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Eddie Alvarez on Khabib Nurmagomedov’s title victory

Eddie Alvarez knows how this must look. The UFC crowned Khabib Nurmagomedov as its new lightweight champion last weekend, following a dominant showing over Al Iaquinta at UFC 223. UFC 223 provided a glimpse of the future, as Khabib Nurmagomedov and Rose Namajunas both impressed in wins. Who should they — and other fighters from that card — face next? Conor McGregor, arrested last week on assault and criminal mischief charges, still remains the UFC’s biggest star. Brett Okamoto looks at what’s next for their relationship and how it could…

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UFC’s Gaethje believes Alvarez loss cost him title fight

Justin Gaethje‘s coach, Trevor Wittman, still laughs as he recalls how happy his fighter was after the first professional loss of his career. Gaethje (18-1) suffered a knockout loss to Eddie Alvarez at UFC 218 in December and was transported to a Detroit hospital immediately after. Wittman has long expressed confidence Gaethje would handle a loss well, if it ever happened to come. And he was proved correct that night. Newly crowned UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov looked unbeatable against Al Iaquinta. But Eddie Alvarez, who hopes to fight for…

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Former WWE star CM Punk to make second UFC appearance June 9

Former professional wrestling star CM Punk will make his second appearance in the UFC on June 9 in Chicago. UFC announced the long-rumored bout on Thursday. Punk, whose birth name is Phil Brooks, will face Mike Jackson in a welterweight fight at UFC 225 at United Center. Punk (0-1) has been hinting at a UFC return for months. The former WWE wrestler trains out of Milwaukee but lives in Chicago. Punk, 39, made his mixed martial arts debut at UFC 203 in September 2016. He had no MMA experience when…

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UFC’s Dustin Poirier using newfound fame to improve lives in hometown

Dustin Poirier ships the fight kits himself. Another personal touch that makes the rising UFC star’s charitable efforts so unique. Holly Holm and Megan Anderson will fight at UFC 225 on June 9 in Chicago. It will mark the first nontitle female featherweight bout in UFC history. UFC welterweight Nick Diaz could return to the Octagon as soon as next month. If he chooses to fight again, who should it be against? Our panel gave their picks. 1 Related Poirier has been auctioning off his fight-worn gloves and clothes for…

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UFC adds female featherweight bout between Holly Holm and Megan Anderson to UFC 225

The UFC has added a female featherweight bout between Holly Holm and Megan Anderson to UFC 225 on June 9 in Chicago. Sources confirmed to ESPN the 145-pound matchup, following an initial report by Chicago Tribune. The UFC 225 pay-per-view event will take place at United Center. It will mark the first non-title female featherweight bout in UFC history. The promotion opened the division last year but has promoted only title fights to this point. Cris “Cyborg” Justino is the current champion. Holm (11-4) is a former bantamweight champion. She…

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Floyd Mayweather in the cage? Not crazy at all

After nearly 20 years of covering Floyd Mayweather’s career, I have finally learned my lesson. Never underestimate the best boxer of his generation inside or outside of the ring. You might recall — I do, because I am reminded of it often by smart aleck readers — that in May 2016, Brett Okamoto, my ESPN colleague who covers MMA, and I were tasked with writing a piece on our views about whether there was a chance that a fantasy boxing match between an unretiring Mayweather and UFC star Conor McGregor…

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ESPN’s women’s MMA pound-for-pound rankings

12:37 PM ET Brett OkamotoESPN Staff Writer Close MMA columnist for ESPN.com Analyst for “MMA Live” Covered MMA for Las Vegas Sun Who is the world’s best women’s mixed martial artist, regardless of weight class? My latest top-10 ranking is listed below. In addition, here is my men’s pound-for-pound ranking. Note: Results through April 11, 2018. = champion 1. Cris Justino• Record: 20-1• Div.: Featherweight (Invicta FC/UFC)• Last: W (TKO1) Yana Kunitskaya, March 3, 2018• Next: TBD Cyborg faced one of the most difficult challenges of her career in Holly…

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Projecting the next fights for Khabib Nurmagomedov, Rose Namajunas, Joanna Jedrzejczyk

The UFC saw a lot of curveballs last week, to say the least. Somehow, we ended up with Khabib Nurmagomedov versus Al Iaquinta for the lightweight title. Conor McGregor fought a bus. Tony Ferguson, Anthony Pettis, Paul Felder and Michael Chiesa didn’t fight at all. Strange times. As we saw at UFC 223, sometimes the best-laid plans don’t always work out, but nevertheless, here is ESPN’s take on what should be next. Khabib Nurmagomedov, lightweight champion Result: Defeated Iaquinta via unanimous decision Next: McGregor Why wait? This one’s ready to…

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Bellator featherweight cham Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire to defend title against Daniel Weichel

Bellator MMA featherweight champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire will defend his title against Daniel Weichel at a July 14 event in Rome. Officials announced the 145-pound title fight on Tuesday. Freire is a two-time featherweight champion and will be seeking his first defense since he reclaimed the belt in April 2017. Patricio Freire defeated Daniel Straus to recapture the Bellator featherweight championship Friday, April 21, 2017 at Bellator 178 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com The two have met previously, at Bellator 138 in June 2015. Freire won the…

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If Nick Diaz returns to the UFC, he should fight…

UFC welterweight Nick Diaz, one of the most popular fighters in MMA history, could be back in the Octagon as soon as next month. Diaz accepted a one-year suspension from the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) on Monday for missing three out-of-competition drug tests within a 12-month span. The one-year period of ineligibility is retroactive to the date of Diaz’s third missed test, which was April 19, 2017, meaning the suspension ends in just 10 days. Nick Diaz, who has not fought in more than three years, will be eligible…

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