Tag: dana white

Conor McGregor vs Tony Ferguson could happen this year, says Dana White

Conor McGregor could be fighting for a UFC title again this year (Picture: Getty Images)

Conor McGregor could get a crack at the interim UFC lightweight title against Tony Ferguson this year, according to UFC president Dana White.

Speaking at the post-fight press conference following UFC 234 White was asked about his plans if lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov fulfills his promise to not fight for a year.

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Khabib has said he will not fight until the end of the year-long bans his teammates, Zubaira Tukhugov and Abubakar Nurmagomedov, received for their part in the brawl at UFC 229.

The Dagastani predicted that the UFC would offer up an interim title if he does indeed sit out for 12 months, and White appears to agree with him.

Tony Ferguson might get a crack at Conor McGregor (Picture: Getty Images)

‘Guys can’t sit out and wait that long if they have the title, you can’t do it. So if that’s true and he (Nurmagomedov) is going to do that, then we have to figure out something else,’ White said.

‘You start looking at whether it’s Conor McGregor-Tony Ferguson, or one of these other guys. Whoever wants to…when opportunity knocks, answer the door.

‘So we will see how this thing plays out. That’s the criteria.’

Khabib Nurmagomedov beat Conor McGregor in October (Picture: Getty Images)

‘The Eagle’ holds the lightweight strap, and will not be surprised if someone else holds an interim version by the time he fights again.

‘I think that they will create an interim title,’ Khabib told Sportbox.

‘It could be between Poirier and Ferguson. Whoever wins will become the interim champion, and then at the end of the year we will fight for the real belt.

‘I think that could happen. At the moment I don’t know for sure.’

Ferguson is #1 in the lightweight rankings with McGregor at #2 so it would make sense for these two to contest an interim belt if it is up for grabs.

However, #3 Dustin Poirier and #4 Al Iaquinta will also like to be considered for a crack at the gold.

MORE: Robert Whittaker says injury that kept him out of UFC 234 was ‘potentially fatal’

MORE: Kelvin Gastelum blasted for declaring himself UFC middleweight champion after Robert Whittaker injury


Robert Whittaker says injury that kept him out of UFC 234 was ‘potentially fatal’

Robert Whittaker was forced out of UFC 234 through injury (Picture: Getty Images)

UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker has claimed the injury that forced him out of his title defence against Kelvin Gastelum on Saturday was ‘potentially fatal.’

Whittaker pulled out of the UFC 234 main event in Melbourne at the last minute due to ‘a collapsed bowel and an internal hernia.’

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The bout was scrapped as no replacement could be found at the eleventh hour, but both Whittaker and Gastelum will be hoping that it can be rescheduled as soon as possible.

However, the champion posted a video on Instagram which suggested the injury was extremely serious.

Instagram Photo

‘I had to get emergency surgery because I had a collapsed bowel and an internal hernia,’ Whittaker said in the video.

‘I tried my best I was fighting with the doctors the whole way, up until they said you’ll have to get surgery or you’ll lose part of your bowel and it will be potentially fatal.’

Whittaker also wrote on the post: ‘Hey guys ! Still kicking. I’m sorry to all my friends, fans and family for not being able to get in there Sunday.

‘Apparently if you get emergency surgeries you can’t be cleared to fight. Thanks for the overwhelming support from all my fans I am so blessed to know you guys have my back.

‘A big thanks to my team mates @fabricioitte @alexprates07@standstrongboxingcoachjustin @justinlang_ep @titusday77 and all the others from behind the scenes you guys were there from start to finish worrying and prioritizing my health above all.

‘Lastly to @danawhite and @ufc for the immediate help and support throughout the process of testing and the emergency surgeries. I am blessed I found out when I did and avoided life long consequences. I’ll be back better than ever.’

Kelvin Gastelum has claimed victory via forfeit (Picture: Getty Images)

Gastelum claimed that he won the fight due to Whittaker forfeiting and was even walking around with a UFC belt at the event, however, this drew criticism from his fellow fighters.

The two could be back in the Octagon soon, though, with UFC president Dana White hoping that Whittaker will be healthy again within a month.

‘It’s one of those situations had it popped out during the fight, it could have been fatal for him,’ said White.

‘So this is really serious, we don’t know exactly what happened with the doctor. Hopefully they popped it back in and sewed it up and if that’s the case, he’ll be four weeks.

‘This was a freak, freak injury, less than one percent — our doctor here at the UFC, who’s been doing this for 30 years, has never seen it ever in his career and not in a young person. It’s usually in much older people.’

