Conor McGregor tipped to take out Justin Gaethje after making chilling ‘butcher’ vow

Conor McGregor has been backed by Eddie Alvarez to get the better of Justin Gaethje. A showdown with the newly-crowned interim UFC lightweight champion is top of McGregor’s wish-list for the second outing of his 2020 “season.”

Gaethje’s crosshairs, however, are firmly set on a lightweight title unification with undisputed champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Nurmagomedov’s fighting future is currently up in the air due to his father’s ongoing health problems.

The UFC brass is hoping to have Nuragomedov vs Gaethje to take place in September, although that plan could soon change depending on his father’s health.

Should Nurmagomedov be unable to compete in the UFC’s timeframe, that could pave the way for a Gaethje vs McGregor match-up.

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I think a knockout [for McGregor]

Eddie Alvarez’s prediction for Conor McGregor vs Justin Gaethje

And should the bout come to fruition, Alvarez –  who has shared the Octagon with both men – reckons McGregor will get the better of Gaethje in devastating fashion.

“I think a knockout [for McGregor],” Alvarez told The Score MMA when asked to predict a matchup between the pair.

“I was able to catch him [Gaethje] quite a bit with punches.

“And you watch that Dustin [Poirier] was able to box him a little bit.”

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Alvarez’s prediction is based on Gaethje’s decision not to use his offensive wrestling since joining the UFC in 2017.

He added: “The thing with Justin is, if I thought he would implement a ground game, and he was gonna go in there and take Conor down and put him against the cage and do that, kind of do what Khabib did [against McGregor], do what I intended to do, if he was gonna implement that game, I would say Justin’s gonna do really well against him.”

“But just standing for standing, like a stand-up fight, which is what I feel like it’ll end up being, I feel like there’s just too many mistakes that Justin would make, and Conor would be able to kinda capitalise.”

A bout with McGregor would bring fan favourite Gaethje the biggest payday of his mixed martial arts career.

‘The Highlight’ is well aware of the financial reward that comes with facing the UFC’s poster boy but is dead set on locking horns with and defeating Nurmagomedov.

“If I want to fight Conor, I can fight Conor,” the former World Series of Fighting lightweight champion told ESPN. “Believe me. Why wouldn’t Dana [White] put that together? But that’s not the fight I want.

“His only ploy is he’s Mr. Red Panty Night. Not everyone is a greedy motherf***er like him.”

McGregor, 31, returned from a 15-month layoff in January in the main event of UFC 246, where he decimated Donald Cerrone in 40 seconds to claim his first victory in over three years.

‘The Notorious’ is hoping to return to his active ways in 2020, setting his sights on two more outings this year.

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Conor McGregor next fight: Only one opponent ‘makes sense’ for July return

Conor McGregor only has one viable fight available to him at this moment in time, former two-division UFC champion Daniel Cormier believes. McGregor, 22-4, is itching to return to the fray following a successful comeback fight in January.

The UFC’s first simultaneous two-weight champion has set his sights on returning to the Octagon in July, a desire he recently revealed on social media.

Currently in the crosshairs of ‘The Notorious’ is newly-crowned interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje, who claimed the strap earlier this month with a fifth-round stoppage victory over Tony Ferguson.

Gaethje, however, has other plans and is hellbent on unifying the titles against undisputed champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.

With Gaethje’s sights firmly set on Nurmagomedov, McGregor is left with few fights that make sense in his bid to reclaim the lightweight title.

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If Khabib’s fighting Gaethje in September. Conor fights in July vs ‘Big Nate’, ‘Nasty Nate’, the third fight.

Daniel Cormier on Conor McGregor’s next fight

A rematch with Dustin Poirier would be a popular choice, although that could be a hard sell given the fact McGregor knocked him out in just under two minutes in September 2014.

A showdown with BMF titleholder Jorge Masvidal has been mooted, with UFC president Dana White recent admitting it’s possible the fight could be made.

