor’s gone, I think it’s the biggest fight against me.”

Of course it’s still nearly impossible to talk about the featherweight division without at least mentioning Conor McGregor’s name considering he won the title with a vicious 13-second knockout over Jose Aldo in 2015 and then never returned to the weight class again.

By all accounts, McGregor has given no indication that he intends to return to featherweight either, but it’s tough to escape the shadow he casts on the division.

That being said, Edgar knows that Holloway beating Aldo in June and then their matchup scheduled for UFC 218 on Dec. 2 in Detroit are great fights that will certainly help the featherweight division to move past McGregor.

“Things are mixing up, we’ve got some young blood at the top right now and it’s only going to get better,” Edgar said about the featherweight division. “These weights at 155, 170 [pounds] have been stalwarts for a long time. 145, 135 [pounds] is just going to get better and better. These divisions are just going to get tougher and tougher.

“I’m excited all around about 145 right now.”

While Holloway and Edgar will both inevitably answer questions about McGregor in the weeks leading to their fight, the 36-year old New Jersey native promises that the UFC 218 main event will satisfy everyone in attendance or watching at home on pay-per-view.

What you’re looking at in Holloway and Edgar are two of the very best fighters on the planet regardless of the weight class and that’s plenty of reason to enjoy what’s about to unfold on Dec. 2.

“We’ve both got the dog in us and we’re going to scrap it out and willing to take a little damage to get it done, too,” Edgar said. “That just makes for an exciting fight.”

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Source: MMA Weekly

‘Ultimate Fighter’ Winner Jesse Taylor Suspended One Year by USADA

Recent “Ultimate Fighter” winner Jesse Taylor has been suspended one-year after testing positive for a banned substance and violating the UFC’s anti-doping policy.

USADA (United States Anti-Doping), who enforce the UFC’s anti-doping policy, announced the news on Friday.

“Taylor, 34, tested positive for clomiphene following an out-of-competition urine test conducted on August 22, 2017,” USADA officials wrote in the statement. “Clomiphene is a specified substance in the class of hormone and metabolic modulators and is prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.

“Clomiphene is not approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the male population, as its use has not been thoroughly studied for safety and efficacy. Clomiphene also indirectly promotes the secretion of testosterone. Increasing testosterone, especially when combined with strength training, has been demonstrated to increase fat-free mass, muscle size, and strength in males, potentially leading to performance enhancement in sport.”

Taylor received the maximum penalty for the anti-doping policy infraction.

Taylor’s suspension started on Sept. 13, which means he will be eligible to return one year from that date in 2018.

The veteran fighter was expected to make his next appearance inside the Octagon at the upcoming UFC Fight Night card in Sydney, Australia in November, but he was pulled after being placed on a provisional suspension for the positive drug test.

Now Taylor will have to sit out until the latter half of 2018 before making his return to action.

This all comes just months after Taylor capped off an incredible run on “The Ultimate Fighter” season titled “Redemption” as he returned to the reality show and won three fights in a row before submitting Dhiego Lima in July to earn his UFC contract.

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Jose Aldo vs. Ricardo Lamas, Mike Perry vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio Added to UFC in Winnipeg

The year end FOX UFC Fight Night card has just added a couple of blockbuster fights.

Former featherweight champion Jose Aldo will return to action for the first time since falling to Max Holloway when he faces old foe Ricardo Lamas on Dec. 16 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Also on deck for the card will be a welterweight slugfest between heavy handed striker Mike Perry and fellow knockout artist Santiago Ponzinibbio, who is fresh off a stellar finish over Gunnar Nelson in his last fight.

UFC officials confirmed the new matchups on Friday.

Aldo vs. Lamas had previously been reported but now the fight has a date and location. Aldo defeated Lamas the last time they met in 2014 but now both fighters are looking to get back into title contender with this rematch.

As for Perry, he’s been gunning for a top 10 opponent for quite some time and now he’ll get his wish as he faces off with one of the most lethal strikers at 170 pounds.

Ponzinibbio has won five consecutive fights in the welterweight division including three of those victories coming by way of knockout or TKO.

The trio of new bouts for the Winnipeg card join the main event that was just announced on Thursday as former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler faces off with Rafael dos Anjos in the five round fight that will determine the next No. 1 contender at 170 pounds.

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Robbie Lawler vs. Rafael dos Anjos Winner Gets Next Title Shot Against Tyron Woodley

Rafael dos Anjos isn’t competing for an interim title fight against Robbie Lawler on Dec. 16 but he will be getting the next best thing.

On Friday, UFC president Dana White confirmed that the winner of the upcoming bout between Lawler and dos Anjos would be next in line to face welterweight champion Tyron Woodley while speaking at the UFC 217 pre-fight press conference in Toronto. 

White didn’t offer any extra details on the decision other than confirming “yeah” when asked directly if the winner of Lawler vs. dos Anjos gets the next shot.

Still it’s good news for the two top five ranked welterweights who will clash in a five round main event in December with a lot more on the line now than just a win or a loss.

