There is a common saying that you’re not a true champion until you defend your title.

Well, if that’s the case, Leon "Rocky" Edwards can now officially call himself a UFC champion.

The 31-year-old Kingston-born British fighter, now 21-3 (1) in MMA, successfully defended his UFC Welterweight title with a majority decision win over Nigerian former Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman at UFC 286 at the O2 Arena in London over the weekend.

It was Edwards’ second straight win over Usman, who, before their last fight, was on a 19-fight win streak. That streak included a unanimous decision victory over Edwards back in 2015.

With that being said, their chapter appears to be closed with the question now being: who is next for Leon Edwards?

One good thing about being a UFC champion is that there’s never a shortage of opponents to choose from. In some cases, fighters even get to select who they want to defend their title against, no matter how deserving they truly are of that shot.

Edwards made his attempt at this when, in his post-fight press conference, he called out veteran Jorge Masvidal (35-16) who Edwards had a viral run-in with back in 2019.

On that fateful night, interestingly at the same venue where Edwards defended his title, Masvidal, after knocking out British Welterweight Darren Till in the second round of their main event, was giving an interview backstage after the fight.

Edwards, who was also victorious on the night after securing a split decision win over Iceland’s Gunnar Nelson, made some comments while walking past Masvidal during interview before telling the Miami native to “shut up.”

Masvidal then made his way over to Edwards and the two got into an altercation, with the former landing several unanswered punches to Edwards, who declined to press charges.

Two years later, the pair were scheduled to fight, officially this time, at UFC 269 in Las Vegas before Masvidal pulled out and the bout was scrapped.

Since the incident, their careers have gone on two different paths. Edwards just defended his title and has won four of five fights, with one no contest, while Masvidal is 2-3 in his last five fights, including three straight losses. Two of those came against Usman while his last came against Colby Covington, the man who UFC President Dana White has said is next for Edwards.

Masvidal is currently ninth in the UFC Welterweight rankings and will need to beat number five-ranked Brazilian Gilbert Burns at UFC 287 next month for the UFC to even consider booking him against Edwards for the Welterweight belt.

Another contender for Edwards’ next fight is the aforementioned Colby Covington. Covington, 35, is a former Interim UFC Welterweight champion and is currently the number two-ranked Welterweight contender.

He is 2-2 in his last four fights with both losses coming in title fights against Usman. Covington, 17-3 in MMA, also weighed in as the back-up fighter for Saturday’s title fight between Edwards and Usman, signaling that he may be next in line for a title shot.

The other two main contenders are Khamzat Chimaev and Belal Muhammad.

Chimaev, ranked number three, is a Swedish wrecking ball who is currently 12-0 that could be fast-tracked to a title fight despite having only one win against a ranked fighter in the UFC. Him versus Edwards is unlikely as he is currently contemplating a move up to middleweight.

Muhammad, 22-3 in MMA, could very well have the best argument for a fight with Edwards based on merit. The 34-year-old is ranked number four and is currently on a nine-fight unbeaten streak including eight wins and one no contest.

Remember the no contest for Edwards? It came against Muhammad when they fought in a UFC Fight Night main event back in March 2021.

Edwards accidentally poked Muhammad in the eye in the second round leaving the latter unable to continue. It was determined that the poke was accidental by the referee, meaning, instead of a Muhammad win by disqualification, it was ruled a no contest. Perhaps those two could run it back with the belt on the line.

In the end, whether it’s Edwards vs Masvidal, Edwards vs Covington, Edwards vs Chimaev or Edwards vs Muhammad 2, we will all be watching. 



On September 6, 2022, US Virgin Islands born fighter Karl Williams competed on Week 7 of Dana White’s Contender Series, a platform where fighters do battle to earn a UFC contract.

The 33-year-old heavyweight was able to secure a unanimous decision win over American Jimmy Lawson and secure a contract with the world’s biggest Mixed Martial Arts promotion.

On March 11, Williams won his UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 221-Yan vs Dvalishvili.

He was able to dominate 30-year-old Polish fighter Lukasz Brzeski on the way to a unanimous decision win.

“Have fun and see where it goes,” was the game plan for the fight according to Williams.

“I wanted to come up with a game plan but I decided to just go out there and have fun. I prepared for everything so I just saw what he gave me and enjoyed,” he added.

Williams, who now boasts an 8-1 record in professional MMA, was born in the US Virgin Islands and now lives and trains in Atlanta.

With regards to his UFC debut, Williams says he was in awe.

