By: Sean Crose
“We’re very excited to announce that Manny Pacquiao has signed with PSM for full service representation!” Paradigm Sports Management announced Tuesday. “Manny is one of the greatest boxers of all time & we look forward to working with Arnold, Ping and the rest of the team back in Manila to maximize his historic career.” One of the most popular fighters in the world, Pacquiao is now represented by the same company that represents MMA superstar Conor McGregor. “Welcome to the team Emmanuel,” McGregor tweeted. Although Pacquiao is now under the Paradigm banner, his personal team is supposed to stay generally in tact.
“I am proud to partner with Paradigm Sports Management,” Pacquiao claimed, “and am excited for the opportunities that Audie Attar and PSM have to offer.” Pacquiao then went on to address the public in general. “One thing I want everyone to remember is to always think positively. Never think negatively, that is the beginning of your downfall. Everything is possible.” Audie Attar, the head of Paradigm, also weighed in. “I’m honored to have the opportunity not only to maximize Manny’s boxing career,” ESPN reports Attar as stating, “but to help him continue to leave a legacy he is proud of through the lens of business and sport…my approach is to focus on each client and their goals always, and I look forward to fighting on his behalf.”
Pacquiao is one of the most famous athletes on earth. He’s earned hundreds of millions of dollars over the course of his long career and fought in the most lucrative battle in boxing history when he lost a decision to Floyd Mayweather back in 2015. The Filipino icon has found himself in the midst of a career resurgence since besting Adrien Broner and Keith Thurman last year. Pacquiao is currently the WBA welterweight champion of the world.
Naturally, talk has already turned to a Pacquiao-McGregor fight. McGregor jumped into the boxing ring in 2017 to take on Mayweather in a bout so lucrative that only Pacquiao-Mayweather had managed to bring in more money. Although McGregor is considerably bigger and younger than Pacquiao, he lost to the far less aggressive Mayweather by knockout, meaning that the fast and hard punching Pacquiao would likely prove to be a formidable foe in the ring. Neither Pacquiao’s nor McGregor’s next opponents have been announced. That does not, however, mean that either man won’t end up facing an opponent from his respective sport.
By: Hans Themistode
WBO Welterweight title holder Terence Crawford has been a professional boxer for 12 years now. He’s managed to win world titles in three different weight classes and is universally considered one of, if not the very best in the world pound-for-pound.
Yet, with everything that Crawford has achieved in the ring, his boxing resume is amongst the weakest, regardless of weight class.
The competition of Crawford is always in question but don’t pin any of the blame on him. Simply put, some of the very best fighters in the world aren’t exactly in a rush to step foot inside the ring with him. Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs) has spent the vast majority of his career calling to face the best but no has answered the call.
Crawford has repeatedly claimed that his lack of a big name opponent hasn’t been frustrating. If no one of note decides to face him, then he will simply continue to dominate whomever they place in front of him.
Frustration hasn’t hit Crawford just yet, but it does seem that it has affected his promoter Bob Arum. Although he has reached out to just about everyone about matching his star fighter with a big name opponent, it seems as though Arum has decided to go in another direction.
Paying attention to every sport is extremely difficult. Yet, even the most dedicated fans of boxing, football or even tennis who don’t pay attention to the world of mixed martial arts (MMA) knows one name. Conor McGregor.
On January 18th, the MMA superstar made quick work of Donald Cerrone in their contest at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. McGregor of course, loss his first and only boxing match against Floyd Mayweather in August of 2017. McGregor’s now looking for redemption against Mayweather. If he can’t secure that contest, then he is reportedly very much interested in a matchup against eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao.
Bob Arum on the other hand, has another idea in mind. How about McGregor turn his attention to Crawford. In the case of both Mayweather and Pacquiao, McGregor would be forced to face them in the boxing ring.
In a bout with Crawford however, Arum wants to see his star face McGregor in the boxing ring and in the octagon.
“You’ve got an elite boxer in Terence Crawford fighting an elite MMA guy in Conor McGregor under MMA rules,” said Arum. “You don’t think that would be interesting and something the public would want to see? I think it’s very realistic. Whenever they are ready, we are ready,” Arum said, referring to UFC president Dana White and McGregor. “We’d do the MMA fight first if that’s what they want.”
Dangerous? Also yes.
Crazy? Hell yes.
Crawford is a great fighter. Maybe even the best in the world but MMA is a completely different animal. The story is always the same when it comes down to these crossover matchups. If it takes place in the boxing ring then the boxer will win. If it’s done inside of the octagon, then the MMA fighter will take home the victory.
That might be the right away to think about those scenarios normally, but Crawford is anything but normal.
“I’m a fighter first,” Crawford said. “As a fighter, I would entertain it. I just have to have the proper time to prepare myself. It would be a little more than boxing training. I haven’t been in that [wrestling] environment in a long time, but most definitely I feel I can compete with anyone given the proper time to train on the MMA side, being that I have a wrestling background. McGregor would have worry about my stand-up game as well. It would be interesting. He’s got good kicks and he’s strong. I’d have to prepare myself for those things, but I feel I would be all right. A lot of people may say if Terence goes into the Octagon, he will get crushed, but they don’t know me.”
A fight with McGregor would gift Crawford with more money than he can count but that isn’t on the mind of Crawford. The sort of attention that a fight with McGregor could bring the Welterweight champ is what he desires. If no one else wants to fight him then it’s time to get creative.
