Conor McGregor next fight, Dustin Poirier rematch, Nate Diaz trilogy, lightweight division, UFC 257 result, Michael Chandler, Charles Oliveira, Khabib

The UFC lightweight division is as messy as it is stacked with stars — and Conor McGregor could be the one to benefit despite having a losing record at 155 pounds.

A combination of factors – including long-reigning champion Khabib Nurmagomedov’s pending retirement, the UFC’s decision not to make the fight between McGregor and Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 for the title and McGregor’s shattering knockout defeat last month — have combined to leave the division without an obvious way forward.

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Poirier no doubt holds the keys after adding McGregor’s scalp to a list that includes fellow contenders Dan Hooker and Justin Gaethje, but the Irishman still looms large because of the tantalising financial gain he offers any opponent. And at age 32 with a young son and 34 fights under his belt, money is obviously on Poirier’s mind.

When the UFC officially gives up on trying to coax Khabib back into the Octagon, it would likely want Poirier to fight for the title against the red-hot Charles Oliveira or division newcomer Michael Chandler.

But that plan of attack has been thrown into chaos by recent comments by Poirier.

The Louisiana native immediately shot down the idea of fighting Chandler, who impressed on debut at UFC 257 with a first-round finish of Hooker.

“Respect to Chandler, great win,” Poirier said. “But to come in and beat a guy I just beat and get a title shot, dude, I’ve been in – what is this? – 27, 28 fights in the UFC trying everything, fighting the toughest guys to get my hands on gold … That doesn’t really interest me at this point. I’ll go and sell hot sauce if that’s the case.”

Poirier believes Oliveira has a stronger case for a title shot after winning his past eight fights, including a one-sided beating of long-time contender Tony Ferguson in his last outing.

But the Brazilian faces the same problem many dangerous but relatively low-profile fighters face in securing a shot at the belt — he’s not going to line Poirier’s pockets.

Poirier is so uninspired he’s willing to step aside and give up the title shot he’s undoubtedly earned.

“I want to be the world champion … and Charles is a guy that’s paid his dues,” Poirier said. “He’s earned where he’s at, no doubt about it. Let him and Chandler fight for the belt. If they want Chandler in there for the title, and he’s calling for the title, let them fight for the belt. I’ll take a step back and just watch.”

That might be the sound of a man who is still only a week-and-a-half removed from a gruelling fight preparation and weight cut, but it also could be a signal Poirier would rather a big money trilogy fight with McGregor than a UFC title he’d be confident of picking up later.

There is one other option.

The UFC could argue Poirier and McGregor are 1-1 — and when Khabib is officially out of the way their third bout could be for the belt.

That satisfies Poirier with both the title shot and pay cheque he deserves and McGregor would no doubt be quick to sign up too.

But it would likely infuriate plenty of fighters on the roster and many fans — as ESPN’s Brett Okamoto argued.

“You know if Poirier fights McGregor again, there will likely be a UFC championship attached to it, and we both know, as amazing as McGregor’s career has been and as popular as he is, he shouldn’t be fighting for a UFC title in his next bout,” Okamoto said. “I don’t even have him ranked inside the top 10 at lightweight right now. He hasn’t won a 155-pound fight since 2016.”

But still, it appears, the division can’t move on without him.

Thank you for spending time with us on My Local Pages. We hope you enjoyed seeing this post regarding Aussie sports news and updates titled “Conor McGregor next fight, Dustin Poirier rematch, Nate Diaz trilogy, lightweight division, UFC 257 result, Michael Chandler, Charles Oliveira, Khabib”. This post was presented by MyLocalPages as part of our Australian news services.

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‘Ah f**k!’ UFC releases footage of Tony Ferguson reacting to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s retirement (VIDEO) — RT Sport News

UFC champ Khabib Nurmagomedov’s October retirement surprised even his closest confidantes. But, based on newly-released footage from the UFC, it seems few people took the news harder than Tony Ferguson.

The undefeated Russian standout called time on his career shortly after his second-round finish of Justin Gaethje on “UFC Fight Island” a little under two months ago, signalling the end of one of the most successful fight careers ever seen in mixed martial arts. 