“It was everything and more. I’m sitting in front of all these cameras. People aren’t going to see what I’m seeing, but this is amazing. The crowd, the people backstage, everything in the UFC leading up to this was just wonderful.”

Williams, who has competed at light-heavyweight (205 pounds) in the past, signaled his intentions to remain at heavyweight and return to the octagon as soon as possible.

“Not at all,” was his response to the media’s questions about a possible return to light heavyweight.

“The best thing about the UFC is having the performance institute (P.I.). Right after my fight on the Contender Series, I was staying here (in Las Vegas) to corner Chris Barnett and I went to the P.I. for a week and did all these tests. I was 237 thinking I was fat and out of shape. Then, when I went there and did a DEXA scan (scan to test bone density), they told me I had a lot of muscle so it would be hard for me to get down to 205. So, I took the easy way out and said I’ll just stay at heavyweight.”


Leon Edwards successfully defended the welterweight title as he claimed a majority decision victory in a pulsating rematch with Kamaru Usman at UFC 286.

Edwards had stunned Usman with a fifth-round knockout win at UFC 278 last August, with Saturday's clash marking their third meeting. Usman won the first in 2015.

His first title defence at London's O2 Arena was extremely close, but Edwards displayed the greater energy and precision to delight the home crowd and retain the title.

"He didn't get any takedowns I was landing cleaner shots. I took out his legs," Edwards told BT Sport. "Thanks to Kamaru for being a great competitor.

"I couldn't get the kick around his head. He had the perfect defence. I was trying to set it up with kicks to the body and legs.

"I know it was a close fight so I knew I had to land the cleaner shots. He didn't land many clean on me. He just had lots of pressure."

Jorge Masvidal and Gilbert Burns will face off next month in a bout in Miami that could decide Edwards' next challenger.

"I might take a little trip to Miami and see what's going on there," added Edwards.

Usman, meanwhile, was gracious in defeat but indicated he would eventually like another shot at Edwards.

"I think I did enough to win the fight but I knew it was close," he said.

"He had a great gameplan. I always said from the start we'd meet again and I'm not done. We will see each other again.

"I always gave him props for what he's accomplished. He's a brother like myself and great respect. London you've got yourself a great champion."

Earlier, Justin Gaethje won a thrilling lightweight contest with Rafael Fiziev, leaving the Azerbaijani's face bloodied en route to victory by majority decision.

Gaethje ended Fiziev's six-fight winning streak and said afterwards: "These guys are young, hungry, that's a dangerous guy right there. But I ain't going to be around much longer. 

"I'm trying one more run at the title."

UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards is set for a legacy-defining test on Saturday when he heads into his trilogy fight against Kamaru Usman as the underdog.

Edwards, 31, suffered the last loss of his career against Usman – a unanimous decision back in 2015 as he failed to solve the wrestling-heavy attack from the 'Nigerian Nightmare'.

It took nearly seven years for Edwards to earn the rematch, rattling off nine wins in a row over that span to force his way into a world title fight.

He got his opportunity at UFC 278 in August, and while he showed some clear improvement from their first meeting – including landing a rare takedown against Usman – the champion looked set to extend his perfect run in the UFC to 15-0 through four rounds.

But just minutes away from a decision victory, Edwards did the unthinkable. After repeatedly throwing his left roundhouse kick to the body and legs throughout the opening 22 minutes, Edwards sent the same kick high, catching Usman clean as he instinctively leaned into it and defended his body.

It was a moment that will live forever, with the man aptly nicknamed 'Rocky' coming from the clouds to score a monumental upset and conquer the fighting world.

The passion, pain and frustration from his decade-long journey to the top was evident during his famous post-fight interview, where he stared into the camera yelling, "You all said I couldn't do it – well look at me now".

Nobody can ever take that night away from Edwards, and people will still be talking about it long after both he and Usman have hung up their gloves – but the reality is that his dream run may be in its final hours as the trilogy approaches.

While Edwards has proved he is capable of defeating Usman – something none of his previous opponents can say – it is still hard to imagine how he can win three out of five rounds against the former champion.

The grappling advantage for Usman is significant, and he is likely to lean into that even further after the painful illustration about what can happen if he settles for a kickboxing match.

Even after Edwards fought off the grappling attack from Usman in the first round of their title fight, Usman almost assuredly took rounds two, three and four, and really looked in no danger down the stretch until the fight-ending blow.

Usman is simply better at winning rounds, meaning Edwards likely has to repeat his knockout finish to defend his belt for the first time in front of a packed O2 Arena.

It would be unfair to label the historic head-kick as a fluke, or luck. You do not accidentally set someone up for a perfect finishing shot and land it with such force, at such a desperate situation in the biggest fight of your life.

