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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

MMA

Conor McGregor favored in potential boxing match with Oscar De La Hoya

Conor McGregor

It wasn’t that long ago that Oscar De La Hoya was blasting the Conor McGregor boxing match with Floyd Mayweather Jr. Now De La Hoya has done a 180 and wants to be a primary participant in such a sideshow, and oddsmakers think such a fight would be very close.

De La Hoya, who hasn’t fought since 2008, said on Golden Boy Radio with Tattoo and the Crew that he has been training and would beat McGregor in two rounds.

“I still have it in me. I’ve been secretly training. I’m faster than ever and stronger than ever,” De La Hoya said. “I know I can take out Conor McGregor in two rounds. I’ll come back for that fight. Two rounds. Just one more [fight]. I’m calling him out. Two rounds, that’s all I need. That’s all I’m going to say.”

That’s quite a change in attitude for Oscar, who called the McGregor-Mayweather fight a “circus.” He was mostly upset that the two slid their fight in a few weeks before his megafight between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin, taking the spotlight away from Golden Boy Promotions’ biggest fight of the year.

This isn’t the first time since retiring that De La Hoya has entertained the idea of fighting. Two years ago he was talking about facing Mayweather.

Just to show how far he would have to come to get a win after so many years out of the ring, De La Hoya is a slight underdog in the fight. One sportsbook has McGregor as a -125 favorite, with De La Hoya as a +105 underdog.

Personally, a match between McGregor and Paulie Malignaggi would be much more interesting.

H/T Bloody Elbow

Conor McGregor goes nuts on ref during post-fight celebration with Charlie Ward

Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor was a spectator for Bellator 187 in Dublin Friday night, but the UFC champion managed to become a huge part of the show after watching his partner knock out an opponent.

McGregor sat ringside for Charlie Ward’s fight against John Redmond, and “The Notorious” was so excited for his teammate’s victory that he climbed into the cage to tackle him. Since he wasn’t a licensed cornerman, referee Marc Goddard tried to get McGregor to leave. That didn’t sit well with the Irishman.

In another video that TMZ shared, McGregor was shown trying to get back into the ring after security guards finally managed to get him to leave. He slapped a security staffer in the head and kept shouting “that was a f—ing stoppage!”

As Peter Carroll of MMAFighting.com notes, McGregor has a history with Goddard. At a previous UFC event in Poland, Goddard told McGregor to back away from the ringside when he was shouting instructions at Artem Lobov, who is another teammate.

The Bellator employee that McGregor slapped was Mike Johnson, and the organization released a statement Friday night saying it is looking into the incident.

“We’re are aware of the in-cage altercation involving Conor McGregor and a Bellator staff member,” the statement read. “Viacom and Bellator hold the safety and well-being of our staff in the highest regard and we’re currently reviewing the situation.”

Dana White recently announced a potential date for McGregor’s next UFC fight. While you never want to see antics like the ones we saw from McGregor on Friday, that type of behavior is what makes him such a big draw.

Georges St-Pierre taken to hospital after UFC 217 with neck injury

Georges St-Pierre

Georges St-Pierre’s victory during UFC 217 came with an injury that resulted in a trip to a local hospital afterward.

St-Pierre and Michael Bisping went to battle in the main event of last weekend’s event at Madison Square Garden. St-Pierre claimed the win via a rear-naked choke in the third round.

After the bout, St-Pierre was noticeably absent from the post-fight press conference. During an interview with MMAFighting.com, St-Pierre revealed it was because of a neck injury that required him to go to the hospital. You can hear him describing what happened below.

The fight was the first for St-Pierre since 2013. There likely won’t be as long a wait to see the mixed martial arts legend in the octagon again. Robert Whittaker is slated to be St-Pierre’s next opponent. When that takes place will depend on injuries picked up by both fighters. In addition to the neck injury suffered by St-Pierre, Whittaker is working his way back from a left knee injury he sustained against Yoel Romero in July.