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‘It’s like a wet dream’: Comeback kid Tony Ferguson hits out at UFC for ‘dangling’ world title in front of him

Nurmagomedov told UFC commentator Jon Anik that he had given his word to his mother that he wouldn’t continue his combat career outside the influence of his late father and coach, Abdulmanap, who passed away in July after experiencing complications arising from COVID-19.

It was clearly an emotional moment for the tearful Nurmagomedov who moved his career record to an unparalleled 29-0 moments before, but spare a thought for Ferguson – the man whom fate apparently decreed would never step into the cage with the Russian champion. 

On five separate occasions the UFC attempted to book a fight between the two top lightweight fighters, and five times it fell apart – and as Khabib made his announcement in the cage on that October evening it drove a stake through the heart of that fight ever taking place, save for a dramatic change of heart by the Russian.

And if you had offered a penny for Tony Ferguson’s thoughts throughout all of this, the time has come for your reward – as the UFC released footage of several fighters – Ferguson included – reacting to Khabib’s retirement speech.

And, as you can see in the footage, he was none too happy about it. 

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‘I see his father in him’: American Kickboxing Academy trainer Javier Mendez says Khabib is ‘already a great coach’ (VIDEO)

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Khabib Nurmagomedov retires from MMA after defending his UFC lightweight title with a broken foot | World News

Khabib Nurmagomedov has announced his retirement from mixed martial arts (MMA) after successfully defending his UFC lightweight title against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254.

Nurmagomedov extended his unbeaten record to 29-0 – his third successful title defence, having previously beaten Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.

His win was also achieved with a broken foot.

Khabib Nurmagomedov with his late father. Pic: Instagram/Khabib Nurmagomedov

It was the Russian’s first fight without his father and coach, Abdulmanap, who died from complications caused by coronavirus earlier this year.

After his win, Nurmagomedov said: “Today I want to say this is my last fight. No way am I coming here without my father.

“When UFC called me about Justin I spoke with my mother for three days.

“She didn’t want me to fight without father and I said this is my last fight – and I have given her my word.

“Thank you so much Justin. I know you are great, I know how you take care of your people. Be close with your parents, because you never know what is going to happen tomorrow.

“Thank you coach, thank you guys. Today is my last fight in the UFC.

“It was my father’s dream. Justin and Conor will fight in January, I have choked both out, I am not interested in this.”

Khabib's gloves from his fight (Pic: UFC Twitter)
Khabib’s gloves from his fight. Pic: Twitter/UFC

UFC president Dana White revealed after the fight that Nurmagomedov had competed with a broken foot and that by retiring with a 29-0 record he has to be considered as one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time.

White said: “What this guy’s been through, we’re all lucky that we got to see him fight tonight.

“I’m hearing rumours of other things that I didn’t know about that you guys will hear about when he comes out later, I’m sure.

“Apparently, he was in the hospital, he broke his foot three weeks ago. So he has two broken toes and a bone in his foot that’s broken or something like that. That’s what his corner was telling me.

“He is one of the toughest human beings on the planet. He is just the number one pound for pound fighter in the world. And seriously, I have to start putting him up there at G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time) status with whoever else you think is the G.O.A.T.”

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Khabib Nurmagomedov retires from MMA after beating Justin Gaethje to retain his UFC lightweight title

UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has called time on his mixed martial arts career following a second-round submission win over Justin Gaethje, leaving his gloves in the centre of the octagon to fulfil a promise to his mother.

He wore down his opponent on Saturday with his constant forward pressure before mounting Gaethje and locking him in a triangle choke that rendered the American unconscious to extend his record to 29 wins and no defeats.

Many questioned if he would have the heart for the fight against Gaethje following the July death of his 57-year-old father, Abdulmanap, due to complications caused by COVID-19.

His father had schooled him in combat sports from an early age and was in his corner in Abu Dhabi in September 2019 when Khabib choked out Dustin Poirier, on that occasion using a rear naked choke in another successful title defence.

Nurmagomedov broke down in tears after clinching the title bout, announcing the end of his career.

“I talked to my mother three days [ago]. She didn’t want me to go fight without my father, but I promised her it’s going to be my last fight, and if I give my word, I have to follow this,” an emotional Khabib said in the octagon.

“It was my last fight.

After a stunning run of 13 wins in eight years and a professional record featuring eight knockouts and 11 submission wins in his 29 victories, few would argue with the 32-year-old.