MORE: Kelvin Gastelum blasted for declaring himself UFC middleweight champion after Robert Whittaker injury

MORE: Conor McGregor calls for Anderson Silva and Nate Diaz fights following UFC 234

Kelvin Gastelum blasted for declaring himself UFC middleweight champion after Robert Whittaker injury

Kelvin Gastelum wound up a few people on Saturday night (Picture: Getty Images)

Kelvin Gastelum may have missed out on the UFC 234 main event due to Robert Whittaker’s injury, but his reaction riled up some of his fellow fighters.

Whittaker pulled out of the middleweight title fight at the last minute due to a hernia, forcing the bout to be scrapped.

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It was a blow for Gastelum who missed out on his first shot at UFC gold, but he wasn’t to be denied as he came to the Rod Laver Arena with a title belt and watched the action holding the strap.

The 27-year-old even declared himself the middleweight champion via forfeit.

‘I got this nice shiny little belt now,’ Gastelum told ESPN.

‘In my world, the wrestling world where I grew up in, a guy shows up makes the weight, but for whatever reason cannot continue on in the competition, that’s a forfeit. Automatically that makes me the champion.

‘So here I am, the middleweight world champion. Rob is out due to injury, that’s a forfeit.’

Gastelum repeated the sentiment when talking to the UFC: ‘Guys, I’m now the middleweight champion. When Robert recovers, I’ll give him a shot at my title.’

However, former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion Conor McGregor was not impressed by Gastelum’s claims on the title.

McGregor tweeted: ‘Why is that worm holding the 185lb belt? There are worms crawling on his skin! It was absolutely ludicrous to even consider allowing him to compete.

‘Let alone now walk around the arena shaking our fans hands. Someone sort this, this instant. And sterilize that belt. Immediately.’

However, Gastelum didn’t take that lightly, responding on Twitter: ‘Come take it off…. Little prick!’

With Whittaker out of the main event at UFC 234, Israel Adesanya and Anderson Silva headlined the card in Melbourne with Adesanya picking up a unanimous decision victory.

The New Zealander, who is also a serious contender at middleweight was quick to threaten Gastelum after his win.

‘Kelvin, put that belt down, seriously,’ said ‘The Last Style Bender in the Octagon. ‘What you going to do when I run wild on you?’

Israel Adesanya took his pro record to 16-0 by beating Anderson Silva (Picture: Getty Images)

UFC president Dana White was not so scathing but was fairly dismissive of Gastelum putting UFC gold over his shoulder.

‘That was [Henry] Cejudo’s belt he borrowed,’ said White in the post-fight press conference. ‘That was cute.’

MORE: Conor McGregor calls for Anderson Silva and Nate Diaz fights following UFC 234

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Conor McGregor calls for Anderson Silva and Nate Diaz fights following UFC 234

Conor McGregor is looking for a fight (Picture: Getty Images)

Conor McGregor is in fighting mood as he called for bouts against Anderson Silva and Nate Diaz after UFC 234 in Melbourne, Australia.

McGregor watched Israel Adesanya defeat Anderson in the main event in Melbourne, and tweeted that, ‘it would be an honor’ to fight the Brazilian legend.

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However, the Irishman is also open to other opportunities, suggesting that he could fight Nate Diaz for a third time, in Curitiba, Brazil.

‘Anderson is one crafty, crafty Martial Artist,’ McGregor tweeted.

Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor have each won one of their fights (Picture: Getty Images)

‘You only develop these methods through years of hard fought experience.

‘Phenomenal performance. The crafty veteran. Big respect always.

‘It would be an honor!’

In the post-fight press conference, Anderson suggested that he should rematch Nick Diaz in Curitiba, and McGregor was keen to get involved with that card.

‘I think it makes sense for me and Nick Diaz to fight in Curitiba,’ said Anderson.

‘Book it. I’ll fight Nate on it,’ responded McGregor.

The former featherweight and lightweight champion has also been linked with a fight against Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone, with the American even stating that it could be for an interim lightweight title.

Cowboy and Diaz remain possible contenders for McGregor, but according to UFC president Dana White, the Anderson fight looks unlikely.

When White was informed Conor had called for a scrap with ‘Spider’ he was not impressed: ‘Did he really? No, I don’t like that fight at all,’ said White.

Anderson suffered a unanimous decision defeat to Adesanya at UFC 234 with the judges turning in scorecards of 29-28 and 30-27 twice.