“I can’t get none of these top welterweights in the ring to fight me, so whatever is clever,” said Crawford. “I’m with it all.”
If this mega event actually does take place, the obvious outcome should be that Crawford wins in the boxing match and McGregor would take home the victory in the MMA matchup. But, according to Arum, McGregor certainly has no shot in the ring but you shouldn’t sleep on Crawford in the octagon.
“Fighting Crawford would be great for McGregor because he has no chance in a boxing match, except to pick up a check,” Arum said. “In an MMA match, he would be the favorite, but Crawford would have a chance because he’s one tough dude and because he has a wrestling background. I think that Crawford is the one boxer that can compete with an elite MMA guy under MMA rules. We’d do two fights so we can level the playing field by fighting in both disciplines. Mayweather and Pacquiao would never fight under MMA rules. Crawford would.”
By: Sean Crose
Way back in 1889, John L Sullivan, the recognized heavyweight champion of the world, battled the rugged Jake Kilrain in Richburg, Mississippi. The two men fought with bare knuckles, and were allowed to throw each other to the ground. Sullivan was said at one point to have sat atop and choked Kilrain. The fight went on for over 70 rounds under the blazing Mississippi sun. Sullivan ultimately emerged victorious after Kilrain’s team feared their man would die if he kept going and stopped the match. Make no mistake about it – Sullivan was one hell of a fighter.
Yet Sullivan proved not to be much of a boxer. For in 1892 he fought James J Corbett in a wildly publicized bout in New Orleans. This time, the combatants wore gloves…and the rounds lasted three minutes each. There was no tossing each other to the mat allowed…and the match was held in a ring. What’s more, Corbett was a boxer, not a fighter. He was tough as nails, but the San Francisco native had never fought outside of an organized contest. To Sullivan’s dismay, Corbett proved to be elusive in the ring, employing footwork and maintaining distance. An exhausted Sullivan was subsequently knocked out on the 21st round. The technician had defeated the fighter. Boxing would never be the same.
Fast forward to 2020. UFC star Conor McGregor steps into the octagon after a long absence and two defeats, one to fellow mixed martial artist Khabib Numagomadov, the other to boxing great Floyd Mayweather. McGregor’s opponent on this night is the aging but legendary UFC star Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, a man who, though past his prime, can end a fight in a wide variety of ways. Questions surround McGregor as the first round begins. Can he retain past glory? Does he still have his passion? Is he simply washed up? The Irishman subsequently ends things in forty seconds. That’s forty seconds. Make no mistake about it – McGregor is one hell of a fighter.
Like Sullivan, however, McGregor isn’t much of a boxer. Which is probably why top names throughout the boxing game are once again dying for a piece of him. As good and as tough and as impressive as he is – McGregor hasn’t shown nearly the skill set needed to succeed in boxing. His single boxing match, to an aging and retired Mayweather, ended with him being stopped in the tenth round, thoroughly exhausted, as that other great fighter Sullivan had been exhausted when he too crossed paths with a boxing specialist. People like Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, and Terence Crawford might not want to battle McGregor in a parking lot – and they certainly don’t want to cross paths with him in the octagon. In the ring, however, McGregor is likely all theirs, a pinata stuffed with untold millions of dollars and the hopes of college kids who truly and mistakenly believe being a good fighter instantly makes you a good boxer.
All of this seems almost a bit unfair to McGregor. Yet the man knows what he’s getting into should he return to the ring – and he still seems bound and determined to do so. Nothing if not ambitious and self aware, it’s clear McGregor feels he has something to prove after being saved by the referee in his bout with Mayweather. He has nothing to prove, though, except in the octagon, where plenty of tough competition eagerly awaits. The showy UFC legend may somehow land himself a boxing title at some point – there seems to be constellations worth of them out there. If McGregor faces another top boxer again, however, even an over the hill one, he does so at his own peril.
By: Hans Themistode
When it comes to money, you won’t have to look hard to find Floyd Mayweather.
The former all-time great boxer, retired back in 2017 after pocketing over a hundred million dollars for his tenth round knockout of UFC star Conor McGregor. Since that loss, McGregor had spent a significant amount of time away from the fight game but he officially got back in the win column this past Saturday nightin the octagon with a 40 second knockout of Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone.
McGregor had been calling for a rematch with Mayweather over two years. Now that he is officially back on the winning side and is garnering a ton of buzz, now it’s Mayweather who seems to be chasing McGregor for them to do it again.
Following the quick win for McGregor, ESPN reporter Brett Okamoto shared some news about just how badly Mayweather wants this rematch with McGregor to take place.
“Just spoke to Dana White,” said Okamoto on his Twitter account. “We finished our interview than he showed me an Instagram from Floyd Mayweather. Said Floyd has been blowing him up all night … no more details than that.”
With a nine figure payday awaiting Mayweather in a rematch with McGregor, it really is no surprise to see just ansy he is about the possibility of another matchup with his crossover rival.
Although it would be easy on Mayweather’s end to take a fight with McGregor right away. The UFC star on the other hand has his eyes on a number of other fighters in his own sport. Most notably, Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Still, even if McGregor is taken off the table, Mayweather could of course bank another ridiculous payday if he rematched Manny Pacquiao. Their first bout did after all, break every pay-per-view record. If Mayweather does in fact decide to go down the route of a bout with Pacquiao, then White believes his budding boxing company Zuffa boxing could bring something valuable to the table.
