UFC

Conor McGregor would prefer to fight Kamaru Usman than Jorge Masvidal

By Sports Desk January 04, 2020

Conor McGregor says a fight against UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman would be his priority ahead of a bout with Jorge Masvidal.

The Irishman returns to the Octagon against Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone at UFC 246 in January.

A rematch against lightweight world champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is also on McGregor's agenda further down the line.

But if he gets past Cerrone – who is nicknamed 'Cowboy' - the prospect of becoming a three-weight champion is more appealing to former featherweight and lightweight title-holder McGregor than a meeting with Masvidal.

"I'm not going to 170 just for Jorge," McGregor said to the Mac Life about Masvidal, who defeated Nate Diaz last year when their fight was stopped due to a cut.

"I'd face Jorge. He hasn't really got anything. I wasn't really that happy with how that bad motherf***** thing ended. 

"I think it's unfinished [with Diaz]. In my opinion, that bout is unfinished. It was only getting into a good bout, I believe. We were robbed of rounds 4 and 5 in that bout.

"But I like that welterweight belt. I liked that welterweight title fight that was on at the weekend, I liked the look of that. I liked the look of Kamaru Usman. I liked the look of Colby [Covington]. 

"I'm open to it all at 170. Gold and I'd say silver because that bad motherf***** belt is a silver one, it's not the best-looking belt. 

"I don't really care about that, I want the gold. I'm after the gold, 155 and 170. They're the belts I am chasing now."

Usman, who has only lost once in 17 fights, was unimpressed by McGregor's suggestion.

The Nigerian responded on Twitter, writing to McGregor: "My man, please just go in there and take your L from Cowboy. Don't even dream of this WW strap because that dream can turn into a nightmare fast."

Earlier this week, UFC president Dana White said he thinks it is "a bad idea" for McGregor to chase a fight with Masvidal.

Masvidal challenged McGregor in November, while Khabib has mocked his former foe's meeting with Cowboy, calling it a "minor league" fight due to the pair's lacklustre recent records.

But McGregor thinks his skills are being overlooked because of his inactivity, having lost to Khabib in his only UFC contest since knocking out Eddie Alvarez in November 2016.

"A lot of people forget about my skill base," he said. 

"I'm going to go in there and remind them. I don't feel these people are on my level when I am committed. I have not been committed for a while, up until about a year ago when I really started committing myself. 

"I look forward to showcasing my skills to the people."

Related items

  • Marega hits out at Vitoria fans and referee after suffering alleged racist abuse Marega hits out at Vitoria fans and referee after suffering alleged racist abuse

    Porto striker Moussa Marega walked off after suffering alleged racist abuse at Vitoria Guimaraes and he hit out at their fans and the match officials.

    Marega celebrated his 60th-minute goal, which put Porto 2-1 up at Estadio D. Afonso Henriques on Sunday, by pointing to his skin and was subsequently booked by referee Luis Godinho.

    Objects were thrown in the direction of the Mali international, who made the decision to leave the pitch 10 minutes later.

    Marega's team-mates tried to encourage him to stay on, but he was eventually helped down the tunnel and displayed his middle fingers to the supporters.

    After the match, he posted on Instagram: "I would just like say to these idiots who come to the stadium to make racist chants … go f*** yourselves.

    "And I also thank the referees for not defending me and for giving me a yellow card because I defend my skin colour.

    "I hope I never meet you on a football pitch again! YOU ARE A DISGRACE!!!"

    Porto coach Sergio Conceicao said former Vitoria player Marega had been targeted from the warm-up and the club were "indignant" with what occurred.

    Vitoria president Miguel Pinto Lisboa condemned the alleged abuse but suggested the 28-year-old did not help himself with his actions.

    "At Vitoria we have players of all colours, races and creeds. We promote gender and race quality in sport and do not engage in behaviours that may harm that," he said.

    "If any Vitoria supporter behaved this way we will take appropriate action, but it seems to me there were also provocative actions intended to stoke the fire.

    "The player's attitude was visible on the television cameras."

    Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) president Fernando Gomes said in a statement: "Racist behaviour is intolerable in an open and evolved society.

    "The perpetrators of racist insults must be identified and brought to justice. The Portuguese Football Federation repudiates racist behaviour, wherever it comes from and wherever it occurs.

    "On Sunday, Moussa Marega was the target of racist insults that cannot fail to be severely punished, in a serious and condemnable incident.

    "The Portuguese Football Federation expresses its solidarity with Moussa Marega. As the FPF president I assure you I will continue to do everything so that fans who do not respect football are definitively outside the stadium. This is an urgent fight for the whole society."

