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Sports Conor McGregor holds all the UFC cards after comeback win

23:10  19 january  2020
23:10  19 january  2020 Source:   msn.com

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  Conor McGregor holds all the UFC cards after comeback win © Provided by The Canadian Press

LAS VEGAS — After three years without a victory, Conor McGregor needed only 40 seconds to reclaim his place at the centre of the mixed martial arts world.

McGregor's dynamic stoppage of Donald Cerrone in UFC 246 on Saturday night put the Irish superstar firmly in control of the future of two UFC divisions.

Every elite lightweight and welterweight will practically beg for his shot against a fighter who still commands the world's attention like nobody else. A refocused McGregor seems eager to make up for lost time after three years of inactivity and outside-the-cage misbehaviour, suggesting he could fight three more times this year.

5 moments that defined McGregor’s triumphant win over Cerrone at UFC 246

  5 moments that defined McGregor’s triumphant win over Cerrone at UFC 246 In his first UFC victory since Nov. 12, 2016, “The Notorious” Conor McGregor was back on top Saturday night after defeating Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone at UFC 246 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The post After Hours: Quinn Hughes talks NHL nicknames, and the Calder race appeared first on Sportsnet.ca.In his first UFC victory since Nov. 12, 2016, “The Notorious” one was back on top Saturday night after defeating Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone at UFC 246 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

“The whole world lights up when I fight," McGregor said. “So I want to get back out there again.”

He hadn't made a decision by the time he left T-Mobile Arena late Saturday night with a broad smile on his face and a bottle of his own branded whiskey in hand. McGregor plans to speak with UFC President Dana White and billionaire ex-UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta before he decides whether to pursue a championship belt, a revenge fight, an absurdly lucrative boxing match or any combination of the three.

The contenders already are lining up.

Popular welterweight brawler Jorge Masvidal would welcome a showdown, while welterweight champion Kamaru Usman would love to defend his title against McGregor. Both fighters watched McGregor's victory from cageside, and Masvidal even tried to goad McGregor in curious fashion by wearing the same Versace robe that McGregor famously wore a few years ago to an open workout.

UFC 246 best bets: Will McGregor be rusty in his return?

  UFC 246 best bets: Will McGregor be rusty in his return? UFC 246 takes place Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The event features a welterweight bout between Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone. Here are three of the best bets for the promotion's first pay-per-view card of the decade. Donald Cerrone (+290) vs. Conor McGregor There's no doubt McGregor should be favored against Cerrone, but it feels like some people are sleeping on "Cowboy" in this spot. The veteran always comes to fight, and that might just be all it takes to beat McGregor. After all, it's been more than a year since we've seen McGregor in the Octagon, and more than three since he got his hand raised.

Lightweight contender Justin Gaethje fights in a reckless, crowd-pleasing style guaranteed to make a compelling matchup for the similarly aggressive McGregor. Another must-see bout would be a third fight with imperious veteran Nate Diaz, who fought twice in 2019 after his own three-year break.

But White wants McGregor to wait for a fight against lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, who beat McGregor in October 2018 and subsequently sparked an ugly brawl outside the cage. The bad feelings from that promotion haven't healed, and White believes the rematch could rival the profitability of McGregor's boxing match with Floyd Mayweather.

“With how Khabib won the first time and how famous Khabib has become, we’re looking at Hagler-Hearns,” White said. “We’re looking at like Ali-Foreman, Ali-Frazier. This is a massive fight with global appeal. This is the fight that you make. This is the fight that makes sense.”

White 'blown away' by McGregor's UFC 246 performance

  White 'blown away' by McGregor's UFC 246 performance UFC president Dana White was more than impressed by Conor McGregor's 40-second TKO of Donald Cerrone in the UFC 246 main event Saturday night in Las Vegas. "I was blown away," White said at the post-fight press conference. "He looked unbelievable." Despite the fact that Cerrone entered on a two-fight losing streak, White brushed off the notion that McGregor may have won due to the fact that "Cowboy" is past his prime. "I know that there's always"I was blown away," White said at the post-fight press conference. "He looked unbelievable.