“I think that the Mayweather Pacquiao fight will probably happen again and it makes sense,” said Dana White. “Especially the way Manny Pacquiao has looked in his last couple of fights. That’s something that could happen. I truly believe we would add a ton of value to that fight. So anything is possible.”
Pacquiao, McGregor or even Nurmagomedov are all on the table as possible options for Mayweather. As far who Mayweather will actually choose to take on is an easy decision to make. Whoever brings in the biggest paycheck is who Mayweather will make his 2020 return against.
By: Hans Themistode
It didn’t take long for UFC star Conor McGregor to get rid of Donald Cerone at UFC 246.
40 seconds to be exact. It took Floyd Mayweather an even shorter amount of time to call out McGregor on his Instagram account for a rematch.
Seemingly watching the McGregor contest with his finger on the send button, Mayweather watched as McGregor landed a head kick and followed it up with several strikes on the ground that ended the contest. Once Mayweather pushed the send button, a huge picture of both him and McGregor was plastered across his Instagram account reading the words “MAYWEATHER VS MCGREGOR 2 2020”.
Before the boxing and MMA world could wrap their heads around the possibility of a rematch between the two, Mayweather posted another picture. It contained the same format but this time McGregor was replaced by undefeated UFC star Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Mayweather of course, has expressed interest in facing Nurmagomedov and defeated McGregor in the tenth round of their first matchup in August of 2017. By no means was it a blowout as McGregor made it competitive throughout.
Before Mayweather made it clear that he wants to return against an MMA star, McGregor was on his own campaign trail. Not only stating that he wants the rematch with Mayweather but that he believes it’s only a matter of when, not if.
“I’d like to rematch Floyd, I think we should rematch Floyd,” said McGregor during a recent interview on ESPN. “He’s flirting with it and he can go and rematch someone else but it won’t be the same. I did phenomenal in the bout and the only reason I lost is because I prepared for a back footed, Philly shell kind of opponent. When the fight was like that I was picking him apart. Then he started pressing forward and I wasn’t sinking into my shots like I am now. I know I can beat Floyd if we rematch. Well, when we rematch.”
At this point, everyone is calling out McGregor. With the sort of payday that he can bring to anyone he fights, it isn’t surprising. Yet up until recently, McGregor seemed only interested in facing Mayweather in terms of boxing. But now he has his eyes on another huge star in the sport of boxing at the soon to be opened NFL arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Allegiant Stadium.
“I would love to be the first combatant to fight in that arena,” McGregor said. “What a fight that would be against Manny. A small, powerful southpaw. I’d have to figure out the weight and these things. But something that interests me, no doubt.”
There is so much to dissect here. Mayweather seems to have his eyes set on either Nurmagomedov or McGregor. While McGregor on the other hand has his eyes set on Mayweather, Pacquiao and of course his own UFC rival Nurmagomedov as well.
With so many different possibilities, there is no doubt that Mayweather is likely to return to the ring to cash in another ridiculous payday.
By: Sean Crose
After an absence of over a year, Conor McGregor returned to the octagon on Saturday night where he met Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in a scheduled five round welterweight bout. The main event of UFC 246 featured a past his prime Cerrone facing the biggest star in the sport, a man who nonetheless hadn’t won a fight, either in boxing or in mixed martial arts, since 2016. The match, which was aired live on ESPN pay per view, was held at the T-Mobile Arena in Vegas. Fighting at 170 for only the third time in his career, the 21-4 McGregor was eager to impress against his highly regarded 36-13 veteran opponent.
First, though, fans were presented with the rematch between Ronda Rousey conqueror Holly Holm and a woman she bested by split decision in 2015, Raquel Pennington in a scheduled three round battle at bantamweight. Although both had been bested by the potent Amanda Nunes, a good showing in Vegas would put the winner back in the spotlight. The first round saw the 12-5 Holm maintain range, then work the 10-7 Pennington against the cage. Pennington herself was able to place Holm against the cage by round’s end, though Holm still appeared in control. In fact, Holm was able to keep Pennington in the clinch for most of the second round.
The third round was more competitive than the first two. Still, it was clear that Holm was simply the stronger and more skilled of the two fighters. At 38 years old, the New Mexico native walked out of the octagon with a unanimous decision win. By fighting smartly and employing the clinch effectively, Holm was able to dominate for the vast majority of the bout. “I still want to do a lot better than my performance tonight,” Holm told Joe Rogan in the post fight interview.
It was time for the main event. And a short main event it was. Within seconds of the start of the bout, McGregor sent Cerrone stumbling with a thunderous head kick after possibly breaking the man’s nose with shoulder strikes while in the clinch. McGregor, simply put, then took to punching Cerrone’s lights out. Referee Herb Dean let the beating last for a few moments, the wisely stepped in and stopped the match. “Ireland, baby!” McGregor screamed into Joe Rogan’s mic during the post fight press conference. “Thank you all for the support!” McGregor yelled to the crowd graciously. It was an amazing return for a man whose future had been cloudy after losing to Khabib Nurmagomadov and Floyd Mayweather respectively.
“I’d never seen anything like that,” Cerrone said about McGregor’s shoulder work. “I got my ass whipped early.” In a sign of good sportsmanship, both men shook hands warmly after the fight.