Cormier, like many others, is intrigued by both matchups but believes a trilogy fight with Nate Diaz makes the “most sense” for McGregor at this moment in time.

“If Khabib’s fighting Gaethje in September. Conor fights in July vs ‘Big Nate’, ‘Nasty Nate’, the third fight,” he told Ariel Helwani on ESPN’s ‘DC and Helwani.’

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“This is the one. It’s the only one that makes sense on Fight Island.”

McGregor and Diaz, 31 and 35 respectively, locked horns with one another twice in 2016.

Diaz took the pair’s meeting at UFC 196, submitting McGregor with a second-round rear-naked choke on 11 days’ notice.

McGregor avenged his first defeat inside the Octagon a few months later at UFC 202, edging a five-round war via majority decision.

MMA fans around the world have been eager for the pair to have rubber match ever since their second meeting, which many believe should’ve been scored a draw.

McGregor challenged the youngest Diaz to a series decider in January and recently hinted a third showdown was in the works by telling him: “Sign the contract.”

The notion of McGregor vs Diaz III being in the works was immediately shut down by UFC president Dana White, who said: “No.

“Um… I mean, they don’t like each other. But there’s nothing going on.

“Conor wants to fight. I don’t even know if Nate wants to fight. I think they’re just talking s**t to each other.”

After seeing the UFC’s successful return during the global coronavirus lockdown, McGregor is willing to return to action behind closed doors.

White is willing to grant the Irishman’s wish, even though doing so will see the UFC will miss out on a significant amount of revenue from ticket sales.

“Conor’s been ready to fight for a while,” White said during an appearance on the Jim Rome Show. “He’s in shape. He’s ready to go.”

“First of all, ‘Fight Island’ is going to be very important in any of these fights that are happening with people from outside the country.

“It kills me to do a fight with Conor without fans. Kills me. This guy’s doing almost $20million gates.”

McGregor returned from a 15-month layoff in January in the main event of UFC 246, where he decimated Donald Cerrone in 40 seconds to claim his first victory in over three years.

‘Mystic Mac’ is hoping to return to his active ways in 2020, setting his sights on two more Octagon outings this year.

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How Conor McGregor reacted to Justin Gaethje’s latest Twitter taunt

Conor McGregor has reacted to Justin Gaethje’s recent Twitter taunt. Former two-division champion McGregor has set his sights on a showdown with the newly-crowned interim 155lb champion. In a blistering Twitter rant, the Irishman vowed his next fight would be against ‘The Highlight’, who he vowed to butcher.

“It’s me and Justin next as Khabib is the biggest bottle fighter in the game,” McGregor tweeted on Monday. “Guarantee it.”

He added: “Justin, there is no danger in a man that hugs legs, we all know.

“Try and dance around what the real threat is here all you want. I am going to f*****g butcher you.

“Your teeth. I’m going to put them on a f****** necklace. Speak on my skills as a father? You are f*****g dead.”

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Justin Gaethje is in Conor McGregor’s crosshairs

Gaethje, who defeated Tony Ferguson to claim the interim strap, didn’t shy away from hitting back at McGregor, who he taunted on Twitter.

“Isn’t it ironic that this dude is on his knees,” he tweeted. “Careful @TheNotoriousMMA you are losing your clout.

“@DustinPoirier is sitting there ready to go like I was for the last 3 years. #gaethjevskhabib @danawhite @seanshelby @Mickmaynard2.”

Surprisingly, McGregor refrained from clapping back at Gaethje.

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He did, however, laugh at the notion of him losing his “clout”, replying to a story carrying Gaethje’s quotes with a laughing emoji.

Gaethje explained his criticism of McGregor during a recent interview with ESPN, saying: “I tweeted he’s losing his clout.

“I don’t mean in general; with the general public.

“But with fighters, man, this guy – he’s losing so much respect in the game. Which he probably doesn’t care [about].