However, the Brazilian has been widely praised for acquitting himself extremely well at 43-years-old against a 16-0, undefeated star 14 years his junior.

The main event at UFC 234 was pulled at the last minute as middleweight champion had to pull out of his defence against Kelvin Gastelum due to a hernia.

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Dana White ready to make Conor McGregor vs Donald Cerrone if UFC fans want to see it

McGregor is searching for his next opponent (Picture: Getty)

Dana White insists he will sanction a showdown between Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone if that is the fight the UFC fans want to see.

Cerrone’s stunning knockout performance against Alex Hernandez caught the attention of McGregor, with the Irishman tweeting after UFC Fight Night 143 he had been convinced to accept the fight.

Cowboy has been campaigning for several months for a fight with McGregor, but admitted it was down to the two-weight champion to make the call.

And after McGregor’s tweet sparked speculation his next opponent had been found, UFC president Dana White was asked if the match-up was possible.

‘Yeah, I mean anything is possible,’ White said at Saturday’s post-fight press conference.

‘If those guys want that and the fans want to see it, that’s what I do.’

Cerrone is back in the lightweight division (Picture: Getty)

While Cerrone suggested he would love to fight McGregor in his own backyard in Dublin, rival lightweights raged against the idea.

Cerrone’s victory over Hernandez was his first fight at lightweight since the end of 2015.

Dustin Poirier, Al Iaquinta and Kevin Lee make up the top five of the lightweight contenders alongside McGregor and Tony Ferguson.

And the top fighters who are all scrambling to get a title shot or fight McGregor lashed out at the idea of Cerrone jumping the queue.

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 06: Conor McGregor of Ireland enters the Octagon before facing Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia in their UFC lightweight championship bout during the UFC 229 event inside T-Mobile Arena on October 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Cerrone is chasing a fight with McGregor (Picture: Getty)

‘You would take #14 over #4, you bird ass,’ said Iaquinta replying to McGregor’s tweet.

‘If Conor doesn’t have to fight Ferguson, Dustin, myself or Lee next he’s an absolute Nancy… smart guy… but Nancy.’

Iaquinta’s comments were echoed by Lee and Poirier, but the UFC is some way off making a decision about McGregor’s next move.

MORE: Conor McGregor tells Donald Cerrone he will fight him as Cowboy suggests UFC showdown in Ireland

TJ Dillashaw slams referee for early stoppage in UFC showdown with Henry Cejudo

Cejudo was shoved off Dillashaw after 32 seconds (Picture: Getty)

TJ Dillashaw was furious with the referee after his title fight with Henry Cejudo was stopped after 32 seconds.

Cejudo defended his flyweight title against the bantamweight champion and took just seconds to send Dillashaw to the canvas.

Dillashaw attempted to fend off the flurry of punches, but the referee stepped in to call the fight after a second knockdown.

UFC boss Dana White also questioned the officiating, as Dillashaw accused the referee of robbing him of his chance to make history.

‘Sucks to have it stolen from you,’ Dillashaw said at the post-fight press conference.

‘I worked my butt off. It would be nice to actually get the chance to show it. It’s a title fight.

(Picture: Getty)

‘It’s a champ vs champ fight, and you’re going to stop the fight like that? I’m in on a single leg.

‘[The referee] said, ‘Hey, show me something.’ I said, ‘OK.’ I’m on a single leg in a scramble, [Cejudo] stops punching, he’s defending a single leg, and [the referee’s] going to stop the fight?

‘It’s just ridiculous. It’s pretty pathetic that I have better knowledge [than the referee].’

Kevin MacDonald was the referee in charge (Picture: Getty)

Cejudo had no problem with the stoppage, saying he felt Dillashaw’s body go ‘limp’ at one stage.

White criticised the ‘local ref’, Kevin MacDonald, who has 15 years of experience and has officiated for the UFC and Bellator.

MacDonald has overseen title fights for the UFC in the past, but White slammed the stoppage as ‘horrible’.

‘I thought it was an early stoppage, too,’ White said.

Dillashaw immediately protested to the referee (Picture: Getty

‘You’ve got two of the best guys in the world, two world champions in a super fight. Let them fight.

‘Let them finish. I’m not taking anything away from Cejudo cause the fight went 20 seconds and Cejudo busted him up.

‘I’m sure when you saw him sitting here, he looks like was in a three round fight but Jesus Christ, let them fight. Horrible stoppage.’

MORE: Conor McGregor tells Donald Cerrone he will fight him as Cowboy suggests UFC showdown in Ireland