By: Sean Crose
Even though he hasn’t fought in over a year – Conor McGregor is still the biggest star in the UFC, as is evidenced by the enormous press coverage leading up to his Saturday nightthrowdown with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in Las Vegas. Still, it’s seems McGregor really wants to box. At least that’s the impression the man’s been giving leading up to Saturday. Even though McGregor was bested by Floyd Mayweather in the tenth round of their 2017 novelty boxing match, McGregor seems to want more of the sweet science.
According to the Los Angeles Times, McGregor and UFC honcho Dana White recently “fielded almost as many questions about boxing as they did about the UFC 246 pay-per-view taking place Saturday at T-Mobile Arena.” White reportedly wants McGregor to stay put in the UFC – though it’s clear White himself wants in on the boxing game, in a managerial or promotional level. McGregor, on the other hand, wants a second shot at the almost 43 year old Mayweather. He’s also expressed interest in fighting Mayweather’s arch rival, Manny Pacquiao. McGregor has even responded positively to the idea of facing Pacquiao in the yet to be completed Allegiant Stadium, soon to be home to the NFL’s Raider’s.
“I would be honored to be a part of that,” the Times quotes McGregor as saying. “I would love to be the first combatant to fight in that arena. What a fight that would be against Manny — a small powerful southpaw. We would have to figure out the weight and those types of things, but it’s something that interests me, no doubt.” Weight would certainly be an issue. McGregor is facing Cerrone at 170 pounds. Pacquiao fights at around 147 pounds – and has to eat copious amounts of food to even reach that weight. Add in McGregor’s height advantage and the two would make an odd pairing. It would also be a terrible look for McGregor if the much smaller Pacquiao beat him – which is something most analysts would likely predict anyway.
Not that McGregor can be blamed for wanting to box again. He’s making a reported three million dollars to face Cerrone this weekend. That’s a whole lot of money, but not nearly the kind of payday a top name boxer makes. The simple truth is that, even if he loses, McGregor can make a lot more fighting Pacquiao than he can fighting a top level opponent in his own sport. Then there’s the matter of ambition, something McGregor has never had in short supply. To conquer both boxing and MMA would be a bright feather in any fighter’s cap. It seems only Holly Holm, who will be fighting on the McGregor-Cerrone undercard, has been able to pull off such a feat to date.
By: Sean Crose
It’s been a tough couple of years for Conor McGregor. After assuring the world he would “educate” the greatest boxer of a generation, he ended up losing handily in his first boxing match. Then, the following year, he stepped back into the octagon after a lengthy layoff only to be completely dominated by a man he had mocked mercilessly. Then, of course, there were the consequences of antisocial behavior– charges of racism, and Islamophobia, sexual assault accusations, and numerous recorded incidents showcasing aggressive physical behavior. Again, it’s been a tough couple of years – much of it self-inflicted. Still, McGregor, one of the most famous athletes on earth, is planning on turning things around starting this Saturday night in Las Vegas.
For there, at the T-Mobile arena, the Irish star will once again step into the octagon, this time to face the highly respected MMA vet Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in a scheduled five round welterweight fight. Cerrone, at first blush, looks to be the perfect opponent for McGregor at this point. With a record of 36-13, and at 36 years of age, the product of Denver has lost his last two fights – to Justin Gaethje and Tony Ferguson respectively. Still, the 21-4 McGregor doesn’t have the greatest track record at welterweight, having split two matches with arch foil Nate Diaz in the 170 pound division back in 2016.
It’s also worth noting that McGregor hasn’t won a fight since 2016, when he stopped Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight title that November. After moving on to face – and be stopped by – Floyd Mayweather the following summer, McGregor took over a year off, then tapped out to Khabib Nurmagomadov in October of 2018. Then there’s the matter of those well-publicized troubles the Dublin based fighter has faced before, during and since that time. The wear and tear seem to be evident in the McGregor’s latest public appearances. Here is a man, it appears, who has been genuinely impacted by his experiences and decisions.
It’s best to keep in mind, though, that McGregor looks physically GOOD heading into Saturday. He’s carrying that needed extra weight well. He’s also appeared extremely sharp and focused in training. It sometimes may be easy to forget that McGregor is more than a pop culture presence, he’s a professional fighter who excels at the highest levels of his chosen sport. He is, simply put, a lot more than just hype. Should McGregor show the skills he’s noted for – the awkwardness, speed, and expert use of a deadly left hand – Cerrone may well be in for a long night come Saturday. Or perhaps a very short one.
In fact, it’s being noted among analysts that the fight – which McGregor is favored to win as of press time – can go one of two ways: McGregor will wrap things up in rapid whirlwind fashion, or Cerrone will survive an initial onslaught and take McGregor deep. Known for having less than impressive cardio, the second scenario could prove all wrong for McGregor. Cerrone, on the other hand, would be well advised to be mindful of the first scenario, as his lack of head movement in the octagon can make for a perfect target for McGregor’s missile like strikes.
As he enters his second act, McGregor brings with him a great many questions. He can take comfort knowing other major combat sport stars, such as Muhammad Ali, and George Foreman, also brought questions with them into the mid to late portions of their careers. Both those men obviously did exceptionally well for themselves. Then again, many fighters have crashed and burned under the circumstances. It will be interesting to see where McGregor stands after this weekend.
