Khabib Nurmagomedov confirms Tony Ferguson negotiation; outlines Conor McGregor rematch

Tony Ferguson - Khabib Nurmagomedov - Conor McGregor

UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov recently confirmed that he is indeed in negotiations to fight Tony Ferguson when he returns to the Octagon. He also confirmed that there is a route to a Conor McGregor rematch. 

There are stumbling blocks along the road to both. 

A McGregor rematch seems the longest of shots. According to RT Sport, Nurmagomedov gave a path to a rematch, but at McGregor’s current pace of taking fights, the Dagestani champion would likely be retired well before the Irishman could meet the mark.

“As for a rematch (with Conor McGregor), to fight for a belt in the UFC, I remember I had something like nine or 10 fights. If he wins 10 fights in a row, then that’s completely possible,” Nurmagomedov said.

The title defense against Ferguson is much more likely to happen, although there are roadblocks in the current negotiation.

UFC president Dana White has openly admitted that they were working on Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson and targeting March 2020 for the bout. Nurmagomedov confirmed those details, but added that the UFC is pitching Las Vegas as the location for the bout.

Nurmagomedov is all well and good with all of that, but there is a stipulation. The Nevada State Athletic Commission must apologize to him.

Yes, you read that correctly. Nurmagomedov wants an apology for having been fined for his part in the UFC 229 post-fight brawl that he was engaged in with McGregor’s team.

“We’re in talks now [for the Ferguson fight],” Nurmagomedov said. “They suggested having it in Las Vegas in March, but they have to issue me an official apology for fining me for the incident on Oct. 6, 2018.”


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Nurmagomedov was eventually suspended for nine months and fined $500,000 for having jumped over the Octagon cage and attacking McGregor’s cornermen after having submitted the Irishman in the fourth round. That hasn’t sat well with him. Nurmagomedov believes he’s owed an apology and appears ready to decline fighting in Las Vegas until he gets one.

“If they apologize, I’ll fight,” Nurmagomedov said. “If not, we’ll pick another venue. I’ll fight in April in New York. I’ll be ready in April, March if Vegas apologizes or gives me back my money.

“Those are my conditions. We’re in talks now.”

Max Holloway: ‘Alexander Volkanovski is the next cupcake’ (UFC 245 video)

Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway - UFC 245

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Max Holloway and Alexander Volkanovski are both extremely confident headed into their UFC 245 featherweight title showdown.

Volkanovski has been waiting a long time to get a crack at the Hawaiian and believes he knows how to the crack the code.

Holloway, however, has ruled over the featherweight division for several years. His last loss at 145 pounds was a decision loss to Conor McGregor in 2013. He has won 14 consecutive fights at featherweight and plans to make Volkanovski number 15.


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Hear what the UFC 245 co-main event fighters had to say at their kickoff press conference in New York City. UFC 245 takes place on Dec. 14, 2019, in Las Vegas.

Amanda Nunes analyzes Germaine de Randamie ahead of UFC 245 showdown

Amanda Nunes and Germaine de Randamie ahead of UFC 245

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Amanda Nunes gives her thoughts on her next opponent, Germaine de Randamie, as she defends her bantamweight title at UFC 245.


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Nunes currently holds both the bantamweight and featherweight titles. The rematch with de Randamie is six years in the making. Nunes won their first fight – also a bantamweight bout – when she stopped de Randamie with a flurry of elbows in the first round of their UFC Fight for the Troops 3 bout.

Nate Diaz slams door on speculation that he’s retired

Nate Diaz UFC 244 post-fight

Earlier in the week, Nate Diaz made an ambiguous post on Instagram alluding to his retirement. Just a few days later, he’s shutting the door on any speculation.

“F*** a rematch, this s**t was over before it started. I’m goin on out on tour. Peace out fight game,” Diaz said, leaving many of us wondering if he was simply taking a break or had decided that he was done for good.

Diaz appeared frustrated with the way the fight game is going after his UFC 244 headlining bout with Jorge Masvidal was cut short by the cageside doctor. The New York official called a halt to the bout following the third round because of cuts over and below Diaz’s right eye.

Diaz and Masvidal both were quick to call for a rematch, but UFC president Dana White shunned the idea, saying Diaz would need plastic surgery and Masvidal would likely have other fights before a rematch were possible.

Diaz walked away with a craw full of frustration, alluding to the f***ery already beginning. He took to Instagram to make his “peace out” comment.

He returned to social media on Saturday tweeting a photo of him hitting Masvidal in the face and adding, “This is the time in the fight where him and I realized he didn’t wanna be in this fight anymore.”


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Nate Diaz is not retired!

Aside from taking the dig at Masvidal, Diaz also commented to ESPN, telling the outlet, “Who said I was retired? I’ll fight tonight.”

Riding a three-fight winning streak, Masvidal is edging into possible title contention. Diaz, however, remains a wild card. Following a loss to Conor McGregor, he stepped away for three years before returning to defeat Anthony Pettis and the fight with UFC 244 headlining fight with Masvidal.


