WrestleMania 36: Preview, predictions and full card

WrestleMania 36 will certainly go down in the history books as WWE hosts the event over two nights this weekend.

Recorded at the company's training facility in Orlando, Florida, this year the show has been billed as "Too Big For Just One Night".

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, many thought it would be postponed, but Vince McMahon was determined 'the show must go on'.

No less than nine title matches are set to be contested at WrestleMania, but unusually there won't be any fans in attendance cheering on the action.

Scotland’s Drew McIntyre will look to become the first British WWE Champion, as he attempts to topple 'The Beast', Brock Lesnar.

Meanwhile, last minute replacement Braun Strowman will challenge Goldberg in a WWE Universal Championship showdown.

Raw Women's Champion Becky Lynch takes on challenger Shanya Baszler,  SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley puts her title on the line in a Fatal 5-Way Elimination Match, and Rhea Ripley defends her NXT Championship against Charlotte Flair.

Elsewhere on the card, Edge battles Randy Orton in a Last Man Standing match; Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins collide; Daniel Bryan challenges Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn; and Otis looks to overcome Dolph Ziggler to not only win the bout, but the heart of Mandy Rose.

Here is a match-by-match breakdown of the show.

Elias vs King Corbin

Singles match 

Not many people will be hyped for this match, but with nothing at stake, these two really do have an opportunity to prove that shouldn't be the case. Corbin is one of the best heels in the WWE, who is always able to step things up when the spotlight is on. However, Elias' in-ring ability is questionable and it's a shock that he has been given a singles match at Mania, when there are plenty of other candidates. This should be a pretty physical encounter and one which will probably include a guitar at some stage, but should result in King Corbin getting the three count.

Predicted winner: King Corbin 

Otis vs Dolph Ziggler (with Mandy Rose)

Singles match 

This match in some ways is going to be the one mainly affected by the lack of a crowd. While it isn't a high profile match, the WWE audience are absolutely invested in everything that Otis does and add in a simple story and you have a great match, built purely for crowd reaction. But I still think that given the circumstances, these two will be able to put on a highly entertaining bout, with the inclusion of Mandy Rose.

Everyone in the WWE Universe is routing for underdog Otis to "get the girl", and there probably isn't a better opponent for him than a chiselled, tanned, handsome Dolph Ziggler. The Show Off has so far been the one getting the upper hand, I suspect things come unstuck for him here and we get an Otis victory followed by a kiss with Mandy, to put an end to this feud.

Predicted winner: Otis

The Kabuki Warriors (c) vs Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross

Tag team match for the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship 

Since its inception, the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship has always felt like a bit of an afterthought and so it shouldn't really come as a surprise that this match has also been thrown together without much of a build. The good news is that this match features four very capable workers who should be able to put on something entertaining regardless. The Kabuki Warriors need to split up and should both go on to singles success and so a title switch should take place in this one, with Asuka and Sane catapulting into a singles title programme.

Predicted winners: Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross 

Sami Zayn (c) vs Daniel Bryan 

Singles match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship

It's a shame this match has arisen with minimal build, as these are two of the very best performers on the WWE roster. That means that we are certainly in for an entertaining affair, but what is a pro wrestling match without any build-up or drama? Nevertheless, if anyone is able to pull off something incredible in an empty arena then it's likely this pair, who regardless will probably go even harder, in an attempt to produce a match of the weekend effort.

With Zayn only recently capturing the Intercontinental Championship, it would be a little premature to take the title off him, and he will likely win, unless there is some outside interference from his allies Cesaro and Nakamura, and Bryan's newfound friend Drew Gulak. Either way, this is a contest you do not want to miss.

Predicted winner: Sami Zayn 

The Street Profits (c) vs Austin Theory and Angel Garza

Tag team match for the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship 

This contest is the one that has probably changed the most ahead of the show, as it was originally slated to be a three-way match. That aside, it should still be a very solid clash as these four up and comers have a lot to gain and not much to lose, and we often see something special when that is the case, as it is their opportunity to prove they belong on the big stage.

The Street Profits are already a well established team and Garza is certainly a favourite backstage. Austin Theory is someone who just looks like a WWE star and anyone who has watched him in Evolve will have been impressed with his work. This could be a great opener on either night and will make everyone else on the card step up their game. But given how much the line-up has changed, it's hard to see any other outcome than a Street Profits victory.