By: Hans Themistode
Tyson Fury has made headlines recently. The Lineal Heavyweight champion has been seen in recent weeks in the WWE world. His back and forth feud with super star wrestler Braun Strowman has captured the imagination of everyone. It was fun to see Fury outside of his normal boxing element.
The fun quickly ended when it was reported that Fury was seriously considering to forego his 2020 rematch with WBC belt holder Deontay Wilder in favor of pursuing a full time career in the WWE.
In just a few short days, Fury will settle his beef with Strowman at the highly anticipated Crown Jewel wrestling event which is slated to take place on Halloween. With Fury reportedly making 15 million for his lone contest with Strowman, the possibility of Fury leaving the boxing ring for good is a real possibility.
With the obligations of defending his Lineal crown, coupled with his WWE commitment, Fury seemingly has a full plate in front of him. Well, according to the man nicknamed the “Gypsy King” he still has room for other ventures as well.
The undefeated Heavyweight champion is in serious talks with Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) star Conor McGregor about a possible move into the world of MMA. Fury isn’t simply thinking about making a move to the cage, he is apparently ready to go head first into it with McGregor firmly in his corner as his training partner.
“I have been speaking to Conor about it,” said Fury. “He’s willing to train me. It’s gonna be good”
Many boxers have made the transition to MMA or at least have given it thought. To train for such a complex sport, many would be led to believe that Fury’s possible MMA debut is something that could happen sometime in the future. Getting acclimated to an entirely different sport is something that could take Fury quite some time to get the hang of. If this was your first initial thought, it would be a good one, but ultimately, you would be wrong.
For Fury, stepping into the cage is something that could happen much sooner than anyone realizes.
“Who knows? I have got something big coming up after this, even bigger than this. We might see Tyson Fury have his MMA debut this year. Tyson Fury is taking over,”
If Fury truly is considering the move to MMA, then he has chosen the perfect person to train him. McGregor is the most prominent name in MMA and one of the most popular athletes regardless of the sport. According to Fury, the extension of help offered from McGregor is something he surely can’t pass up on.
“He’s just said any time that you are ready come over to Dublin and let’s go. I can’t wait, I’m going to take him up on the offer. Who knows we might be on a double-header.”
Although MMA would essential be a new ordeal for Fury, his background has led him to believe that any form of fighting is something that he will excel at.
“I come from a long line of bare-knuckle boxing champions. Getting hurt, getting bloodied is nothing new to me, it’s all a part of my heritage. I would love to get in there and smash someone up.”
By: Jesse Donathan
There was an eerie silence within the mixed marital arts media; whispers and rumors were circulating throughout social media concerning reports which suggest, “that a well-known sportsperson has been accused of sexual assault,” and “that the star, who has remained unnamed, was on a two-day drinking binge in advance of the attack” according to a December 12, 2018 rt.com article titled, “‘Wild-eyed’: Irish sports star accused of sexual assault engaged in two-day ‘bender’.” The article would go on to state, “the woman is understood to have received physical injuries, including bruising and bleeding, in the attack. No arrests have yet been made.” On Tuesday, March 26, 2019, the social media rumors seemed to have been confirmed as the New York Times published an article titled, “Conor McGregor Under Investigation Over Sexual Assault Allegation in Ireland” by author Tariq Panja.
Photo Credit: Conor McGregor Twitter Account
According to a January 18, 2019 irishcentral.com article titled, “Irish sports star accused of rape and assault arrested and released” the unnamed Irish sports star “presented himself to police at Dundrum Garda Station on Thursday night, having made an appointment. He was accompanied by his lawyer.” A Garda spokeswoman told the Irish Mirror:
“Gardaí [Irish police] in Dundrum investigating an alleged sexual assault reported on Monday 10th December 2018 arrested a man on Thursday 17th January 2019.”
The irishcentral.com article would go on to state that according to one police source, “there is no doubt that this young lady suffered a horrendous ordeal – the examinations and all the evidence shows that she was raped and very badly assaulted in that penthouse suite.”
“Speculation is rife on social media as to the identity of the sports star who can’t be named in Ireland for legal reasons,” writes Niall Connor in his December 12, 2018 irishmirror.ie article titled, “Woman ‘raped’ by Irish sports star in Dublin has ‘partner and young child’.”
In a January 18, 2019 irishtimes.com article titled, “Sportsman arrested over alleged sex assault in Dublin” author Conor Gallagher and Ronan McGreevy write that the unnamed sportsman was, “detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984 before being released without charge. A file on the matter is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions and the investigation is ongoing.”
In an unrelated, separate matter, a November 28, 2018 rte.ie article titled, “Man convicted over breach of anonymity in Belfast rape trial” writes that, “a man in his 30s has been convicted in Northern Ireland after admitting that he used social media to publish the name of a complainant in a high-profile rape trial earlier this year. In a statement, the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) for Northern Ireland said that Sean McFarland appeared in court in Belfast today and pleaded guilty to one charge of breaching a ban on reporting the identity of an alleged victim.” Marianne O’Kane, head of the PPS serious Crime Unit is quoted as stating, “we would also ask the public to take extreme care when publishing any type of commentary on any live court proceedings, given the potential risk of prejudice to a fair trial.”
“People standing trial for rape should not be identified unless they are found guilty, Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) MP Ian Paisley has said. It follows the high-profile trial of rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding who were acquitted of rape. Mr. Paisley called for a change in the law to give the accused the same right to anonymity as a rape complainant,” writes the BBC in their March 29, 2018 article titled, “Ian Paisley says raped accused should have anonymity.” The article would go on to quote Mr. Paisley as saying, “No party should be identified in advance of the verdict and only then when there is a guilty verdict.”
