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Conor McGregor must fight Islam Makhachev next, taunts Khabib’s manager as he says UFC legend is just No5 in world

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CONOR McGREGOR has been told by Khabib Nurmagomedov’s manager his only chance of fighting for the belt is to first beat Islam Makhachev.

McGregor, 32, is currently retired after announcing the decision in May.

Conor McGregor has been told by Khabib Nurmagomedov's manager his only chance of fighting for the belt is to first beat Islam Makhachev

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Conor McGregor has been told by Khabib Nurmagomedov’s manager his only chance of fighting for the belt is to first beat Islam Makhachev
Lightweight contender Islam Makhachev with training partner Khabib Nurmagomedov

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Lightweight contender Islam Makhachev with training partner Khabib Nurmagomedov

But following speculation he could reverse the decision, for the third time in four years, the Irishman has been warned he is not in the title picture.

Nurmagomedov, 31, and interim champion Justin Gaethje, also 31, are set to unify the division at UFC 253 in September.

And outspoken manager Ali Abdelaziz, who represents both champions, goaded McGregor by insisting he must fight No11 ranked lightweight Makhachev.

Abdelaziz told TMZ Sports: “Conor right now he can be a backup fighter.

“He can go make weight and maybe make some money, but at the end of the day, that’s the two champions.

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“He’s not even No3, he’s No4 or No5. Conor can go fight Nate (Diaz) or (Jorge) Masvidal. We’re not interested in fighting him.

“He needs to get some wins and he needs to fight some good opponents.

“I said, the only way he can fight Khabib is if he fights Islam Makhachev, then he can fight Khabib.”

McGregor decided to quit the UFC during lockdown, frustrated his next opponent was not near being finalised.

He was further angered after Gaethje won the interim strap lining him up to face unbeaten Khabib.

But following his birthday spent in France with partner Dee Devlin, McGregor appeared to suggest he was contemplating a comeback following a “stay ready” comment on Instagram.

UFC president Dana White has been forced to again confirm the southpaw is retired, but admits the possibility of a return with the fighter still in the anti-doping testing pool.

Irish MMA veteran Chris Fields says UFC created a monster in Conor McGregor

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Arsenal vs West Ham LIVE SCORE: Eddie Nketiah fires Gunners back in front at the Emirates – stream, TV channel

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OFF PLATFORM Arsenal vs West Ham

ARSENAL 2-1 WEST HAM

85. That is an absolute sucker punch for West Ham.

Saka finds Ceballos with an excellent ball that splits the West Ham defence.

Ceballos looks up and rolls the ball across the face of goal to the feet of Nketiah who taps into an empty net.

Arsenal re-take the lead!

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UFC Fight Night – Covington vs Woodley FREE: UK start time, live stream, TV channel, prelims for TONIGHT’s card

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COLBY Covington and Tyron Woodley face-off in the main event of UFC Fight Night 178 this weekend.

This is the final match-up before UFC goes back to Abu Dhabi for a host of major duels.

Woodley and Covington have been wanting to fight since 2018

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Woodley and Covington have been wanting to fight since 2018Credit: Getty Images – Getty

What TV Channel is UFC 178 on?

The fight will be shown on BT Sport 1.

It can be live streamed on BT Sport’s website and app.

They will start their prelims at 11pm BST.

Earlier prelims will be shown on UFC’s Fight Pass for subscribers as normal.

In the US, all prelims can be watched on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ in English and Spanish.

How can I watch UFC 178 for FREE?

EE mobile customers can get a FREE three-month trial of BT Sport by texting SPORT to 150.

You can then cancel the trial at any time.

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What is the fight card?

Main card (BT Sport 1, 1am Sunday)

  • Colby Covington vs. Tyron Woodley, Welterweight
  • Donald Cerrone vs. Niko Price, Welterweight
  • Khamzat Chimaev vs. Gerald Meerschaert, Middleweight
  • Johnny Walker vs. Ryan Spann, Light Heavyweight
  • Mackenzie Dern vs. Randa Markos, Women’s Strawweight
  • Kevin Holland vs. Darren Stewart, Middleweight

Preliminary Card (BT Sport 1, 11pm Saturday)

  • Mirsad Bektic vs. Luiz Garagorri, Featherweight
  • Mayra Bueno Silva vs. Mara Romero Borella, Women’s Flyweight
  • Jordan Espinosa vs. David Dvorak, Flyweight
  • Jessica-Rose Clark vs. Sarah Alpar, Women’s Bantamweight
  • Journey Newson vs. Randy Costa, Bantamweight
  • Andre Ewell vs. Irwin Rivera, Bantamweight
  • Darrick Minner vs. T.J. Laramie, Featherweight

What have they said?

Woodley has warned Covington that he is willing to strike him illegally to win the bout.

He has implied that he will not be in control of his hands and they could land anywhere in the fight, including his opponent’s groin.

He said: “I’ll let them go upside his head, body. I might even punch in the sack for the warning, bap. I will take the warning or even the point deduction, I feel good guys.”

The pair were first supposed to fight when Woodley was champion in 2018.

But both men accused the other of not taking up the offer.

Conor McGregor in talks over UFC return next year as Dana White reveals pair are ‘working on some fun stuff’

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Gareth Bale transfer news LIVE: Bale and Reguilon CONFIRMED by Spurs, Jota SIGNS for Liverpool, Aston Villa sign Traore

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OK CAREL

Huddersfield Town have sealed a deal on a loan move for Ajax starlet Carel Eiting.

The left-footed Dutch midfielder will wear the Terriers’ number 14 shirt this term.

And Carel, 22, was a sub in Ajax’s season opening win against Sparta Rotterdam.

Huddersfield head coach Carlos Corberan said: “He’s a midfielder who give us different options; he can play as a playmaker, in more attacking positions or as a mixed, box-to-box midfielder.”

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