Dana White: Conor McGregor could fight at UFC 219

Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor has not fought in the UFC since defeating Eddie Alvarez with a second-round KO to win the lightweight belt in November of 2016, but that could soon change.

After some time away to prepare and hold a world class mega-fight with boxing legend Floyd Mayweather, UFC president Dana White said on Tuesday that McGregor’s octagon return could come as early as UFC 219, which will be held in Las Vegas.

If McGregor does return at UFC 219, it’s expected that he’ll defend his lightweight title against interim champion Tony Ferguson.

White also hinted that somewhere down the line, it’s possible McGregor will enter into another world class mega-fight, this time with Georges St. Pierre, who returned at UFC 217 with an impressive victory over Michael Bisping.

“Listen, I’ll never say never but [GSP] weighs 185 and Conor weighs 155,” White told TMZ Sports.

Although any fight between McGregor and GSP rests in the distant future, Bovada sportsbook has already given GSP the better odds.

GSP beats Michael Bisping, says he ‘did it for the challenge’

Georges St-Pierre

Georges St-Pierre had a historic win over Michael Bisping at UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.

St-Pierre returned to the Octagon for the first time since 2013 and stepped up in weight. A longtime UFC Welterweight champ, GSP submitted Bisping to capture the UFC Middleweight Championship.

With the win, GSP joins Conor McGregor, BJ Penn, and Randy Couture as the only fighters in UFC history to become champion in two different weight classes.

“This is not my real weight, I did it for the challenge,” St-Pierre told Joe Rogan in his interview after the fight.

There were many questions surrounding St-Pierre entering Saturday’s fight. The two centered around both his lengthy absence from fighting, as well as his step up in weight. He answered both without issue.

GSP dominated from the start and looked like his typically sound self. He was dictating pace and not getting hit much in the first round. He got a takedown in the second but ended up with a cut on his nose. In the third, he dropped Bisping and then started raining down elbows. Though he was unable to finish Bisping with elbows, he pounced in for a submission and won by rear naked choke.

The way GSP ended the fight was notable; from 2009-2013, St-Pierre went seven straight fights where he won by a decision. This was his first submission win since 2007.

TJ Dillashaw calls out Demetrious Johnson after UFC 217 win

TJ Dillashaw

TJ Dillashaw knocked out Cody Garbrandt in the second round of their fight at UFC 217 on Saturday in New York to claim the UFC Bantamweight Championship, and then he quickly set his eyes on another fighter.

Dillashaw called out Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, who is the UFC Flyweight champion.

Mighty Mouse won the inaugural UFC Flyweight Championship in 2012 and has successfully defended it 11 times in a row since then. Dillashaw fights at a class above that as a bantamweight.

Dillashaw, 31, made an impressive comeback against Garbrandt in their fight. He was knocked down by Garbrandt late in the first and appeared to be in trouble, but he was saved by the bell. In the second round, he did some damage. He nailed Garbrandt with a left high kick that left his opponent stunned. He followed up with a right hand that knocked Garbrandt to the ground. He then hopped on top of Garbrandt and started pounding him until the fight was stopped at 2:41 in the second.

The defeat marked the first of Garbrandt’s career as he was previously 11-0.

It’s unclear at what weight Johnson and Dillashaw would meet if they were to fight, though previous talks had Dillashaw dropping down to 125. Dillashaw and the UFC have long wanted this fight to happen. The question is whether Johnson would approve it.

Greg Hardy knocks out opponent in 32 seconds in MMA debut

Greg Hardy

Greg Hardy’s latest athletic endeavor is off to a pretty good start.

After an NFL career that last saw him play for the Cowboys in 2015, Hardy has since turned his attention to mixed martial arts. On Saturday, the former Pro Bowl defensive end made his debut at an event in Florida. Hardy was victorious via knockout in a fight that lasted just 32 seconds.

Here’s some footage of Hardy in action.

Hardy, 29, spent six seasons in the NFL, mostly with the Panthers. In 75 games, he recorded 40 sacks, including 15 in 2013. Hardy’s football career went downhill after being accused of domestic violence. Last year, he was arrested for possession of cocaine.

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