The New York Times report comes on the heels of Conor McGregor’s arrest in Miami following an altercation with a fan where McGregor is alleged to have taken liberties with the fans phone resulting in the UFC stars arrest for strong armed robbery according to March 11, 2019 Miami Herald report by David Ovalle.
McGregor burst onto the UFC scene in 2013, going on to become a two-division champion while virtually being the face of organization. Coincidentally, McGregor announced his retirement from the sport Tuesday, March 26, 2019 hours prior to the New York Times article running. The announcement was widely viewed as a faux move, with McGregor holding out from competing in the UFC in a bid to attain partial ownership from the organization. The betting man might come to a different conclusion however, with McGregor’s retirement announcement likely being a strategic move in an attempt to smoke screen and stem the tide of news in the United States of his investigation for sexual assault in Ireland. At any rate, this is bad publicity for the UFC and heartbreaking news to the legions of Conor McGregor fans around the globe.
By: Jesse Donathan
The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) released the details surrounding the fines and suspensions Tuesday in relation to the October 6, 2018 UFC 229 brawl that saw UFC star Conor McGregor lose to UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov immediately before a brawl broke out cage side between Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor’s Brazilian Jiujitsu coach and Bellator MMA fighter Dillon Danis. “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov flew over the cage and jumped into the sea of spectators to sink his talons into the Jiujitsu prodigy before security quickly intervened and escorted Danis out of the arena.
While that brawl was in the process of being extinguished outside the cage, members of Nurmagomedov’s entourage stormed the Octagon where McGregor himself was the target of retribution from team Nurmagomedov. It was a wild, chaotic scene as McGregor was actively engaged inside the cage after an exhausting, unsuccessful effort against Nurmagomedov by members of Nurmagomedov’s Fight Spirit team who were seeking redemption for the notorious UFC 223 media day scrum bus attack by Conor McGregor and his crew.
That incident, itself a retaliation for an earlier encounter by McGregor’s teammate, the now former UFC fighter Artem Lobov who has been released from the promotion according to Tristen Critchfield in a January 29, 2019 Sherdog.com report titled, “Conor McGregor training partner Artem Lobov released by the UFC.” Lobov was confronted by Nurmagomedov in a hotel lobby after comments Lobov had made publicly concerning the amount of fights Nurmagomedov had previously pulled out of, even going as far as to question the Dagestani champion’s heart and professionalism according to a 2018 givemesport.com article titled, “The exact reason why Khabib Nurmagomedov slapped Artem Lobov in Brooklyn” by Raza Kazi.
In a January 29, 2019 MMA Fighting piece titled, “Khabib Nurmagomedov receives nine-month suspension, $500K fine for role in UFC 229 brawl” by Alexander K. Lee, Nurmagomedov’s “suspension can be reduced by up to three months pending Nurmagomedov’s participation in an anti-bullying public service announcement that must be approved by the NAC.”
Long time MMA reporter Josh Gross reported via a January 29, 2019 Twitter post that Conor McGregor received a six-month suspension and $50K fine, while the Nurmagomedov team members who stormed the cage, Abubakar Nurmagomedov and UFC fighter Zubaira Tukhugov, both received one-year suspensions and $25k fines.
According to a January, 29 2019 cbssports.com article titled, “Conor McGregor, Khabib Nurmagomedov receive punishments stemming from UFC 229 brawl” by Brian Campbell, McGregor will be eligible to compete as early as April while Nurmagomedov could be eligible to return as early as July of this year. Campbell would go on to report, “Ali Abdelaziz, Nurmagomedov’s manager, told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani on Tuesday that his fighter will pay the fines for both of his teammates. He also complained about the differences in punishments between McGregor and Nurmagomedov. ‘I don’t think it’s fair,’ Abdelaziz said. “Khabib gets $500,000 and Conor gets $50,000?”
McGregor was coming off a nearly two year lay off prior to losing to Nurmagomedov, a period that saw the UFC two division champion score the opportunity of a lifetime to fight one of boxings all-time great champions in Floyd Mayweather Jr. (50-0), losing to Mayweather in 10 rounds by TKO in a crossover fight where Mayweather reportedly carried the Irishmen according to a December 7, 2017 ESPN “Pardon The Interruption” YouTube video upload featuring Mike Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser.
Nurmagomedov himself is now looking to win the lottery, according to a January 28, 2019 MMAfighing.com article titled, “Report: Joe Rogan ‘guarantees’ Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Floyd Mayweather would sell ‘at least 1M PPV buys’ by Jeb Meshew, “Khabib has been teasing a potential crossover fight Mayweather since he submitted McGregor at UFC 229 and just last week, doubled down on the idea.”
This fight would absolutely resemble a real-life Rocky story, where an improbable fighter who doesn’t belong in there with the flamboyant, dominant champion manages to score the fight of a lifetime and takes the opportunity deadly serious while the rest of the world writes him off before the fight even occurs. Nurmagomedov would be coming to win, make no mistake about it, however unlikely his chances may actually seem to be. Mayweather is 50-0 for a reason, and should be able to handle the far less experienced mixed martial arts champion Nurmagomedov with relative ease considering it would be a professional boxing match but nobody told “The Eagle” that.