Predicted winners: The Street Profits

Singles match for the NXT Women’s Championship

Rhea Ripley (c) vs Charlotte Flair

Fans are looking forward to seeing this match play out and have been encouraged by the story told by both Charlotte and Rhea so far. Having won the Royal Rumble and securing herself a future title shot, Charlotte could have gone after either the Raw or SmackDown women's belts, but instead opted to go for the NXT Championship, in a swerve which has helped to strengthen the NXT brand.

Adding the star power of Charlotte to NXT shows was great creatively, and sprinkling in the history that these two have, stemming back to them meeting in the ring at Survivor Series last year, means we have a great match on our hands. Charlotte certainly steps up a gear in big events and will likely bring the very best version of herself.

Rhea meanwhile is clearly highly thought of and it wouldn't be a surprise to see her making her main roster debut in the coming months. That being said, it's hard to envisage her going over at the expense of Charlotte and suspect Miss Flair will add world title reign number 12 to her ever impressive resume. But certainly don't sleep on this match – it could steal the show.

Predicted winner: Charlotte Flair

Aleister Black vs Bobby Lashley (with Lana) 

Singles match

This is another contest which was seemingly just thrown together, given we won't be getting the annual Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal. However, while it makes little sense from a storyline perspective, we could potentially get something good out of this one. It's encouraging to see Aleister Black get a singles opportunity and given both men's mixed martial arts background, I am hopeful this won't be a complete disaster.

Black has been built slowly by the promotion and must be on the cusp of winning a major title in the coming months. Lashley has somehow overcome his love triangle angle with Lana and Rusev, and probably still has a run left in him at the WWE Championship. But based on recent performances and his character, there is definitely more for Black to gain in picking up a win.

Predicted winner: Aleister Black

The Miz and John Morrison (c) vs The New Day vs The Usos

Triple Threat Ladder match for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship 

It's very intriguing to see how a match which is so dependent on the reaction of the crowd to high spots will be played out in an empty arena, but surely that's part of the appeal? These three teams are all veterans in their trade and the match won't be any less crazy.

The addition of The Miz and Morrison to the tag team picture on SmackDown is very much welcome, as we have seen so many matches between The New Day and The Usos before.This match-up could be used to help build to a Miz/Morrison vs Usos feud further down the line. The champions are still establishing themselves as the top team on SmackDown, so it's too early to take the titles off them here.

Predicted winners: The Miz and John Morrison 

Edge vs Randy Orton 

Last Man Standing match

 

This match has had the perfect build and is the bout many fans are most looking forward to. Having shocked the WWE Universe with his return at the Royal Rumble, Edge has been on a path of destruction to take out his former ally turned foe Randy Orton.

Orton has stepped up big time and laid down some of the best work of his WWE career to build towards this encounter. The promo he cut on Edge before taking out his wife Beth Phoenix with an RKO will stand up against any other promo by any wrestler on the planet this year. Snarly, cocky Randy is the best version of him and we have seen plenty of that ahead of this huge match.

Including the Last Man Standing gimmick is a smart choice and will certainly help Edge, should he have any ring rust after so long out of action. Orton has spent most of this rivalry with the upper hand, yet surely the Rated R Superstar will finally put down the Viper.

Predicted winner: Edge 

Kevin Owens vs Seth Rollins

Singles match 

Unlike many contests on this card, this match has more than enough of a backstory. Cast your minds all the way back to Survivor Series 2019 and that is when this feud began. The back and forth between the pair has been pretty solid throughout and there is no denying this is going to be a banger.

The Monday Night Messiah role really suits Seth Rollins and his heel work clearly surpasses his babyface persona, which was almost shoved down our throats. Kevin Owens has played his role superbly and frustrated Rollins and his disciples (Buddy Murphy and AOP) so much so that Seth demanded this WrestleMania clash.

With Rollins having spent a majority of his career at the top of the podium, now is the right time to pull the trigger on an Owens run and a victory over the former world champion will certainly help build his credibility as a top guy – despite longtime fans already knowing just how good he is.