Dana White flip-flopped on whether or not Nate Diaz was stopped early at UFC 244

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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson visits Jorge Masvidal backstage at UFC 244 (video)

Dwayne the rock Johnson and Jorge Masvidal UFC 244 backstage Diaries of a Streetfighter

(Courtesy of Jorge Masvidal)

After defeating Nate Diaz at UFC 244, Jorge Masvidal and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson met up backstage in this scene from “The Diaries Of A Street Fighter Part X.”

Masvidal and Diaz headlined UFC 244 in a rare non-championship pay-per-view main event. They fought for the fictitious title of Baddest Motherf—er, but that was more of a marketing gimmick than anything else. Gimmick or not, it brought a ton of eyeballs to the fight and even garnered the interest of former WWE Superstar and currently Hollywood action star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who placed a $50,000 BMF Belt around Masvidal’s waist after he defeated Diaz.

The end was controversial, as the cageside doctor forced referee Dan Miragliotta to call a halt to the fight in between the third and fourth rounds because of cuts above and below Diaz’s right eye.


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UFC 244: Jorge Masvidal vs. Nate Diaz video recap

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Zabit Magomedsharipov and Calvin Kattar take UFC Moscow Fight of the Night honors in front of sold-out crowd

Zabit Magomedsharipov cracks Calvin Kattar at UFC on ESPN+ 21

Featherweights Zabit Magomedsharipov and Calvin Kattar took the UFC on ESPN+ 21 Fight of the Night honors on Saturday in front a sellout crowd in Moscow, Russia.

Magomedsharipov may have earned a shot at the UFC featherweight championship with his win over Kattar in Saturday’s main event, but each of them will go home with an additional $50,000 because of the post-fight bonus.

There’s was an atypical three-round main event because of it being a late shift to the fight card after former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos was forced out of the original UFC Moscow main event opposite Alexander Volkov. Magomedsharipov and Kattar still put on a tremendous display, both men walking through punches in order to try and take the fight to the other.

At the end of the day, Magomedsharipov’s more versatile striking attack won the day, as he earned unanimous scores of the 29-28 from the three judges. 

The Performance of the Night bonuses went to Magomed Ankalaev and David Zwada, both fighters won on the UFC on ESPN+ 121 preliminary portion of the fight card. 

Ankalaev closed the prelims with a devastating knockout of Dalcha Lungiambula 23 seconds into the third frame of their fight, while Zwada submitted Abubakar Nurmagomedov with an arm-triangle choke midway through the first round of their bout.

UFC on ESPN+ 21: Zabit vs. Kattar performance bonuses

  • Fight of the Night: Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Calvin Kattar
  • Performance of the Night: Magomed Ankalaev
  • Performance of the Night: David Zawada

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UFC on ESPN+ 21: Zabit vs. Kattar gate and attendance

UFC on ESPN+ 21: Zabit vs. Kattar took place on Saturday, Nov. 9, at CSKA Arena in Moscow, Russia, before a sold-out crowd.

  • Attendance: 11,305 (sellout)

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UFC on ESPN+ 21: Zabit vs. Kattar official results

Main Card

  • Zabit Magomedsharipov def. Calvin Kattar by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Alexander Volkov def. Greg Hardy by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Danny Roberts def. Zelim Imadaev by knockout (punches) at 4:54, R2
  • Ed Herman def. Khadis Ibragimov by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Anthony Rocco Martin def. Ramazan Emeev by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Shamil Gamzatov def. Klidson Abreu by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Prelims

  • Magomed Ankalaev def. Dalcha Lungiambula by knockout (front kick and punch) at 0:29, R3
  • Rhustam Khabilov def. Sergey Khandozhko by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Karl Roberson def. Roman Kopylov by submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:01, R3
  • David Zawada def. Abubakar Nurmagomedov by submission (arm triangle) at 2:50, R1
  • Roosevelt Roberts def. Alexander Yakovlev by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Pannie Kianzad def. Jessica-Rose Clark by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Davey Grant def. Grigorii Popov split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

UFC Moscow results: Zabit Magomedsharipov takes aim at title with win over Calvin Kattar

Zabit Magomedsharipov punches Calvin Kattar at UFC on ESPN+ 21

Zabit Magomedsharipov continued storming toward a featherweight title shot with his UFC on ESPN+ 21 headlining victory over Calvin Kattar on Saturday in Moscow, Russia. 

UFC on ESPN+ 21 was originally supposed to be headlined by a Junior dos Santos vs. Alexander Volkov heavyweight bout. Magomedsharipov and Kattar were shifted to main event status after dos Santos had to withdraw from the event because of an infection in his leg.

Zabit Magomedsharipov calls for UFC title shot with win over Calvin Kattar

Kattar started strong, establishing his jab and mixing in low kicks, trying to set up a big overhand right hand, but Magomedsharipov quickly put his wider variety of strikes on display to try and keep Kattar off balance.

It was clear from the start that Kattar would employ a more traditional boxing-style approach, while Magomedsharipov used his vast array of traditional techniques to attack, though the first round closed in a wild punching exchange.

