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Judges and Referees Decided on for UFC 194’s Title Bouts

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At UFC 194 on December 12th, two huge title fights take place: Chris Weidman defends his middleweight title against Luke Rockhold before UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo and UFC Interim featherweight champion Conor McGregor finally collide to unify the UFC’s 145 pound division. But, in both of those bouts, there will, of course, be a third man in the octagon with the fighters: the referee. Today, the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) have decided who those third men will be: and the news is likely to please MMA fans.

First, the main event between Ireland’s Conor McGregor and the pound for pound number one ranked Jose Aldo. It seems appropriate for what is probably the biggest fight in UFC history, that the match receives a “big” referee – and that is just what the NAC have done, placing the veteran “Big” John McCarthy in charge of the contest. It comes as little surprise that McCarthy has been chosen, as his experience and past history speaks for itself.

Another vastly experienced referee who, like McCarthy, is regarded as one of the very best in MMA is Herb Dean. Dean has been chosen by the NAC to referee the evening’s co-main event middleweight title match between Weidman and Rockhold. Again, it is easy to see why the commission has opted for Dean in such a high-profile bout. MMA’s two most experienced, and arguably it’s two best, referees are now official for UFC 194.

Another matter is that of the judges. The NAC also decided on which three individuals would score the title fights for UFC 194. In the case of Aldo vs McGregor, the three judges octagon side (if needed) will be Derek Cleary, Sal D’Amato and Junichiro Kamijo. Should Weidman vs Rockhold last the full 5 rounds, then their fates will be in the hands of judges Adelaide Byrd, Chris Lee and Marcos Rosales.

UFC 194 takes places in Las Vegas, Nevada on December 12th. The full fight card, as it stands, is as follows:

Main Card

  • Jose Aldo (c) vs Conor McGregor (ic) – UFC Featherweight Title
  • Chris Weidman (c) vs Luke Rockhold – UFC Middleweight Title
  • Ronaldo Souza vs Yoel Romero
  • Demian Maia vs Gunnar Nelson
  • Max Holloway vs Jeremy Stephens

FOX Sports Preliminary Card

  • Urijah Faber vs Frankie Saenz
  • Tecia Torres vs Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger
  • Warlley Alves vs Colby Covington
  • Leonardo Santos vs Kevin Lee

 

UFC Fight Pass Preliminary Card

  • Joe Proctor vs Magomed Mustafaev
  • John Makdessi vs Yancy Medeiros
  • Court McGee vs Marcio Alexandre Jr.

 

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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 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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