Predicted winner: Kevin Owens 

John Cena vs 'The Fiend' Bray Wyatt

Firefly Fun House match

 

If WWE give Bray Wyatt the creative freedom he has earned, we could be in for a real treat in this match, especially as he is looking to achieve something he couldn't do six years ago, when he failed to beat John Cena at WrestleMania 30. 'Big Match John' makes for a great opponent and a win would add much needed credibility to 'The Fiend', which was knocked out of him by suffering defeat to Goldberg.

Nobody has any idea as to what we will see in this match and that air of mystique certainly makes it much more appealing than a straight up singles clash. With Cena's time in Hollywood he will surely also have some creative input and we shouldn't get a repeat of the Wyatt/Orton Sister Abigail house fight.

The reaction from fans was universally negative when Goldberg took out 'The Fiend' without even breaking a sweat and so if the company want to build him back up as a devastating monster, then they need to start with this match. A Cena win would signal the end of 'The Fiend', so they cannot drop the ball here. He needs this win more than anyone else on this card.

Predicted winner: Bray Wyatt

Bayley (c) vs Lacey Evans vs Naomi vs Sasha Banks vs Tamina

Fatal 5-Way Elimination match for the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship 

Now this is a classic case of throwing some talent into a match and seeing what happens, rather than building to a singles match in which the champion defends against a worthy challenger. This has certainly fallen victim to the omission of a Women's Battle Royal and the inclusion of some of the participants make literally zero sense.

But let's look at the positives. We have Bayley, Naomi and Sasha all involved, all of whom are very capable of bringing out a decent match on a big stage. The story of Bayley and Sasha will undoubtedly be the highlight of this match and anything other than them facing off as the final two will be a disappointment, yet it might work out that way.

This is the only women's match in which I predict the champion walks in and out of WrestleMania with her title. A Sasha vs Bayley storyline has to be the direction off the back of this and we will certainly see Sasha hold the title in the coming months, but just not on this show.

Predicted winner: Bayley

The Undertaker vs AJ Styles 

Boneyard match

 

While many feel as though Undertaker's best days are behind him, the build-up to this match has certainly been enjoyable. Starting with Taker making a 'surprise appearance' in Saudi Arabia, to him taking out Gallows and Anderson and 'shooting' on AJ in a recent promo, WWE bookers have done the best they can to get fans invested in this encounter. With the addition of the 'Boneyard match' stipulation almost certainly being used to mask Taker's limitations given his age, Styles remains an opponent who can bring out the best in anyone.

Given the prestige of taking The Undertaker's streak has well and truly passed, AJ Styles may get the upper hand and walk out of WrestleMania with a win over the Deadman. However, this won't be the last time we see Taker on WWE programming with Survivor Series this year marking his 30th anniversary – surely the perfect time for him to bow out.

Predicted winner: AJ Styles

Goldberg (c) vs Braun Strowman

Singles match for the WWE Universal Championship

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With the removal of Roman Reign due to injury, things have definitely been thrown into a spin, so now there is no other way to go than a Goldberg victory. Braun Strowman being roped in at the last minute pretty much sums up his WWE career to date and while he has held the IC Championship lately, even that first run with singles gold was a disappointment for the Monster Among Men.

Everything about Strowman shouts out WWE Champion, but clearly he isn;t held in as much high regard as he possibly should be. This match has to be a prelude to an eventual Reigns victory, and so Goldberg should spear Strowman out of his boots relatively quickly and walk out as champion.

Predicted winner: Goldberg 

Becky Lynch (c) vs Shayna Baszler 

Singles match for the WWE Raw Women's Championship

 

I can't confess to being too blown away by Lynch's Raw Women's title run, which started at last year's WrestleMania in such amazing fashion. Whether it's a case of a comedown from reaching such a pinnacle in the business or not, her work since has almost been detrimental to her character, which she worked so hard to build in the run up to WrestleMania 35.

The build up to this match has been uninspiring, even though Shayna Baszler is clearly hungry (pardon the pun) for the opportunity. These two definitely have the ability to put on a solid and hard hitting match, but Becky is definitely someone who feeds off the crowd, and here that will be absent.