But the thing about once-in-a-lifetime knockouts is that, by definition, they don't happen twice – and a fighter the calibre of Usman will not make the same mistake again.

Leon Edwards wants to "put a show on" for the fans at UFC 286 in London as he prepares to face rival Kamaru Usman for a third time.

The duo both weighed in at 170lb on Friday at the O2 Arena, before squaring up one last time prior to clashing when it matters on Saturday.

Nigerian Usman suffered just a second loss of his professional career against Edwards in August at UFC 278, seven years after winning their first bout.

Edwards' shock win in Utah earned him the UFC welterweight championship, and his first defence will be against Usman.

Though born in Jamaica, Edwards and his family moved to England when he was young, and the 31-year-old is eager to impress at the first numbered UFC event to take place in the United Kingdom since 2017.

"I'm excited to be here tomorrow and put a show on for you guys, to do another head-shot and take him out again," Edwards said at the weigh-in.

Usman simply replied: "He's talking now so tomorrow night we're going to talk in that octagon."

The co-main event will see American Justin Gaethje go up against Azerbaijan's Rafael Fiziev.

Kamaru Usman claims he is the superior fighter between himself and Leon Edwards as they prepare for their trilogy bout at UFC 286.

The Nigerian suffered just a second career loss against his rival last August at UFC 278, seven years on from winning their first match.

A third encounter is set to take place at London's The O2 on Saturday, with Edwards out to defend the UFC Welterweight Championship he won in Utah.

Despite having lost his crown, Usman suggests he remains the better of the two, and insists both men are aware of his technical superiority.

"He's the champ, and I'll give that to him," Usman told Sky Sports. "But him and I know I will deal with him [on] March 18. I'm better and the world knows it.

"I've never been disrespectful with Leon. If anything, I've been the only guy that has given him respect all throughout his career.

"I'm not going to start [on him] now. He's said a couple [of] things that have offended me, but I'll talk to him about that on Saturday night."

Edwards is just the second British UFC champion, but Usman vows he will have home turf advantage in London among the Nigerian Diaspora.

"My fans, these are my fans," he added. "Everybody keeps saying you're coming to enemy territory, [but] I'm at home. This is London. These are my people here.

"They love me, they tell me all the time they want me to come to London and put on a performance for them.

"I asked for this, I could have waited and done it in Vegas. I love the support. That just goes to show how massive the sport is and how much it's growing.

"I love it, whether they're screaming for me or against me."

Edwards is also claiming homecoming rights however, and is relishing a chance to fight in front of British support just as much as his rival.

"I enjoy the moments," he added. "This is my fifth or sixth main event, so I've been in a main fight before. I understand it's a power fight, but it's the same cage, the same Usman.

"I know it's going to be crazy, but let's not overcomplicate it. It's going to be a packed arena and I get to enjoy it with my family. That's the only difference to me, more friends and family there."

Jon Jones wants his first defence of the UFC heavyweight championship to be against the man widely considered the greatest heavyweight in the history of the promotion, Stipe Miocic.

Jones captured the belt on Saturday after securing a first-round guillotine choke submission against Cyril Gane, just two minutes and four seconds into the main event.

It was the 35-year-old former light heavyweight champion's first fight since February 2020, and there had been questions about how he would look coming off such a long layoff and at a drastically increased weight, but he passed the test with flying colours.

He planted Gane on the mat with his first takedown attempt, and after feeling out a potential guillotine that was not properly applied, he returned to the same move moments later and cinched it up tight.

During his post-fight interview, Jones shared that he knew grappling was his route to victory, and that Gane's limited experience in that department would be no match for his lifetime in the wrestling room.

"I had a strong conviction that if I were to get him down to the ground, the fight would be in my area," he said.

"I've been wrestling since I was 12 years old, and I felt stronger and more comfortable – especially on the ground – than ever.

"With kickboxing you never know what's going to happen – he zigs, I zag – there was a major feeling out process. 

"I actually felt a little goofy on the feet, it's been a while, but once I got my hands on him I knew that's where I was most comfortable and that I could take control."

When asked about his interest in taking on the former heavyweight champ, Jones said it is the only fight on his mind.

"Oh yeah, baby," he said. "Y'all want to see me beat up Stipe? One thing I know about the UFC is we give the fans what they want to see.

"Stipe Miocic, I hope you're training my guy. You're the greatest heavyweight of all-time, and that's what I want. I want you, real bad."