As a former welterweight champion, Lawler obviously wants to get back to the belt but he’d surely like to avenge his last loss to Woodley, which cost him the title in 2016.

As for dos Anjos, ever since he moved to 170 pounds, he’s been gunning for the gold and now with one more win it looks like he’ll get his chance.

Lawler vs. dos Anjos headlines the upcoming FOX UFC Fight Night card from Winnipeg, Canada on Dec. 16.

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Al Iaquinta vs. Paul Felder Verbally Agreed to Meet at UFC 218 in Detroit

UFC 218 might end up as one of the most stacked cards of 2017.

A new lightweight fight is in the works as Al Iaquinta is expected to face Paul Felder on Dec. 2 in Detroit at UFC 218.

Sources close to the matchup confirmed that verbal agreements are in place for the fight although bout agreements have not been inked at this time. The bout was first reported by the Detroit Free Press.

Iaquinta is expected to make his return in December while riding a five-fight win streak in arguably the UFC’s deepest division. The former “Ultimate Fighter” standout has looked better than ever recently with four out of his last five wins ended by knockout or TKO as he’s run through a list of veteran contneders including Diego Sanchez, Joe Lauzon and Ross Pearson.

As for Felder, he enters UFC 218 on a two-fight win streak of his own with wins over Stevie Ray and Alessandro Ricci in consecutive bouts. Overall, Felder has gone 4-1 in his past five fights as he looks to make a climb up the lightweight rankings.

Assuming the matchup is made official, Iaquinta vs. Felder joins a loaded UFC 218 card that also includes the featherweight title fight between Max Holloway vs. Frankie Edgar in the main event as well as Alistair Overeem vs. Francis Ngannou and Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje as well.

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Source: MMA Weekly

Tyron Woodley Fires Back at Rafael dos Anjos Suggesting an Interim Title Fight

With three title defenses over the past 12 months, welterweight king Tyron Woodley knows his championship status has been earned.

Still that didn’t stop former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos from suggesting on Thursday that his newly announced fight against Robbie Lawler should potentially be for an interim title.

Dos Anjos argued that because Woodley is expected to be out of action until 2018 due to a shoulder injury that perhaps his fight with Lawler should crown an interim champion.

Two former Champions ranked #1 and #5 fighting while the current Champ needs months to recover from an injury…if it looks like a duck

Well it didn’t take long for Woodley to respond, especially considering his spot atop the division has been secured ever since winning the belt in July 2016.

Woodley has been one of the most active champions on the roster including two title fights already in 2017 with both bouts going the full five rounds.

It would take Woodley sitting out until July 2018 for the welterweight title to sit on the sidelines for a full year, which means that dos Anjos’ request will likely fall on deaf ears.

What dos Anjos might get instead is a shot at Woodley and the title next year should he get past Lawler on Dec. 16 in the main event at FOX UFC Fight Night from Winnipeg, Canada.

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Source: MMA Weekly

Fan Gets Incredibly Detailed Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz Tattoo

The rematch between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz will go down as one of the best fights in UFC history and one fan decided to commemorate the five round battle with some new ink.

Artist Steve Butcher from New Zealand posted a video on Instagram showing off his detailed work on a fan who wanted to get an iconic image from the rematch put on his body forever.

The moment came at the end of a 25-minute war as McGregor and Diaz embraced after sharing blood, sweat and tears inside the Octagon at UFC 202 in August 2016.

Butcher is well known for his portrait work where he’s inked dozens of famous faces over the years including Walter White from “Breaking Bad” as well as one of boxing great Floyd Mayweather

While there have been more than a few questionable mixed martial arts tattoos done over the years, this fan paid for quality and that’s exactly what they got.

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Source: MMA Weekly

Robbie Lawler vs. Rafael dos Anjos Headlines FOX UFC Fight Night in Winnipeg

Former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler will look to cement his place atop the contender’s list when he faces Rafael dos Anjos in the main event at FOX UFC Fight Night in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada on Dec. 16.

UFC officials made the announcement on Thursday.

Lawler sat out for almost exactly one year after suffering a knockout loss to Tyron Woodley that cost him the welterweight title in 2016.

The veteran knockout artist returned to form with a victory over Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in July as he took one more step towards a rematch with Woodley in the future.

Now Lawler will look to pick up a win over another former champion to put himself into position to potentially battle for the title again in 2018.

That will be no easy task, however, as dos Anjos has looked outstanding since moving from the lightweight division to 170 pounds earlier this year.Rafael dos Anjos

The former lightweight king made his welterweight debut against Tarec Saffiedine and then wrapped up a quick submission win over Neil Magny just recently at UFC 215.

The fight against Lawler will give dos Anjos the chance to prove his run at welterweight is no fluke as he tries to put himself into position to fight for the gold next year.

Lawler vs. dos Anjos will headline the upcoming FOX UFC Fight Night card from Canada with more bouts expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

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Source: MMA Weekly