  • Mason Rudolph calls reiterated claim he racially abused Myles Garrett a 'bold-faced lie' Mason Rudolph calls reiterated claim he racially abused Myles Garrett a 'bold-faced lie'

    Mason Rudolph said Myles Garrett's claim the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback racially abused him prior to their on-field brawl in November is a "bold-faced lie" and "1,000 per cent false".

    Garrett was suspended indefinitely by the NFL after he ripped off Rudolph's helmet and hit him over the head with it in the closing stages of the Cleveland Browns' Week 10 victory over the Steelers.

    Although Garrett initially apologised for his actions, he subsequently accused Rudolph of using a racial slur, a claim that was vehemently denied by the Steelers signal-caller at the time.

    Following an investigation, an NFL spokesperson said the league found "no evidence" to support Garrett's allegation.

    After being reinstated by the Browns this week, Garrett again said Rudolph racially abused him, telling ESPN: "He called me the N-word. He called me a 'stupid N-word'."

    Responding to a clip of the interview on Twitter, Rudolph said: "1,000 per cent false. Bold-faced lie. I did not, have not, and would not utter a racial slur.

    "This is a disgusting and reckless attempt to assassinate my character."

    Rudolph's attorney and agent Timothy M. Younger suggested legal action could be taken against Garrett.

    A statement posted by Younger read: "We waited to hear the entire interview. Garrett, after originally apologising to Mason Rudolph, has made the ill-advised choice of publishing the belated and false accusation that Mr. Rudolph uttered a racial slur on the night in question.

    "Not that Mr. Garrett claims that Mr. Rudolph uttered the slur simultaneously with being taken down, and before Mr. Garrett committed a battery by striking Mr. Rudolph on the head with a 6 lb helmet.

    "His claim is ludicrous. The obviously was not the first time Mr. Rudolph had been sacked by an African American player. Mr. Garrett maliciously uses this false allegation to cox sympathy, hoping to be excused for what clearly is inexcusable behaviour.

    "Despite other players and the referee being in the immediate vicinity, there are zero corroborating witnesses – as confirmed by the NFL.

    "Although Mr. Rudolph had hoped to move forward, it is Mr. Garrett who has decided to utter this defamatory statement – in California. He is now exposed to legal liability."

    Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said: "I support Mason Rudolph not only because I know him, but also because I was on that field immediately following the altercation with Myles Garrett, and subsequently after the game.

    "I interacted with a lot of people in the Cleveland Browns organisation – players and coaches. If Mason said what Myles claimed, it would have come out during the many interactions I had with those in the Browns organisation.

    "In my conversations, I had a lot of expressions of sorrow for what transpired. I received no indication of anything racial or anything of that nature in those interactions."

  • Ceballos reveals why he chose Arsenal ahead of Liverpool Ceballos reveals why he chose Arsenal ahead of Liverpool

    Dani Ceballos believes he would have risked becoming an Anfield misfit if he had chosen to join Liverpool rather than Arsenal.

    The Spain midfielder swapped Real Madrid for the Gunners in a season-long loan deal last July, but only after weighing up the idea of playing for Jurgen Klopp's Champions League winners.

    Ceballos reached the conclusion that his style of play would not have been the ideal fit at Liverpool, accepting Unai Emery's invitation to head to London instead.

    "I was proud to have a club like Liverpool after me, but I chose Arsenal because of Unai Emery and how he was with me," Ceballos told Marca.

    "Klopp is a great coach but you have to look at the playing philosophy of each team. Right now players of my philosophy of play would not fit in the best possible way in a team like Liverpool."

    Liverpool's hard-grafting midfielders have helped the Reds pull 22 points clear at the top of the Premier League, and 42 points ahead of Arsenal, who are toiling in 10th place.

    Ceballos endured a long spell out of the Arsenal team because of a hamstring injury and the attack-minded 23-year-old admitted he may have played too often in his early months at the club.

    He thinks he suffered the blow "because of an excess of matches", explaining: "I'd played 17 games in two months; I was the only player that had played all these games."

    Ceballos had told Emery he wanted to be involved in every fixture, but he looks back now and says: "Sometimes you have to learn from mistakes. I struggled with the injury, but you learn from everything."

    He was powerless to prevent Emery losing his job in November, but says successor Mikel Arteta "is going to be a great coach" and possesses the qualities that "Arsenal need right now".

    Asked about the change of coach, Ceballos looked back on the turbulent period at Arsenal and said: "I'm f***** on my part because I'd never been injured and annoyingly, I got injured at a time when the team started to unravel a bit.

    "I was watching the Arsenal games and I saw that we were struggling, that we weren't winning and that we'd entered a dynamic where we were finding it tough to get points.

    "I'm powerless and angry that I wasn't able to have helped the boss [Emery] and repaid everything he'd done for me."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.