By: Michael Kane
Could Conor McGregor be making a return to boxing this year?
Rumors are starting to spread in the UK and Ireland that suggest it may be likely.
Several boxing and MMA sites have said they have it from credible sources that discussions about a McGregor v Paulie Malignaggi fight have begun. The Sun newspaper today announced that the pair were in talks.
There has been a long running feud between the two fighters, ever since footage was leaked of a McGregor-Malignaggi sparring practice in the build up to the McGregor v Mayweather bout in 2017. In the footage it appeared Malignaggi had been floored by McGregor, this was dismissed by Malignaggi, who claims he was pushed. He then left McGregor’s training camp and has continually took to social media to vent against McGregor and his team.
McGregor returned to the UFC and was soundly defeated by lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, submitting in the 4th round. Before this bout it was reported that McGregor had signed a multi fight deal to compete on the UFC.
Could the fight take place as part of a Zuffa Boxing promotion, a move Dana White, the UFC President has mooted in the past. The UFC also made moves into boxing by recently signing a deal with Roy Jones Jr Boxing Promotions to show events live on UFC Fight Pass.
Whether this fight comes to fruition, time will tell. Is it a fight boxing aficionados would savour? I doubt it.
By: Sean Crose
Give this to Floyd Mayweather – the man knows how to keep himself in the spotlight. After it looked like his pay per view numbers might be starting to decline a while back, he finally agreed to meet Manny Pacquiao in what many observers felt was the money grab to end all money grabs. How wrong those observers were. For just over two years later, Mayweather got in the ring with the MMAs biggest star, the one man knee jerk reaction to every anti-bullying campaign known to man, Conor McGregor. Mayweather essentially made easy work of his Irish foe…only to just recently declare he would rematch Pacquiao in the near future.
Since then, Mayweather’s focus has apparently switched to Khabib Nomagomedov, the UFC star who recently came close to choking McGregor into oblivion. “Oh, we fighting!” Mayweather recently said of the Russian terror. “He called me out, so he gotta come to my world.” Naturally. One simply can’t expect a world class wrestler to wrestle. There’s simply too much money to be made leaving the cage for the ring and getting punched out by an aging boxing great. Or is there? If Khabib was only kidding when he called out Mayweather (which he did last week) this might all be nonsense.
Then again, who knows? At any rate, Mayweather is back in the news today, via TMZ, claiming he’s ready to give McGregor a rematch after fighting Khabib (one has to wonder how many beatings McGregor has left in him at this point). “After me and Khabib lock up,” he’s quoted as saying, “me and McGregor we gonna lock up again.” Mayweather, grandiose as ever, is also quoted as saying: “I’m helping keep combat sports alive!”” Perhaps Mayweather hasn’t heard of the massive 300 million plus deal former foe Canelo Alvarez has made with DAZN streaming service, or of the huge pay per view numbers such fights as Canelo-Golovkin and McGregor-Nurmogomadov have recently done. One suspects, however, that Mayweather has been kept well abreast of such news, hence the splashy headlines he’s taken to dishing out as of late.
Canelo, boxing’s new king (though many feel he lost his recent bout to Gennady Golovkin, only to be saved by the judges), is patently unimpressed with Mayweather’s latest round of media proclamations. “He wants to continue hurting boxing,” says the Mexican star of Mayweather, “by making fights that don’t make sense … and not giving boxing the credibility it deserves.” A younger, less able version of Canelo lost by decision to Mayweather in a massive 2013 bout. Now the Mexican himself wants a second chance.
“If he wants to return,” Canelo says of Mayweather, “I ask him to look my way to give a great fight to the fans.”
By: Sean Crose
Conor McGregor lost his second fight in a row last weekend, if you count his boxing match last year against Floyd Mayweather. This time, however, McGregor was back on his home turf, out of the ring and inside the cage where UFCs best prove their mettle. It was a one sided affair, with Russian lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov dominating his foe throughout most of the match before forcing the Irish star to tap out in the fourth round. No doubt it was a brilliant performance from Khabib. Unfortunately, the wrestler afterwards jumped out of the cage and attacked a member of McGregor’s team. Needless to say chaos ensued.
It’s easy for boxing fans to shake their collective heads at the supposed barbarity of the UFC, but boxing has earned quite a reputation of its own when it comes to combat sport’s insanity. As bad as last weekend was, at least no one lost an ear. One boxer is particularly qualified to talk about combat sport chaos. For Mayweather’s bout with Zab Judah famously turned chaotic when it went down back in 2006. “I’m not too familiar with the guy McGregor was fighting,” Mayweather is quoted as saying in regards to last weekend’s madness, “but I know the guy he was facing was undefeated.” Mayweather went on to condemn Saturday’s post fight action. “McGregor is a tough competitor,” he claimed, “but McGregor’s opponent jumped out of the ring and was fighting people in the crowd so, very unprofessional.”
Mayweather was notably cool when insanity erupted around him in the ring over a decade ago. He also knows, from facing McGregor, what it’s like to deal with the man’s taunts (it was the taunts that apparently took Khabib over the edge). Unlike Khabib, however, Mayweather remained sportsmanlike after defeating the controversial mma celebrity. “It’s going to be a huge fine,” Mayweather said of the penalties awaiting those involved in the McGregor-Khabib fracas. “I’m pretty sure because with my fight against Zab Judah, there was a crazy melee in the ring and a huge penalty – a huge fine. If I’m not mistaken, seven figures.”