UFC president Dana White revealed after the fight that Nurmagomedov had gone into his final fight with a broken foot and several broken toes.

There had been doubts Khabib Nurmagomedov would have the heart for his first fight since the death of his father and former coach Abdulmanap (left).(Instagram: Khabib Nurmagomedov)


Dynamic, controversial career for Nurmagomedov

Nurmagomedov, a Dagestan-born grappling specialist, was one of the most dynamic competitors in recent MMA history.

He developed a well-rounded game under the tutelage of his father and an MMA gym, culminating in his ascent to the UFC title in 2018.

Khabib Nurmagomedov punches Conor McGregor at UFC 229
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s (left) UFC lightweight title win over Conor McGregor (right) made him one of the world’s most famous combat sport athletes.(AP: John Locher)

Nurmagomedov stopped Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier in his next two bouts before his year-long absence from competition.


His victory over McGregor made him one of the world’s most famous combat sports athletes. He also became one of the most controversial due to a wild brawl that erupted inside and outside the cage at UFC 229.

Nurmagomedov scaled the perimeter fencing of the octagon and started brawling with a member of McGregor’s team. Both fighters were escorted from the arena by police and security and were later suspended.

The UFC scheduled this pay-per-view show at an earlier-than-normal time to cater to his vast fan base in Russia and Europe.

Nurmagomedov had spoken of retirement before and his announcement confirmed he was finished with the sport after running through most of the UFC lightweight division.

“Dustin and Conor are going to fight in January,” Nurmagomedov said, referring to the probable meeting between the former contenders at UFC 257.

“I choked them both out. I’m not interested in this.”

Also on the card at UFC 254, former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker made his case for another title shot with a solid unanimous decision over fellow contender Jared Cannonier in the penultimate bout on Fight Island.


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Khabib Nurmagomedov retires from UFC after beating Justin Gaethje

Some believe Khabib Nurmagomedov is the greatest UFC fighter of all time

Khabib Nurmagomedov extended his perfect professional record as he retained his lightweight title at UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi – then announced his retirement.

Russian Nurmagomedov, 32, defeated interim champion Justin Gaethje with a second-round triangle choke submission to claim a 29th victory and unify the 155lb title.

Nurmagomedov said he had honoured the memory of his father, coach and mentor Abdulmanap, who died in July following complications arising from Covid-19.

Despite many believing Nurmagomedov would chase his 30th professional win before contemplating retirement, the emotional champion asked his team-mates to cut his gloves off before quitting.

“It was my last fight. There’s no way I’m going to come here without my father,” he said. “It was the first time after what happened with my father, when the UFC called me about (fighting) Justin, I talked with my mother for three days.

“She didn’t want me to fight without father, but I promised her it was going to be my last fight, and if I give my word, I have to follow this. It was my last fight here.

“I know only one thing I want from the UFC: Tuesday, you guys have to put me number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world because I deserve this.

“Undisputed UFC lightweight champion, 13-0, 13 in the UFC, 29 in my pro MMA career. I think I deserve this.”

Nurmagomedov ‘broke his foot three weeks ago’

“What this guy’s been through, we’re all lucky we got to see him fight tonight,” said UFC president Dana White. “I’m hearing rumours of other things that I didn’t know about. Apparently he was in the hospital. He broke his foot three weeks ago. So he has two broken toes and a bone in his foot that’s broken – that’s what his corner was telling me. Never told anybody.

“He is one of the toughest human beings on the planet and he’s the number-one pound-for-pound fighter in the world and, seriously, you have to start putting him up there with GOAT status with whoever else you think is the GOAT.”

UFC 254, which marked the final event of the sport’s second stint on Yas Island, saw the return of Nurmagomedov, who was unable to defend his title earlier this year because of Covid-19 travel restrictions in Russia.

At the time, Nurmagomedov was due to face rival Tony Ferguson at UFC 249, but Ferguson instead faced Gaethje, and was stopped in the fifth round as ‘The Highlight’ claimed the interim title and stepped into the number-one contender spot.

Gaethje was expected to pose problems for Nurmagomedov, with his collegiate wrestling experience considered a possible antidote to the champion’s smothering grappling style.

But Nurmagomedov dominated the first round with his high-pressure approach, then submitted Gaethje in the second.