Perhaps 'The Man' gimmick has run its course, and that added to just how well Baszler handled herself as the NXT Women's Champion during her 416-day reign, will give the promotion enough confidence in her to switch the title and let Baszler step forward as the new top woman on Raw.

Predicted winner: Shayna Baszler 

Brock Lesnar (c) vs Drew McIntyre

Singles match for the WWE Championship

 

This is the match which should close out the spectacle of WrestleMania and grant us our first ever British WWE Champion. It has been building very nicely since the shock Royal Rumble moment in which Drew McIntyre dumped Brock Lesnar out like he was a nobody with a thunderous Claymore Kick and guaranteed he would be heading to WrestleMania as the challenger.

Since then, the promotion has done a great job in building up just how much of a threat Drew is to Brock's WWE title, with Scotland's finest standing tall over Brock at Raw, and going into WrestleMania with all the momentum. The only disappointment is that should he conquer 'The Beast', it will be in front of an empty arena, but let's put that to one side.

Lesnar is a special attraction and while his title reign has been very entertaining, it's right now to hand that baton over to a younger, hungrier talent and for Drew to prove that the stock that the company has invested in him was worth it.

Predicted winner: Drew McIntyre

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Anthony Yarde's grandma becomes second member of family to die of coronavirus

British boxer Anthony Yarde has confirmed the death of his grandmother due to coronavirus, within a week of his father passing away for the same reason.

The 28-year-old appealed to fans to take the pandemic seriously after suffering tragic losses to two family members within such a short space of time.

The light-heavyweight wrote on Instagram: ‘We have now lost my Nanna to this virus. My dad and his mother have passed days apart.

‘It’s serious! People are still going out when they don’t need to.

‘I know there’s a lot of opinions about Covid-19 and I have mine but I just know opinions aren’t worth risking your life and others.

‘Just stay at home.

‘RIP Dad 27.3.20. RIP Nana 2.4.20

‘My heart really goes out to all the people suffering in different ways.’

This came just days after he posted a similar post about the passing of his fatehr.

‘I’m a very private person and TBH I’m still in shock but maybe this can help people stay home,’ wrote Yarde last weekend.

‘My Dad passed away from this virus yesterday and he was fit with no health issues. ‘The more people go out and mingle the longer this isolation will last and the more it will spread. ‘I’m not a doctor but I do know if you stay home you are less likely to catch it or pass it on.

‘It’s seriously not worth the risk.’

Yarde’s promoter Frank Warren responded to the tragedy with a statement: ‘We are extremely sad to learn that Anthony Yarde has now lost his Nan to the Coronavirus.

‘We can’t begin to imagine what Anthony and his family are going through and our sincere condolences go out to them.

‘Please listen to his heartfelt personal plea, stay at home to save lives.’

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CM Punk makes surprising Brock Lesnar revelation ahead of WWE WrestleMania 36

CM Punk claims WWE Champion Brock Lesnar is a “f****n’ sweetheart” and that a lot of people have got the wrong idea about him. Lesnar is considered by many as WWE’s most dominant and dangerous superstar thanks to his brute strength, impeccable speed and strict demeanour.

I don’t want to ruin his image. I think he’s a f****n’ sweetheart

CM Punk

However, Punk claims that below that tough surface there is a very nice man with a “big heart” who supported him throughout his career.

The Best in the World revealed that after he left WWE in 2014 for UFC, where The Beast enjoyed tremendous success, he received a text from the WWE Champion offering to help him with his transition.

CM Punk told ESPN: “I don’t want to ruin his image. I think he’s a f****n’ sweetheart”.

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“This is a guy, when I got into MMA and I left wrestling, he was texting me, ‘Hey, if you need any help.’

“I’m always kind of a standoffish guy. It’s hard to open up and trust people in the pro-wrestling world. But he was never anything but a real sweetheart. It was a pleasure to work with him. He’s just a great guy, I think.

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“I think Brock has got a big heart, and that’s something a lot of people don’t talk about. They’ll talk about the freak strength and the crazy athletic things he’s done in his career, the accomplishments.

“But they don’t talk about the fact that he loves his wife, his kids, lives on a farm and just kind of wants to be left alone.

“All the fame and the money and everything is really just a side effect of being successful at what he wants to do.”

CM Punk and Lesnar faced off in an incredible bout at SummerSlam 2013, which saw the UFC legend getting his hand raised after the bell.