Magomedsharipov opened round two much more aggressively, landing numerous kicks and continuing to stick his jab and then dancing away from Kattar’s counters.  

While Kattar continued to pump his jab and try to set up the right hand, Magomedsharipov kept employing a wide variety of attacks to keep Kattar off kilter, which worked throughout most of the round.

Zabit landed a beautiful reverse leg sweep midway through the frame, but did little to take advantage of it, as Kattar quickly returned to his feet. 

Kattar finished the second frame in strong fashion, mixing up his punch combinations a bit, landing a left uppercut and some solid combinations before the horn.

Kattar saved his best for last, as he had a phenomenal third round. Maybe realizing that he was most likely behind on the scorecards and not wanting to leave it to the judges, Kattar started double-pumping his jab and taking deep digs to the body. All the while, he pressed forward, stepping through Magomedsharipov’s punches, doing the most damage that he had all fight.

Just as it looked like Kattar might run away with the round, Magomedsharipov timed a takedown and planted Kattar on his back, landing inside his guard.

That should have been all she wrote, but Kattar wasn’t about to quit. He lit up Magomedsharipov with an endless onslaught of elbows and punches from his back until the final horn sounded. 

It was too little too late, however, as Magomedsharipov took a unanimous nod, as the judges scored it 29-28 across the board in his favor.

Following the hard fought victory over Kattar, Magomedsharipov is now 18-1 with six consecutive victories in the Octagon. With such a streak, he’s taking aim at the top of the division, wanting a title shot in his next bout.

“I’m 6-0 in the UFC. Obviously I would like to face the winner of Max Holloway and Alexander Volkanovski. I promise if I get that fight, I’ll be ready for five rounds and I will be better next time,” said Magomedsharipov, who indicated that he had complications being in prime form for the fight with Kattar.

Alexander Volkov routs Greg Hardy to a unanimous decision

Though Hardy started fast, putting the early pressure on Volkov and swinging big with power punches, he restrained himself from going wild and emptying his gas tank.

Volkov stayed at distance, using his reach advantage to try and stay out of Hardy’s power zone, while still snapping off some sharp combinations.

While Volkov certainly appeared to have the better technique, Hardy stayed busy throughout the first round, quite possibly winning it on the scorecards. 

In between rounds one and two, Hardy notified his corner that his hand was injured. 

Volkov shifted gears in round two, immediately putting the pressure on Hardy and sticking his jab on the less experienced fighter’s face. Hardy certainly looked much more hesitant, sticking his jab, but barely throwing his right hand at all, while Volkov kept pressing forward and picking him apart with his jab and leg kicks. 

Later in the second frame, Volkov began sticking Hardy with front kicks to the body, continuing to wear him down and opening him up for more jabs. 

There was almost no offense with Hardy’s right hand in round two, indicating that the injury was bothering him quite bit.

Perhaps realizing his hopes to win the fight were fading, Hardy came out extremely aggressive in the final round, swinging with big left hands, still refraining from putting his right hand to work. 

Volkov weathered the early storm and continued to pick at Hardy from a distance, giving a lot of respect to the power in his foe’s left hand. Midway through the frame, Volkov landed some hard leg kicks and a stinging one-two combination. Yet, Hardy wouldn’t back down. He kept pressing forward, trying to find a way to land a power shot.

Volkov upped the pace in the final minute, pumping his jab and landing even more kicks, trying to close the deal on the decision, as Hardy continued to fight but winged on his right side.

“I needed to win this fight 100 percent, that’s why I was fighting this fight mathematically,” said Volkov, defending his measured approach to a much less experienced opponent with explosive power.

Other UFC on ESPN+ 21 fight highlights

Prior to Volkov’s rout of Hardy, Danny Roberts landed a stunning knockout of Zelim Imadaev late in the second round. Magomed Ankalaev closed the UFC Moscow prelims with a devastating finish of Dalcha Lungiambula 23 seconds into the third frame of their fight.


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UFC on ESPN+ 21: Zabit vs. Kattar official results

Main Card (2 p.m. ET on ESPN+)

  • Zabit Magomedsharipov def. Calvin Kattar by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Alexander Volkov def. Greg Hardy by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Danny Roberts def. Zelim Imadaev by knockout (punches) at 4:54, R2
  • Ed Herman def. Khadis Ibragimov by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Anthony Rocco Martin def. Ramazan Emeev by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Shamil Gamzatov def. Klidson Abreu by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Prelims (11 a.m. ET on ESPN+)

  • Magomed Ankalaev def. Dalcha Lungiambula by knockout (front kick and punch) at 0:29, R3
  • Rhustam Khabilov def. Sergey Khandozhko by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Karl Roberson def. Roman Kopylov by submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:01, R3
  • David Zawada def. Abubakar Nurmagomedov by submission (arm triangle) at 2:50, R1
  • Roosevelt Roberts def. Alexander Yakovlev by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Pannie Kianzad def. Jessica-Rose Clark by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Davey Grant def. Grigorii Popov split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)