“But to someone like me, even him, I would assume that matters a little bit. He doesn’t hold the cards right now.

“I put myself in a great position. I asked for a say in my destiny and I went out there and I showed up. And now, I’m in a spot where I can pick between Khabib and Conor.”

A showdown with McGregor would bring Gaethje the biggest payday of his career. Gaethje, however, isn’t motivated by financial gain at this moment of his career.

“If I want to fight Conor, I can fight Conor,” the former World Series of Fighting lightweight champion said. “Believe me. Why wouldn’t Dana [White] put that together? But that’s not the fight I want. His only ploy is he’s Mr. Red Panty Night. Not everyone is a greedy motherf***er like him.”

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Conor McGregor’s message to Khabib Nurmagomedov after his dad was placed in coma

Conor McGregor has reached out to bitter rival Khabib Nurmagomedov after his father was placed in an induced coma.

The UFC lightweight champion's dad Abdulmanap, who doubles as his coach, was taken to hospital earlier this month with suspected pneumonia.

He tested negative for Covid-19 but his condition has deteriorated since then and his situation is now critical.

Upon hearing the news, McGregor tweeted: "Praying for the recovery of Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, a man responsible for more world champions, across multiple fighting disciplines, than we even know.

"A true martial genius, [I am] very saddened upon hearing this news tonight. Praying for the Nurmagomedov family at this time."

UFC president Dana White also took to social media to send his support.

"Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov is a true martial artist who lives a life of pride, honour and respect," he wrote.

"He instilled those same values in his son, world champion Khabib, at an early age and was always in his corner throughout his career.

"I know how close Khabib is with his father and I’m saddened to hear about his current state. My thoughts are with Abdulmanap and the Nurmagomedov family as he continues to fight."

McGregor put his feud with Nurmagomedov to one side to issue his statement, days after calling his former foe "a rat".

The pair clashed in 2018 with the Russian choking out the Dubliner in the fourth round to retain the 155lb title.

His next fight is set to be against Justin Gaethje in September after the American's stunning win over Tony Ferguson last weekend.

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Conor McGregor was ‘always going to QUIT’ against Floyd Mayweather, claims Malignaggi

Paulie Malignaggi has taken another swipe at Conor McGregor by saying he had to ‘bite my tongue’ while commentating on the Irishman’s boxing clash with Floyd Mayweather in 2017. Malignaggi said he knew McGregor would ‘quit’ but couldn’t say what he was feeling on the air.

Malignaggi was welcomed into McGregor’s pre-fight camp to help prepare for Mayweather.

The two shared a few sparring sessions, one of which has become infamous for the clips McGregor shared of him knocking Malignaggi down.

Malignaggi swears that he got the better of the spars, and has pleaded with McGregor on numerous occasions to release the full video.

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What made their rivalry during the build-up for the Mayweather fight even more interesting was that Malignaggi was a commentator for Showtime, who broadcast the fight.

Malignaggi remained unbiased throughout his calling of the bout, but admits he had to stop himself from saying things he would later regret.

“Every time I’d be around the media, the subject matter would end up going to Paulie and McGregor, and of course Showtime is trying to promote the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight in a certain way,” Malignaggi told the Athletic.

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“To tell you the truth, there were some disagreements there because I thought the fight was promoted like crazy because of the beef myself and McGregor had.

“No matter whether it was negative or positive, I still think the fight received incredible publicity because of the fiasco me and Conor had.

“So I don’t think I agreed very much with my superiors not being too happy with me.

“But I also understand that they wanted to give a certain visual of professionality and whatnot …

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“I do think that come fight night, everything was smooth.

“I actually had to bite my tongue a little bit because I knew Conor was always going to quit in the fight.

“I just wasn’t able to broadcast that out there.”

McGregor ended up being TKO’d during the 10th round after enjoying some success early on.