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Their paths have since separated as The Straightedge superstar left Vince McMahon’s promotion unceremoniously citing creative differences and health problems for a hapless UFC stint six years ago.

Lesnar is set to defend the WWE Championship against British superstar Drew McIntyre at WrestleMania 36 this weekend behind closed doors.

Reports suggest that The Conqueror rates McIntyre very highly and the Scotsman claims he has enjoyed working with the legendary fighter.

If The Scottish Terminator beats the eight-time world champion at WrestleMania he will become the first ever British world champion in WWE history.

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Khabib Nurmagomedov hits out at Conor McGregor

‘He looks like an old prostitute’: Khabib Nurmagomedov hits out at Conor McGregor after Irishman tries to gatecrash UFC rival’s interview

  • Khabib Nurmagomedov was being interviewed by a reporter on Instagram
  • Conor McGregor sent a request to be in the video to Nurmagomedov’s surprise
  • McGregor has recently accused bitter rival Nurmagomedov of ‘chickening out’
  • Nurmagomedov announced on Wednesday evening that he was back in Russia

Khabib Nurmagomedov has labelled Conor McGregor an ‘old prostitute’ after the Irishman tried to gatecrash the Russian’s interview.

Nurmagomedov was being interviewed by an ESPN reporter on Instagram and McGregor sent a request to be in the video. 

To which Nurmagomedov responded: ‘You know what I feel? He looks like an old prostitute who wants attention.

Khabib Nurmagomedov was being interviewed by an ESPN reporter on Instagram

McGregor tried to gatecrash the interview by requesting to be in the video on Instagram

‘Like old prostitute that wants attention, his time is done.’

McGregor has accused bitter rival Nurmagomedov of ‘chickening out’ of his UFC lightweight title defence against Tony Ferguson later this month.

Nurmagomedov announced on Wednesday evening that he was back in his native Dagestan and ruled out the prospect of breaking the coronavirus quarantine to compete at UFC 249 on April 18 at a venue still to be decided.

UFC president Dana White has been at pains to insist the show will go ahead despite the global pandemic which has forced the event to be moved away from Brooklyn because of the partial US crackdown on the spread of the virus.

McGregor referenced the bizarre history of Nurmagomedov-Ferguson, with the two yet to meet in the octagon despite being booked to fight on five separate occasions since December 2015.

The previous four cancellations have been because of health or fitness concerns but McGregor, who had been linked with a fight against the winner, had no doubt who was to blame for the latest postponement.

‘The fact of this matter is, both Tony and Khabib where engaged in a game of chicken here towards the fight bell,’ McGregor wrote on Twitter.

‘With Khabib chickening out first. Making it 3-2 in pullouts in Tony’s favour. Khab scurried out of the US to home, and amid the crisis. Very high risk. Congrats Tony.’

The Irishman returned to the UFC in January by impressively stopping American veteran Donald Cerrone in his first bout since losing to Nurmagomedov in October 2018. 

 

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Khabib eyes August date for highly-anticipated fight with Ferguson

Khabib Nurmagomedov eyes August date for highly-anticipated fight with Tony Ferguson if UFC 249 is called off on April 18 and bout needs to be rescheduled for a FIFTH time

  • Khabib Nurmagomedov is back home and his UFC 249 bout is in severe doubt
  • He says he still wants to fight and is waiting to hear a location from Dana White
  • Khabib has suggested an August rescheduled date if April 18 is called off
  • UFC star is a practising Muslim and will be observing a month fast from April 23 

Khabib Nurmagomedov is eyeing an August date for his long-awaited fight with Tony Ferguson if UFC 249 is called off and their bout falls through for a FIFTH time.

Khabib-Ferguson is one of the most highly-anticipated match-ups in UFC history but has already been called off four times, for various health and fitness reasons.

Nurmagomedov is back home in Dagestan and says he is still willing to fight at UFC 249 on April 18, which is set to take place at an unknown location despite the ongoing worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

Khabib Nurmagomedov (left) and Tony Ferguson are still scheduled to fight at UFC 249

Khabib (right) is back in his home country and could struggle to fly to where he needs to

While most other sporting events have fallen foul of the virus, Dana White is still desperate to hold UFC 249 behind closed doors… but if it does get cancelled, Khabib says August is his preferred date for the rearrangement. 

