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Conor McGregor

Dos Anjos’ long-term training partner Philipe Della Monica: “Dos Anjos will finish McGregor early”

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Conor McGregor will finally get his wish and have the chance to become the first-ever UFC fighter to hold two titles in two different weight divisions when he faces UFC lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos at UFC 197 on March 5th in Las Vegas. It took McGregor just 13 seconds to dispose of former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo at UFC 194, while Dos Anjo was equally as impressive defeating Cowboy Cerrone in 66 seconds at UFC on Fox 17. We caught up with Philipe Della Monica  long term friend of Dos Anjos and also helps corner the lightweight champion.

“I have known Rafael for over 15 years, we trained Jiu-Jitsu together in Brazil for a long time. After he moved to the United States a few years ago to train with Master Rafael Cordeiro at Kings MMA, I had already been living here in southern California where I teach Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at Gracie Barra Headquarters.  We began to train on a daily basis and I started to help him continue to improve his ground game, Jiu-Jitsu, coaching and cornering him for his fights”.

Della Monica says he has been impressed with McGregor’s fighting skills but believes the Irish man was lucky to defeat former featherweight champion Jose Aldo and believes if the two were to fight again the result would be different.

“I think Conor is a good fighter with good skills, he also does a good job promoting his fights. Yes, I was surprised. I truly believe that Jose Aldo is a better fighter than him, but anything can happen in a fight. He caught him, but in my opinion if they fight again the result would be different”.

McGregor has gained a reputation for his constant mind games in the build up to his fights, but will these mind-games have any effect on Dos Anjos?

“I don’t think he will get in Rafael’s head. To be honest, I like when the opponents talk and bring the fight to a personal level, it gives good motivation to Rafael. Rafael has lots of experience and he naturally knows how to capitalize any dramatics and use it for fuel and further motivation to push even harder  through out the training camp. When Rafael steps in the cage, it’s just him and his opponent, the talk doesn’t win fights, the preparation does and he is all business inside the cage”.

Many people will argue McGregor’s ground game has yet to be truly tested. Dos Anjos a black belt in BJJ might well be the man to test McGregor’s ground game but Della Monica says Dos Anjos is lethal everywhere.

“Rafael is a well rounded fighter. At this point there are no holes in his game, he’s good everywhere not to mention he continues to work hard every day to continue to improve his skills even more. The most important point here not to be forgotten is he loves to fight and he loves what he does”.

Della Monica knows Dos Anjos better than anybody having trained alongside the lightweight champion for more than 15 years and he fully believes Dos Anjos is in the prime of his life and expects him to finish McGregor in the early rounds.

“What I can say is that Rafael is 100% and at his best now. I respect McGregor, but in my opinion, Rafael has faced tougher challenges against better opponents then McGregor in his last few fights. (Ben Henderson, Nate Diaz, Anthony Pettis, Donald Cerrone). He is ready to fight 5 rounds but I think Rafael will finish this fight earlier”.

For all the build up to UFC 197 make sure to follow MMA Latest News on Facebook and Twitter.

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Conor McGregor

Dana White gives an update on the lightweight title picture

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When it comes to the lightweight division there is always a lot of talk with very little clarification. But now it seems Dana White has had enough of waiting for champion Conor McGregor and plans to move on in his absence.

“The Notorious” Conor McGregor won the UFC lightweight title back in November 2016 at UFC 205 where he became the first fighter to hold two belts simultaneously, however, he has not competed in MMA since.

Speaking on Sunday night’s after UFC Fight Night St. Louis UFC President Dana White said “Conor has said he is thinking about coming back in September if he comes back in September that’s almost two years, that can’t happen. It’s not fair to everybody else. Love Conor, respect Conor, love everything he’s done for this company, everybody knows that I say it all the time. The belt would have to move on.”

White also spoke about the two men that would fight for the lightweight belt saying “You do Khabib versus Tony, we’re working on that fight now and if and when Conor comes back he would get the first crack at the title.”

Then when presenter Karyn Bryant pushed for clarification and asked: “So you’re saying that Conor could possibly be stripped of his title?” Dana responded without hesitation “absolutely”.

The news will excite UFC fans across the globe who have been clamoring for the Ferguson vs Khabib matchup which they have been denied on three separate occasions. No date was confirmed for the potential matchup but rumors have been circulating that the UFC is targeting UFC 223 in April.

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Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor reacts to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s win at UFC 219

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On Saturday night the world watched as Khabib Nurmagomedov dismantled the striking expert Edson Barboza at UFC 219. The reactions were filled with praise for the undefeated Russian fighter. Media members and fans alike were calling Nurmagomedov one of the best lightweights in the world, but there is one man the world was waiting to hear from, UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor. McGregor was silent following the fight between Nurmagomedov and Barboza, that is until Monday morning when he took to Twitter to state his opinion about the Number one contender.

“Truly truly truly get on your fucking knees and beg me,” McGregor wrote on Twitter.  “Otherwise, I don’t give a bollox.  My whiskey is out this year and that’s Diddy bread.” The whiskey that McGregor is referring to is his very own grand that he announced would be coming out following his loss to Floyd Mayweather this past August.

Rumors about McGregor’s return have ranged from him retiring from fighting to live a life of wealth with his family, to expect his return to the UFC this summer. No one really knows if McGregor will ever defend his UFC lightweight belt, but if he is to do so UFC President Dana White has said that it will be against interim champion Tony Ferguson.

Ferguson was also seeking a fight with Nurmagomedov prior to winning the interim belt against Kevin Lee. It is entirely possible that we will see these two battle for the interim title in the octagon before we see the return of Conor McGregor. Of course, these days there are no guarantees in regards to title contention, McGregor and his camp have publically stated that they would like to face Nurmagomedov in his home country of Russia. 

 

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Conor McGregor has ‘Every intention of fighting in 2018’

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Despite being inactive since his historic boxing bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in August, Conor McGregor is never far from the headlines. Recently his out of cage antics have got people questioning if he’ll ever be back.

Thankfully the UFC lightweight champion appears to have cleared up any rumors about his fighting career.

Speaking to his sponsor Betsafe, the “Notorious” Conor McGregor said “My focus is getting back into the right ring or octagon. 2017 was historic. I have transcended both the sport of MMA and boxing. At this stage of my career, as it has been for the majority of my UFC career, potential opponents must lobby for fights with me. We could see Conor McGregor anywhere. I run the fight game, the fashion game, the whiskey game or whatever the next business endeavor might be”.

McGregor added, “I have every intention of fighting in 2018 if my compensation and business development endeavors accurately reflect my influence on combat sports.”

This comes just two weeks after UFC President Dana White told reporters “Conor might never fight again. The guy’s got $100 (expletive) million. I’ve got guys that made less than that and were lawyers and went to school their whole life and quit working.”

White went on to say “Try to get up and get punched in the face every day when you’ve got $100 million in the bank. Money changes everything with a lot of people.”

White also told reporters that the “Notorious one”, “can’t be paid enough money” and that he is “worth every penny and more.” McGregor’s recent statement suggests he knows that and won’t be back till his demands are met.

The UFC lightweight division has been stalled in the absence of the champion McGregor and now the interim champion Tony Ferguson has undergone surgery. The UFC has been known the remove belts from fighters who have been delayed for extended amounts of time, this would be highly unlikely with the popularity of McGregor.

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