Miocic, 40, has not fought since a crushing knockout at the hands of Francis Ngannou in March 2021, but he is the only heavyweight in UFC history to defend the belt three times in a row, during his first of two championship reigns from 2016-2018.

Jon Jones made it look easy as he submitted Cyril Gane in just over two minutes to secure the vacant heavyweight championship in the UFC 285 main event.

Jones, who came into the contest with a 27-1 record and was already considered one of the greatest fighters in UFC history, added another notch to his resume as he added the heavyweight belt to his 15 light heavyweight title fight victories.

Against Gane, Jones was faced with the first size disadvantage of his career, although he did come in as the slightly heavier fighter at 249lbs to Gane's 248lbs.

But the battle was always going to be about whether Gane could prevent the takedowns and stay on his feet, and that question was answered a minute into the first round.

After the first kick of the fight nailed Jones square in the cup, causing a brief delay, the 35-year-old Hall of Fame inductee came out of the restart and immediately secured a takedown.

Gane tried to do the right things, keeping his back up against the cage to aid his chances of getting back to his feet, but Jones stayed patient and waited for his opening.

After initially threatening a guillotine choke that he could not lock up properly, Jones clearly identified a hole in the big Frenchman's defence, repositioning and attacking with the same guillotine choke while Gane was seated upright against the cage.

Once it was on properly, the tap came almost immediately, with the fight stopped at 2:04 into the first round.

But while one legend climbed further into the pantheon of the greatest fighters to ever walk the planet, another suffered a shocking defeat, as flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko was submitted by Alexa Grasso in the fourth round.

An overwhelming favourite, Shevchenko came into the contest on a nine-fight winning streak dating back to 2018, but after surviving a close split decision her last time out against Talia Santos, she again looked a far cry from her dominant best.

Grasso's boxing in the first round illustrated that she may have the edge on the feet, forcing the well-rounded champion to pivot her strategy and spend the second and third rounds largely in top position after a series of takedowns.

The fourth round was neck-and-neck, until Shevchenko threw a spinning back kick, exposing her back and allowing Grasso to latch on, sink her hooks in and work the rear naked choke.

It was not tight enough to finish initially, but the challenger remained calm and slowly adjusted her grip until the champion was forced to tap for the first time in her career.

With the stunning upset, Grasso became the first Mexican woman to ever win a UFC title, and she has a chance to potentially main event a pay per view when it comes time for the inevitable rematch.

Stipe Miocic will face the winner of Saturday's heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane, UFC president Dana White has announced.

Jones makes his long-awaited return to the UFC at heavyweight in Las Vegas.

A former two-time light heavyweight champion, Jones is facing Gane for the vacant heavyweight belt after Francis Ngannou left the UFC as a free agent.

Ngannou beat Miocic and Gane in his last two fights before quitting, and Jones will take on the same pair in reverse order if he comes through Saturday's bout at UFC 285.

"He's absolutely the next one," White said of Miocic. "So, whoever wins on Saturday night will face Stipe next."

But there will be no blockbuster return for Ngannou, who White says will not be allowed back into the UFC.

"We negotiated with him for years," he said. "It's over. That's over. He'll never be in the UFC again."

When Jon Jones returns to the cage on Saturday to challenge Cyril Gane for the vacant UFC heavyweight championship, he will be coming off the longest layoff of his professional career.

It is shaping up as the most unique test of 35-year-old Jones' career, and a chance to strengthen his resume as arguably the greatest talent in the history of the promotion.

Standing at six-foot-four with a seven-foot wingspan, Jones was blessed in the genetic lottery with an enormous frame for his weight division, coming from a family where both of his brothers (Chandler and Arthur) were college football stars who secured decorated careers in the NFL. 

Instead of sticking with football, Jones wrestled in college, and he quickly combined those skills with his physical gifts to earn his UFC debut just five months after his first professional MMA fight at 20 years old.

Jones immediately emerged as a special talent in the light heavyweight ranks, which at the time was considered the most glamourous division in the company thanks to the legacy left behind by the era of Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz and Randy Couture.

Less than three years after his first professional fight, Jones was given the chance to become the youngest champion in UFC history, and he took the opportunity with both hands.

He finished Hall-of-Famer Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua in the third round, claiming the belt at 23 years old – a record that may stand the test of time.

That was in 2011, and 12 years later the immortal Jones is still yet to legitimately lose a cage fight, with the only blemish on his record coming from an accidental disqualification in a fight he was dominating in every aspect.

But it is fair to say he has not looked truly impressive since his 2019 unanimous decision over Anthony Smith, with his two fights since both ending up unexpectedly close.