Like McGregor, Mayweather knows how to get under the skin of an opponent. One thing the man has long been noted for, however, is discipline and self control when being under the bright lights. “I know when a guy’s jumping out of the cage into the audience and fighting different people,” Mayweather stated, “the fine is going to be crazy.”
By: William Holmes
“This is respect sport….This is not trash-talking sport…I don’t want people talk shit about opponents, talk shit about his father, religion. You cannot talk about religion. You cannot talk about nation. Guys, you cannot talk about this stuff.”-Khabib Nurmagomedov
The talk of the combat sporting world this weekend was the Khabib vs. Conor McGregor UFC fight, which featured Khabib picking McGregor apart before submitting him in the fourth round, then suddenly jumping out of the octagon cage and into the crowd to attack Dillon Danis, a member of McGregor’s team who was sitting cage side and allegedly taunting Khabib.
Chaos ensued afterwards and members of Khabib’s team jumped in the cage to attack McGregor. Suspensions will likely be given out, loss of purse and titles are also a possibility.
The sports world was divided. Were Khabib’s actions justified? Were his actions unexpected?
In order to attempt to understand Khabib, one first has to understand his background and where he is from, something that he was evidently trying to explain in his post fight explanation.
Khabib is from Dagestan, a Russian republic. It has been the forefront of Islamic Insurgency and ethnic tension since the 1990s. It borders Chechnya, the location of a severe conflict with Russia that often featured Chechen fighters infiltrating Dagestan to call for Jihad.
Khabib is a devout Sunni Muslim and well educated. He speaks several languages and is very proud of his culture and heritage.
Insults aimed at his religion or nation are not taken likely. I’m not arguing that Khabib is a terrorist or that he supports armed violent jihad, but pointing out that disrespect against his religion is taken very seriously.
So should we have been surprised by Khabib’s actions? Well, if you had some general knowledge about the region he is from, probably not. McGregor is notorious for his trash talking, but when he insulted Khabib he questioned the support Khabib has in his nation, mocked Khabib by offering him alcohol even though he’s a Muslim who does not drink, and called his manager a terrorist rat.
Khabib has been exposed to religious warfare and terrorism, and to lump him and his team with real terrorists was undoubtedly an insult that he could not ignore.
Khabib claims Dillon Danis hurled Muslim insults at him after the fight and that’s why he jumped over the fence, a claim Danis denies. But nobody should have been surprised that Khabib was still fired up after his fight with McGregor was over.
“I know my father’s gonna smash me when I go home because…I know he’s gonna smash me.”-Khabib Nurmagomedov
“I think that for Khabib, the most severe sanctions would be my regard. I am going to regard this severely. I warned him. For me, the most important thing is discipline. You can do whatever you want in the octagon, but beyond its barrier-this is the border separating civilians, there are children, women, bystanders.
This fight took place within the octagon. That’s the spectacle But I am categorically against fighting outsid the octagon. Outside of the octagon, you need to exist peacefully. Fight in the octagon.”
Now for the million dollar, or two million dollar question. Were his actions justified?
Pre-fight trash talk has been a part of combat sports for years. McGregor and Mayweather’s trash talk was probably more entertaining than the actual fight itself.
But even though Mayweather and McGregor insulted each other greatly leading up to the fight, they were able to be cordial in the post fight interviews.
It’s difficult to find too many situations where a fighter leaped into the crowd immediately after a fight to engage someone in the crowd.
But there has been several situations where members of a boxer’s team jumped in a cage to start a brawl, and they were usually dealt with by the commission harshly.
Roger Mayweather jumped in the ring when Floyd fought Zab Judah and was hit with a low blow and a punch behind the head. An all out melee ensued when members from both camps entered the ring and brawled. Afterwards, Yoel Judah was fined $100,000 and had his license revoked for a year. Roger Mayweather was fined $200,000 and had his license revoked for one year. Leonard Ellerbe was fined $50,000 and had his license revoked for four months. Even Zab Judah received a fine of $350,000 and had his license revoked for a year.
Another example of a brawl happening in boxing was during the riot during the first Riddick Bowe/Andrew Golota fight. The fight was stopped after Golota landed several low blows on Bowe after repeated warnings. Members of Bowe’s security team jumped in the ring and went after Golota.
Rock Newman, Bowe’s manager and promoter, was suspended for a year and fined $250,000 for the incident.
More recently, one would have to look at the fight between Jose Uzcategui and Andre Dirrell, which featured Leon Lawson Jr., the Uncle of Dirrell, sucker punch Uzcategui. Lawson was suspended by the Maryland State Athletic Commission and faced criminal charges as a result.
Of course, one of the most famous post fight brawls or sucker punches was when James Butler sucker punched Richard Grant on ESPN after he lost his fight. He was charged with assault and suspended. In fact, he served four months at Rikers Island as a result.
Were his actions, jumping into the crowd to attack bystanders, justified? Precedent by athletic commission for boxers and members of their team behaving poorly and attacking fighters after a sanctioned fight is over are usually dealt with harshly.
There really isn’t any specific precedent to determine if the actions of Khabib were justified, but it appears likely that the commission won’t find any justification for a fighter to jump into a crowd to start a wild brawl, and will also likely deal with him harshly.
Justified? Also no.
Khabib’s punishment awaits.