But Nurmagomedov is booked to face Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 in April, and McGregor would prefer not to wait until late summer for his next bout. Instead, he half-seriously predicted the Nurmagomedov-Ferguson bout will be scrapped and he'll be forced to step in.

McGregor also could bide his time with another absurdly lucrative boxing match. While most fight fans scoff at this entire venture, the wider world still appears to be fascinated by these spectacles, as evidenced by the money made by McGregor and Mayweather in 2017 in one of the richest pay-per-view bouts in boxing history.

Mayweather turns 43 next month and has fought once since 2015, but he immediately posted a mocked-up advertisement for the rematch on his Instagram page Saturday night. McGregor ripped it because the graphic artist didn't include the logo for McGregor's promotional company. He jokingly suggested that slight means he'll instead fight Manny Pacquiao, who has also declared his interest in the payday that comes with giving a boxing lesson to McGregor.

“I certainly would love the rematch with Floyd,” McGregor said. “It very well could happen this year. The one with Manny will also be there whenever. ... Floyd is going through money fast. He is far from retired. That rematch will happen.”

Masvidal favored to be McGregor's next opponent

  Masvidal favored to be McGregor's next opponent The odds have been released for who Conor McGregor will fight next, and Jorge Masvidal is at the top of the list. "Gamebred" opened as a -200 favorite to serve as McGregor's next opponent following the Irishman's win over Donald Cerrone at UFC 246 on Saturday in Las Vegas. McGregor and Masvidal have recently expressed interest in squaring off with each other. For a potential bout, Masvidal opened as a -165 favorite over McGregor, who's listed at"Gamebred" opened as a -200 favorite to serve as McGregor's next opponent following the Irishman's win over Donald Cerrone at UFC 246 on Saturday in Las Vegas.

Before he beat Cerrone, McGregor suggested he could fight again at UFC 248 on March 7 if he didn't take too much punishment. Cerrone failed to land a single strike, so McGregor came out totally unscathed — but it could still take a bit longer than seven weeks to sort out his next step.

At least the first simultaneous two-division champion in UFC history appears to be taking that next step with sure footing. The spotlight never left McGregor, but he didn't seem capable of meeting its demands in recent years.

“I’d achieved it all, right?” McGregor said. “I broke the game before I was 30 years of age. One belt became not enough. I achieved it all. (Coach) John (Kavanagh) says it’s the worst nightmare for a coach if a student achieves it all. I probably had to go through all that and then just come back for the love.”

McGregor was still the biggest star in the game even while he lost both of his UFC belts, dabbled in boxing and focused on whiskey, both as a successful distiller and an eager consumer.

McGregor and Nurmagomedov then engaged in a dark, ugly promotion of their first bout. Away from the cameras, McGregor was training erratically and enjoying too much of the good life created by his stardom.

He says he escaped that cloud late last year, and McGregor believes his performance against Cerrone showed the way to even brighter days if he can stay on this path.

“I love that whiskey, but you've got to respect it,” McGregor said. “You’ve got to respect that liquid, because if you don’t, it will come and get you.”

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Greg Beacham, The Associated Press

Arum wants to book McGregor vs. Crawford - in MMA, then boxing .
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum wants WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford to take on former UFC titleholder Conor McGregor in a two-fight deal - first, they meet in the Octagon, then the ring. "You don't think that would be interesting and something the public would want to see?" Arum told ESPN's Dan Rafael on Wednesday. "I think it's very realistic." Arum confirmed there have been some talks between the sides but did not provide further detail.McGregor crossed over to boxing in 2017 to take on Floyd Mayweather but lost via 10th-round TKO. It was one of the biggest matches of all time and sold the second-most pay-per-views in sports history.

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