‘June, July, two months, then August I can fight,’ he told ESPN. ‘I hear the UFC wants to make a show in San Francisco [in August]. 

‘If not, let’s fight in Abu Dhabi middle of September. Or fight now, before Ramadan. April 18, we’re supposed to fight, but where? This is the question.’ 

Khabib wants a rescheduled bout with Ferguson (pictured) to take place in August

Khabib is a practising Muslim and will observe a fasting period between April 23 and May 23, meaning if UFC 249 is cancelled on April 18, he would be unable to fight until at least June.

The Dagestani’s return to his home country earlier this week threw the Ferguson bout into doubt, with some reports stating that the UFC were set to replace him on the card with Justin Gaethje.

Ferguson has since suggested that Khabib could be stripped of his title for flying back home, a move that could mean he is unable to return for the fight due to travel restrictions.

Khabib, though, refuted those claims, stating: ‘He’s just a stupid guy.’

Some have joked that the only place UFC 249 could take place this month is on the moon

UFC star Khabib says he could have agreed to another fight with ‘chicken’ Conor McGregor

Khabib continued: ‘I believe we’re going to fight, I swear to God. I don’t know, but I have a feeling we’re going to fight. Just wait. We’re going to fight. I really believe nobody wants this fight like me. I swear. Nobody wants this fight like I want this fight.

‘UFC tried to make [a McGregor rematch]. I tell them, “This guy don’t deserve it. Bye-bye.” I can make with this chicken five times more money than with Tony Ferguson, and you know most people, they don’t know about Tony Ferguson. 

‘A lot of people want to watch name versus name. This is not about skills versus skills. Very small people understand this. This is why I take this fight, because of legacy. I chose this fight. I really want to fight right now, this is not my mistake.’




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Conor McGregor vs Justin Gaethje: KO prediction seriously questioned as showdown looms

Henry Cejudo’s prediction that Justin Gaethje will stop Conor McGregor in one round has been questioned by former UFC middleweight and light-heavyweight title challenger Chael Sonnen. Late last month, the reigning flyweight king predicted his Dominance MMA stablemate would wipe the floor with the former two-division champion.

The prediction sparked fierce debate amongst MMA fans, with many wondering if the in-form Gaethje – who has won his last three in a row via first-round stoppage – will be able to stop McGregor inside five minutes.

Cejudo’s insistence that Gaethje would make light work of McGregor prompted Sonnen to analyse each fighter’s respective skill sets.

And upon assessing the pair’s strengths and weaknesses, the 42-year-old predicted the bout will likely turn into a ‘dog fight’.

“Henry Cejudo has come out and he said that Justin Gaethje would get rid of Conor McGregor in one round,” Sonnen said. “Destroy.

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It’s one of those things where it is probably going to be a dog fight

Chael Sonnen on potential fight between Conor McGregor and Justin Gaethje

“I do think you’re left with the question, how does he do that?

“Justin Gaethje is a magnificent wrestler and Conor McGregor has very good wrestling defence.. it’s not bulletproof but it is very good.

“The problem is that Henry only gave him a round so it would have to be something explosive. Ground and pound could be one option.

“It’s one of those things where it is probably going to be a dog fight. Conor prefers a shootout and Gaethje likes a dog fight, he just does.

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“Do you believe that Gaethje is a better striker than Conor and do you believe he is a significantly better striker than Conor? Because according to Henry it’s going to last less than five minutes.

“Is Gaethje fast enough, is he powerful enough, is he accurate enough? This is essentially what you have to ask yourself.”

In late February, it was reported that preliminary talks over a summer showdown between McGregor and Gaethje have taken place.

McGregor, 31, has been on Gaethje’s radar for several months, with the former World Series of Fighting lightweight champion desperately eager to welcome the Irishman back to the Octagon earlier this year.

Gaethje, however, was snubbed in favour of fellow fan favourite Donald Cerrone and wasn’t shy in vocalising his disdain towards the matchup.

His comments didn’t go unnoticed by McGregor, who has added ‘The Highlight’ to his 2020 hit-list.