There have since been calls from fans for McGregor and Malignaggi to fight, but the New Yorker doesn’t want to compete past the age of 40, which he turns later this year. 

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UFC news: Conor McGregor ripped by Ferguson, Khabib return timeline, Anderson Silva talks

UFC news – Conor McGregor torn into by Tony Ferguson

Tony Ferguson has torn into Conor McGregor after learning of the former two-division champion’s recent Twitter taunts.

“I didn’t [see McGregor’s tweet] but I guarantee, that’s what I’m saying dude, I don’t have to care about that s***,” Ferguson said. “People follow suit.

“They’ve been following my suit for a long time. So you know what, it’s cool. When you know you’re cool, keep doing you.”

This dude wants to fight now because I’m a value guy. No way

Tony Ferguson on Conor McGregor

“I don’t give a f***,” the Ultimate Fighter season 13 winner added. “Seriously, I don’t give a s*** about what he says.

“This dude wants to fight now because I’m a value guy. No way.

“I can’t count on these two dudes [McGregor and Khabib]. I got Justin Gaethje to worry about. They can get in line.”

UFC news – Khabib Nurmagomedov return timeline given by manager

Khabib Nurmagomedov’s manager Ali Abdelaziz has revealed he expects to the reigning lightweight champion to return to the Octagon in August.

“I think because Ramadan is about to start next week,” the Dominance MMA chief told MMA Junkie.

“I think he can be back in August.

“He told me that the UFC has scheduled San Franciso fight, I think it was August 1st. He can fight there. There’s no problem. It doesn’t have to be in September.”

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Anderson Silva has revealed he wanted to retire from mixed martial arts before his ill-fated middleweight title defence against Chris Weidman in 2013.

In an interview with MMA Fighting, the future Hall-of-Famer said he told Dana White: “I want to stop, I want a time for myself, to stay with my family.

“I have been doing this for years and I’m losing contact with my kids. I’m only training and training, it’s not working for me anymore.”

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Conor McGregor makes fresh statement on UFC 246 victory as return rumours swirl

Conor McGregor has issued a fresh breakdown of his demolition of Donald Cerrone. The former two-division champion locked horns with the future Hall-of-Famer in January in the main event of UFC 246 in Las Vegas.

McGregor’s showdown with ‘Cowboy’, his first outing in over 15 months, didn’t last month, though, as he demolished the fan favourite in 40 seconds to claim his first victory in over three years.

McGregor’s destruction of Cerrone was a flawless one, with the Irishman taking no punishment before ending the contest with some well-placed ground-and-pound, which he proceeded with a beautiful head kick.

The former featherweight and lightweight champion reflected on his latest victory – which saw him become the first fighter in UFC history to record stoppage wins in the 145, 155 and 170lb divisions – in a lengthy Instagram post, in which he revealed he’s been working on striking his opponents in usual spots.

“Lately atop my striking, I’ve been striking them where they believe they can’t be struck also,” McGregor wrote. “And with shots they don’t understand to be shots.

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I’ve been striking them where they believe they can’t be struck also

Conor McGregor on Instagram

“Look at the range of limbs and bone joints I strike with here alone.

“The hip. The bone of the clavicle, the infamous collar bone! The knee. The foot. The fist (both). A lovely array.”

McGregor then issued a message to those analysing his latest handiwork.

He added: “That will be all kids now take down your notes and your homework tonight is… enter a cold bath. As cold as it possibly is, you do not need ice.

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“Get in the water and then dip your head under fully and until you need to come up for air. Repeat this over and over until you can stay under for 2 minutes fully. Then Get out.

“Look at yourself in the mirror, And give your self two full clatters into the teeth. You silly novices, back to bed. Just kidding. Respect to all the students of the game. Always remember that if it moves, you are focused on the wrong thing. Stay ready, and most importantly, stay in school.”

McGregor, 31, is hoping to return to his active ways in 2020, setting his sights on two more outings this year.

