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Conor McGregor Unlikely To Step Into The Octagon In 2017

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Conor McGregor

 

No longer just a dream marketing ploy, the potential boxing match between reigning king of MMA Conor McGregor and undefeated boxing great Floyd Mayweather Jr. once again found its way into the headlines when the outspoken Irishman confronted the boxing media, and more specifically ESPN boxing writer Dan Rafael, at last Friday’s festivities in New York City to reassure the world that he won’t be an easy mark in the ring.

Attending to support friend and Irish boxer Michael Conlon–who was making his pro debut, McGregor was in fine form and provided a few minutes of added entertainment by stating his intention to dominate the world of pro boxing in one of his more memorable public appearances since claiming the UFC’s lightweight title with last November’s knockout-win over Eddie Alvarez.

I’m the boxing guy,” yelled McGregor. “Watch me take over boxing. Trust me on that. No one in this boxing game knows what’s coming. Trust me on that. When I step in there, I’ll shock the whole [expletive] world. Trust me on that.”

Look me in the eyes,” continued McGregor. “28 years of age. Confident as a mother [expletive]. Long, rangy, dangerous with every hand.”

And, always a true showman, McGregor saved the most intriguing part of his impromptu speech until the very end.

Trust me, I’m going to stop Floyd. You’re all going to eat your words. The whole world is going to eat their words. We’re getting close, don’t worry about it. You’ll hear about it. I am boxing.”

To be clear, the “I am boxing” remark made by McGregor wasn’t meant as though he was restating his intentions to box, it meant that he is the sport of boxing itself, as in the most important boxer on planet earth. Roll your eyes all you want, just like the folks who rolled their eyes when McGregor said he’d knockout the formerly-immortal Jose Aldo.

But as entertaining as McGregor always is, and remember, this is someone who has backed up his lofty claims on countless occasions, some MMA fans are beginning to wonder when he plans to defend his lightweight title. Or, if he’ll even make it into the Octagon before the end of the year.

Immediately after becoming the UFC’s new lightweight champ, McGregor announced that he was going to take some time off to prepare for the birth of his first child in May. While earlier reports claimed that the big-money brawl would go down in June, several insiders, including the MMA Hour’s Ariel Helwani, have said that the meeting between McGregor and Mayweather Jr. will likely happen at some point in September, and the man himself told the L.A. Times the same thing at last Friday’s fights.

[September] is what I’m thinking,” said McGregor. “That’s what the word is, that’s what we’re close to doing.”

If that’s the case, there’s next to no chance that McGregor will fight again before the end of this year, especially not when you throw a training camp he’ll need after not fighting in the UFC since last November into the mix. He’s never turned down an opportunity because of short notice so I guess there’s always a chance he steps into the Octagon before the end of December. But don’t count on it.

With McGregor out of action, top lightweight contenders Khabib Nurmagomedov—who was recently forced to pull out of an interim title tilt against fellow 155-pound threat Tony Ferguson with weight-cutting issues, and Ferguson, will have to wait even longer for their shot at the Irishman’s throne. And even if McGregor does fight before the end of the year, there’s absolutely zero guarantee that it will be to defend his lightweight title.

Fortunately, the UFC’s lightweight division is loaded with entertaining talent and proven contenders, and it’s one of the very few weight classes that can keep us interested during a champion’s extended absence. But for the rest of 2017, it appears that the world of MMA will just have to keep spinning without its reigning ruler.

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Conor McGregor Charged with Assault for Dublin Incident

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Conor McGregor

Former UFC two-division champion Conor McGregor has been charged with assault for punching a man in a bar in Dublin, Ireland back in April, that carries a maximum prison term of six months if convicted, a fine of $1,646, or both, according to the Independent.

McGregor’s spokesperson Karen Kessler confirmed that McGregor was formally served with a summons and is due in a Dublin court on October 11th, in a conversation with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani.

McGregor expressed remorse for the incident back in August, during an interview with ESPN.

“I was in the wrong,” McGregor said, at the time. “That man deserved to enjoy his time in the pub without having it end the way it did. … I tried to make amends, and I made amends back then. But it doesn’t matter. I was in the wrong. I must come here before you and take accountability and take responsibility. I owe it to the people that have been supporting me. I owe it to my mother, my father, my family. I owe it to the people who trained me in martial arts. That’s not who I am. That’s not the reason why I got into martial arts or studying combat sports. The reason I got into it was to defend against that type of scenario.”

“I must get my head screwed on and just get back in the game and fight for redemption, retribution, respect — the things that made me the man I am,” McGregor continued. “And that’s what I will do.”

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UFC’s Stipe Miocic Likely Out for Year

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Stipe Miocic

UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic is considered to be “highly unlikely” to compete again for the remainder of 2019 after the fighter suffered an eye injury during his fight with Daniel Cormier back in August, Miocic’s agent said, according to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.

Miocic (19-3) knocked out Cormier to reclaim the heavyweight title during the fourth round of their rematch at UFC 241, and there had been interest in a 3rd fight between Cormier and Miocic, potentially taking place at UFC 245 on December 14th in Las Vegas, however Miocic says that he is still recovering from a procedure that was done on his retina.

“I’ll be ready to fight when I can see out of both eyes again,” Miocic said in a statement to ESPN. “I can’t wait to defend my belt.”

According to Miocic’s agent, Jim Walter, the eye injury occurred when Cormier accidentally poked Miocic in the eye during the fight at UFC 241.

Miocic had complained of eye pokes during both of his fights against Cormier.

“Mr. Miocic sustained a major retina injury from multiple eye pokes during his bout at UFC 241,” said Walter, of Kaulig Sports and Entertainment. “Our client’s health and safety is our top priority. We are excited for him to return to action when he is healthy to compete in his seventh consecutive world title fight.”

Cormier, 40, recently stated his desire to put off retirement to fight Miocic a third time.

“I’m gonna fight this guy again,” Cormier said during an appearance on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show earlier this week. “My intention is to fight him in the right way. … It has to be against Stipe, no one else matters.”

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Dana White: BJ Penn Won’t Fight in UFC Again

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BJ Penn

UFC president Dana White says that BJ Penn won’t be fighting in the UFC again after a pair of videos surfaced online showing Penn fighting in the streets while in Hawaii.

Penn (16-14-2), 40, was expected to fight Nik Lentz before the end of the year, but White says that plans to make that fight happen are now off following the videos going viral.

“He won’t fight again, that’s it,” White said, according to Brett Okamoto. “That’s a wrap. It’s not even that this was the last straw. I didn’t love him continuing to fight anyway, but with the relationship that he and I have — he gets me on the phone, begging me for another fight. It’s hard to turn him down.

“After what I saw in that video, BJ needs to, you know, he needs to focus on his personal life before he thinks about fighting.”

Penn, who will not face any charges for the incidents, and his representatives have since said he was trying to diffuse the situation and ultimately acted in self-defense.

“I don’t want to sit here and pick BJ Penn apart,” White said. “I think we all know what BJ Penn needs to do and hopefully BJ Penn knows what BJ Penn needs to do. What I saw in that video was sad and I love the kid. I hope he gets his life together. If BJ Penn needs me, all he has to do is pick up the phone and ask.”

 

 

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