“He’s on the list. He is on the list,” McGregor said of Gaethje in a recent interview with The Mac Life. “Maybe I will face him next.

“Maybe I’ll face him next, you know? He has it coming to him.

“I mean laugh at how Justin is behaving. He’s a funny guy. He’s been taking it very to heart, you know? And I know the feeling when you do that.

“So maybe I’ll get through Donald and I’ll have a quick turnaround against Justin. So maybe that’s what will happen. But Justin is on the list, no doubt.”

McGregor, 22-4, was last in action in January at UFC 246 in Las Vegas, where he recorded a 40-second victory over Cerrone to pick up his first win in over three years.

The Dubliner is hoping to have a busy 2020, setting his sights on another two outings this year.

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Joshua vs Fury could be next due to coronavirus postponements, says Hearn

Anthony Joshua’s next fight could still be against Tyson Fury, believes promoter Eddie Hear, who says all options are on the table amid the chaos the coronavirus pandemic has caused.

Joshua is currently scheduled to defend his WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles against Kubrat Pulev on 20 June at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, however, the chances of that happening are slim to none.

Meanwhile, Fury is set to meet Deontay Wilder for a third time after the Bronze Bomber invoked a trilogy clause in his contract following his spectacular stoppage loss to the Gypsy King in February for the WBC and Ring belts.

There appears to be some serious roadblocks to Joshua and Fury fighting next, but Hearn feels that it is still a possibility, with any summer fights unlikely to happen and that pushing the need for the biggest bouts possible to be made at the end of the year.

An all-British clash for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world, would certainly be the biggest fight possible, not just in the division, but the entire sport, and Hearn is hoping to turn the coronavirus nightmare to his advantage.

‘The one positive that could come out of this for boxing is you might find people jumping into bigger fights sooner, rather than later, because of course, their activity has been slowed,’ Hearn told Sky Sports.

‘Their financial gain has been slowed as well, and it probably makes them realise anything can happen – “we need to make sure we get this fight in and I need to define my legacy”.

Creating Joshua vs Fury next would involve paying both Pulev and Wilder to step aside from their contracted fights. Hearn believes this to be possible, although the American may take more persuading that the Bulgarian.

The likeliest course of action still remains AJ to meet the Cobra, but if postponements take that fight beyond the summer, Fury becomes a serious possibility.

‘If it starts kicking on beyond that [July], then you get to a situation where if Joshua is only going to box once this year, he would very much like that to be against Tyson Fury.

‘If it was possible and there was a way to make Kubrat Pulev wait, which I think is probably an easier job, then for sure, I think Anthony Joshua would be extremely interested in moving straight into the Tyson Fury fight.

‘I think in an ideal world, we have that fight next.

‘It’s always been the case, but if we can fight Kubrat Pulev in July, we’d love to fight Tyson Fury in November, December.

‘At the same time, I think there’s so much uncertainty at the moment, this is the kind of situation that might make people say – “I think now is the time”‘.

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Anthony Joshua ‘extremely interested’ in Tyson Fury fight, if Deontay Wilder agrees ‘step aside’ deal, says Eddie Hearn.

Anthony Joshua would be “extremely interested” in a Tyson Fury fight, if a “step aside” deal can be reached with Deontay Wilder to allow an undisputed fight to happen, says promoter Eddie Hearn.

Joshua’s scheduled world title defence against Kubrat Pulev on June 20 is likely to be pushed back due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, while Wilder has activated a clause for a third fight against Fury, which has already been delayed until an expected date in October.

But Matchroom Boxing boss Hearn believes the ongoing uncertainty about this year’s fight schedule might prompt Fury’s promoters to strike an agreement with Wilder’s team that would clear the way for discussions about a blockbuster battle between Britain’s world champions.

Anthony Joshua would be extremely interested in moving straight into the Tyson Fury fight. I think in an ideal world, we have that fight next.

Eddie Hearn

Hearn told Sky Sports: “The one positive that could come out of this for boxing is you might find people jumping into bigger fights sooner, rather than later, because of course, their activity has been slowed. Their financial gain has been slowed as well, and it probably makes them realise anything can happen – ‘we need to make sure we get this fight in and I need to define my legacy.’