A summer showdown with Justin Gaethje was in the works, although the former World Series of Fighting lightweight champion is now on course to face Tony Ferguson in May.

Apart from recently declaring himself in shape to fight, McGregor has remained relatively silent on his next outing – which, providing the subsiding of the coronavirus outbreak, could take place in July.

SBG Ireland head coach John Kavanagh recently claimed his most famous student will indeed be back in action in July, telling ESPN: “There’s going to be a fight in three months’ time.

“I think you would be shocked by some of the names that come across the table. I just kinda go at this stage, ‘Yeah, okay…you’re kickboxing who?’…at this stage there’s just so many things that come across the table.

“I just say, ‘Look, guys, that’s your world.’ Audie, Paradigm and Conor are so good at that, at planning, strategy and negotiating, that I just say, ‘Yeah, give me a date when it comes.”

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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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Conor McGregor ‘has made key change’ which will lead to win in Khabib rematch

Conor McGregor has made a key change that could see him win a rematch against Khabib Nurmagomedov.

That is the view of The Notorious’ teammate Artem Lobov, who reckons the Irishman would be more focussed this time around.

McGregor suffered a fourth-round submission loss at the hands of Khabib in late 2018 on a night that is remembered for all the wrong reasons.

After the bout all hell broke loose among both fighters’ camps with hefty fines and suspensions handed out afterwards.

McGregor has been calling for the rematch ever since and insists he would have the edge over his bitter rival if they locked horns again.

Lobov agrees and cited the success McGregor had in his UFC 202 rematch with Nate Diaz in August 2016 after losing their first meeting at UFC 196 as evidence to support his belief.

“I think if you look at when Conor lost to Diaz he made the necessary changes and dominated that fight with three knockdowns," Lobov said in an interview with BJ Penn.com.

"He overcame the issues he had. You have to give the rematch to Conor.

“It won’t be an easy fight but it will be a win for him. Look at round three, Khabib wasn’t able to score any takedowns.

"Look at how good Conor did, you have never seen any fighter do that.

"There are clear reasons, now that he’s focused, with another training camp for Khabib that he will win.”

While a rematch between the pair is not off the cards it may be difficult to get both camps to agree.

McGregor clearly wants the fight but Khabib has always insisted that he is moving on to bigger and better things now.

A rematch would clearly be the biggest fight in UFC history, however, and could tick all the right boxes for everyone involved.

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Conor McGregor calls for Irish military to enforce lockdown amid coronavirus pandemic

Former UFC champion Conor McGregor has urged the Irish government to deploy the country’s military to ensure people remain at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

On Friday, the Irish government issued a message telling the country’s citizens to remain at home for two weeks, with the exception of those whose work is essential. People were also told they would be allowed to go out to buy food when necessary.

McGregor, however, said Ireland could not take a chance on people potentially disobeying the instructions.

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“I urge our government to utilise our defence forces,” McGregor, 31, said in a video on his Facebook page.

“Our defence forces have been mentioned as a possibility in assisting our 15,000 available Gardai [police], but only if necessary. However, it is necessary.

“We cannot go by chance here. Any less than full adherence to these newly put forth methods by any member of our society will not only be a mockery to what we are attempting to do, it would put the rest of our great nation in danger.

“Our airports must shut,” said McGregor, who added that exceptions should be made for flights carrying “essential medical equipment” or bringing “our medical staff abroad home to support us”.

He urged Irish people who are currently abroad to remain in those countries, saying: “You are doing your country an incredible deed by staying put.”

McGregor also emphasised the importance of maintaining fitness from home during the lockdown.

“We must encourage home workouts and healthy immune-boosting nutritional plans,” he said.

“We need meal plans and the necessary vitamins we should be taking to boost our immune systems.”

Earlier this week, McGregor said he would donate €1 million to hospitals in Ireland to aid their battle against Covid-19.

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