Nurmagomedov added Gaethje’s name to a list of beaten opponents that also includes Dustin Poirier, Conor McGregor, Al Iaquinta and Edson Barboza.

Khabib Nurmagomedov (second right) with his team
Khabib Nurmagomedov (second right) with his team after announcing his retirement

Nurmagomedov thanked Gaethje, who had arranged for his parents to fly internationally for the first time in their lives to watch him fight for the title, and paid tribute to a man who four years ago helped him make weight when he was struggling to lose the final few pounds for his short-notice fight with Darrell Horcher.

“Thank you so much, Justin. 2016 I remember when I cut weight, you helped me a lot. Thank you, brother,” Nurmagomedov said.

“I know how you are a great man. I know how you take care of your close people. I know a lot of things about you.

“Be close with your people, because you never know what’s going to happen tomorrow. You never know.”

Whittaker wins again while Wood nets $50,000 bonus

In the night’s co-main event, Australian former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker continued his return to form since losing his title to Israel Adesanya last October by outpointing American Jared Cannonier to move back into title contention at 185 pounds.

British bantamweight Nathaniel Wood was also in action, but was edged out on the scorecards after a back-and-forth battle with American Casey Kenney on the preliminary card. However, their 140-pound catchweight match-up was awarded “Fight of the Night” honours, with both men receiving $50,000 bonuses for their respective performances.

More tributes to Nurmagomedov

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Khabib weigh-in controversy, Justin Gaethje, MMA news, Ariel Helwani, reaction

A UFC 254 headliner between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje that Dana White says could be the highest-selling fight in company history is on – but only just.

Sunday’s blockbuster on UFC Fight Island in Abu Dhabi was mired in late controversy after allegations a friendly official helped Khabib weigh in at the 155-pound limit.

Khabib was forced to strip naked before he stepped on the scales and placed his hands on his head in relief after making weight.

But several MMA figures claimed an official manning the scale moved the balance beam before it had time to properly settle and suggested Khabib may have been overweight.

“(The beam is going in an) upwards trajectory, and it has to balance,” sports nutritionist Mike Dolce said. “It’s going up. That means he’s heavy, and (the official) wipes it there as it’s still on its way up. It doesn’t bounce and doesn’t stabilise in the centre. That’s not correct.”

“Unfortunately, in my expert opinion, I do not believe that Khabib would have made the 155-pound weight class limit on this attempt,” added Dolce, who has helped countless high-profile fighters with weight cuts.

“What we thinking he actually weighed, 158lbs?” added journalist Sean Sheehan. “Don’t care, glad the fight is on … but that was dodgy as f***.”

ESPN’s Ariel Helwani tweeted: “That’s a veteran move by the official manning the scale, eh?”

Khabib’s coach Javier Mendez said he wasn’t at the weigh-in because there were no problems with his fighter’s cut – and rejected the allegations as “stupid”.

“I asked him, ‘How was the weight cut?’ And he said, ‘Easy, coach, like last time.’ And last time wasn’t that hard,” Mendez told MMA Junkie. “I mean, all weight cuts are hard as you know, but I don’t understand (why) people are making something of nothing. It’s stupid. He wasn’t struggling. If you would’ve watched him right now, he was grappling, you’d say wow that guy is strong as hell.”

Australians Robert Whittaker and Tai Tuivasa both made weight.


Main card

Khabib Nurmagomedov (155) vs Justin Gaethje (155)

Robert Whittaker (186) vs Jared Cannonier (185)

Alexander Volkov (265) vs. Walt Harris (254)

Jacob Malkoun (186) vs. Phil Hawes (186)

Lauren Murphy (126) vs. Liliya Shakirova (126)

Magomed Ankalaev (205.5) vs. Ion Cutelaba (205.5)


Stefan Struve (265) vs. Tai Tuivasa (265)

Nathaniel Wood (140) vs. Casey Kenney (140)

Alex Oliveira (173)* vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov (171)

Da Un Jung (206) vs. Sam Alvey (206)

Liana Jojua (126) vs. Miranda Maverick (126)

Joel Alvarez (159.5)** vs. Alexander Yakovlev (155.5)

*Oliveira came in two pounds over the welterweight limit

**Alvarez came in 3.5 pounds over the lightweight limit

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