“I think when you look at AJ, I think very much it’s a thought that’s crossed my mind. We’ve got June 20 as a pencilled date for Anthony Joshua. We will make a statement potentially this week, or maybe early next week, that’s likely to be delayed. I think that’s pretty straightforward and obvious. Hopefully until the end of July.

“But if it starts kicking on beyond that, then you get to a situation where if Joshua is only going to box once this year, he would very much like that to be against Tyson Fury. The situation is a little bit out of our hands in that, if Bob Arum and Al Haymon can talk and make Deontay Wilder wait a little bit, we would absolutely love to go into that fight next.”

"My missus said: 'You're going to regret it for the rest of your life now.'"

Anthony Joshua's semi-final opponent at an amateur event never stepped in the ring, his name is even spelt incorrectly on the world champion's record…

Britain’s unified champion is obligated to make an IBF mandatory title defence against Pulev, but the Bulgarian challenger’s career is guided by Top Rank boss Bob Arum, the co-promoter for Fury.

Hearn is optimistic that Arum could delay the Pulev title defence, in favour of a massive clash with Fury, although Wilder could have the final say on whether the undisputed fight goes ahead.

“I think a lot of it depends on Deontay Wilder,” he said. “If he’s willing to take that step-aside money. That’s a conversation to be had with Bob Arum and Al Haymon to see if that’s even possible.

“If it was possible and there was a way to make Kubrat Pulev wait, which I think is probably an easier job, then for sure, I think Anthony Joshua would be extremely interested in moving straight into the Tyson Fury fight. I think in an ideal world, we have that fight next.

“It’s always been the case, but if we can fight Kubrat Pulev in July, we’d love to fight Tyson Fury in November, December. At the same time, I think there’s so much uncertainty at the moment, this is the kind of situation that might make people say – ‘I think now is the time.’

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Dana White ‘should be ashamed of himself’, says Tyson Fury’s promoter Bob Arum

UFC president Dana White has come under fire from Tyson Fury's promoter Bob Arum for pressing ahead with UFC 249 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Barclays Center in New York was set to stage the event on April 18, despite the city being one of the areas worst-affected by the Covid-19 virus in the United States.

However the New York State Athletic Commission have since prohibited the venue from hosting the event, with a new location still to be confirmed.

Khabib Nurmagomedov was due to defend his UFC lightweight title against Tony Ferguson but has been forced to pull out due to him being stuck in lockdown in his native Russia.

Nevertheless White has insisted UFC 249 go ahead, earning him the sharp end of Arum's tongue in response.

Arum told CBSSports' 'State of Combat' podcast : "[White] ought to be ashamed of himself.

"What's going on in this country and the world with this virus, the last thing we need is for an event to take place with no spectators just to get the event to take place.

"But the truth is Dana White is somebody with a flawed intelligence.

"The message should be stay home and stand down until this is over. Let's not spread the virus, let's control the virus and do what we can to staff these hospitals and take care of people who go into intensive care.

"Let's all be big people and big boys about it and stop the grandstanding. This will end when it ends, and it will end quicker if we all stick together and do what we are supposed to do, not go and shout from the rafters that, 'I'm not a p**** and I'm going to put this fight on. I don't care'. That is absolutely the wrong message to send."

The event's importance is difficult to justify given the current pandemic sweeping the globe.

More so without the presence of the evening's main event.

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Khabib Nurmagomedov finally confirms Tony Ferguson fight is off

Khabib Nurmagomedov will not defend his lightweight title against Tony Ferguson due to the coronavirus crisis.

The fight, which had previously been cancelled four times, was due to take place in New York on April 18.

But after the city, and much of the world, went into lockdown, the UFC began a desperate search for a new venue.

South Korea, the Middle East and Florida were all touted as possible destinations before Russia grounded all flights out of the country, meaning Nurmagomedov would not be able to travel.

And he has now confirmed he will not be fighting this month.

"Staying home in quarantine and reading the reaction of people to the situation around my fight, it turns out that the whole world should be in quarantine," he wrote on Instagram.

"Governments of all countries, famous people around the world urge people to follow all safety requirements in order to limit the spread of the disease, to save people, and Khabib is the only one relieved of all obligations and must demonstrate free will and train flying around the world, for the sake of fight?

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