Jones was pushed to the limit by Thiago Santos, emerging with a split decision victory despite Santos suffering a serious knee injury early in the contest, and a number of pundits felt Jones actually should have lost his most recent decision against Dominick Reyes as he struggled against an opponent his own size.

After 15 consecutive wins in fights for the Light Heavyweight Championship, Jones took a hiatus as he continued to tease a potential heavyweight move – at one point supposedly against Brock Lesnar – and although many felt it may never eventuate, he is now set to try his hand at joining the short list of fighters to ever reach the mountaintop in two divisions.

A win this weekend would again spark conversations about the greatest fighter in UFC history, and could potentially narrow the discussion down to Jones and Khabib Nurmagomedov – who never won a second belt, but was also never threatened in his 29 unbeaten fights.

The only thing standing in his way is the conundrum of Gane – and perhaps Jones' own ego.

Jones' route to victory

While Jones is a terrific size for the heavyweight division, this will be the first time that he will fight someone taller, and likely heavier, than he is.

Size is not everything, but when that size is partnered by an elite skill set, it presents the most dangerous striking matchup of Jones' career.

Whenever Jones has been made to look uncomfortable in the cage, it has come from long strikers who mostly negate his physical advantages, namely Alexander Gustaffson, Santos and Reyes – but those experiences should provide the template of how to succeed.

Having only rematched against one of those three fighters who gave him serious trouble (Gustafsson), Jones showed exactly how he can make life miserable for a dangerous striker – wrestling.

One of only two fighters to ever take down Olympian Daniel Cormier in the cage, Jones' wrestling chops are legit, and it is reasonable to assume his skill in this department is at a level too great for the 32-year-old Gane to bridge at this stage in his career.

But Jones has always been an elite wrestler, and outside of a few occasions (rematch against Gustafsson, late against Anthony Smith), he has neglected to rely on it, showing a clear preference to keep things standing where he can show off his creative striking.

Jones never wants to appear 'afraid' to throw hands with his opponents, but that is exactly what Gane will be hoping.

Gane – who was an undefeated muay thai fighter before transitioning to MMA – has just one loss on his record, but it was a telling defeat.

It came in his first crack at the heavyweight championship against feared striker Francis Ngannou, who decided to expose Gane's lack of takedown defense and inability to get back to his feet, instead of giving the crowd the exciting back-and-forth stand-up war they anticipated.

Gane will have been obsessively preparing for those exact situations in the 14 months since, but the wrestling gap could become clear, and insurmountable, if Jones swallows his pride and comes out grappling in the opening minutes of their fight.

Gane's route to victory

First and foremost, Gane needs to stay on his feet, and his entire game plan needs to revolve around ensuring that is the case.

That means instead of trying to control the middle of the cage and dictate the pace, the smarter strategy is likely to play a more conservative style with his back closer to the fence. That way if a takedown is landed, he can use the cage to help himself back up, instead of being stranded in the centre of the octagon flat against the mat.

If he can turn this into a kickboxing match, Gane's chances skyrocket, as he possesses the size (six-foot-five) and length (six-foot-seven wingspan) to both hurt and put fear into Jones.

However, Gane runs into his own difficult conundrum in the striking arena, as he is still at a reach disadvantage and Jones has shown the ability to point-fight as well as anyone to ever step in the cage.

Gane's advantage will come in the power department, and the fact that his strikes will hurt Jones more than vice-versa, but to draw Jones into the kind of exchanges where he can do damage, he will have to put himself in a position where is risking being taken down.

A win for Gane would earn him not just the Heavyweight Championship, but the chance to be forever known as the one man who beat Jon Jones – and jumpstart his own legendary reign as king of the heavyweights.

Darren Till has confirmed UFC granted his release but vowed he is "not going anywhere".

Till last fought in December, losing via third-round submission to Dricus du Plessis.

He was removed from the middleweight rankings on Wednesday.

Posting on Twitter, the 30-year-old confirmed he had the release from UFC, in which he has fought since 2015.

"What's happening everyone," Till posted.

"Me, Dana [White] and Hunter [Campbell] are still cool as f***. I asked UFC to remove me just to sort some other s*** for the foreseeable.

"They happily agreed to release me out of contract which I appreciate. I'm not going anywhere, got big plans to execute and I'll be back."

Till was unbeaten in his first six fights before challenging Tyron Woodley for the welterweight title in September 2018. He lost via second-round submission and, following a knockout defeat to Jorge Masvidal, moved up to middleweight.

The English fighter won his first bout at the weight against Kelvin Gastelum but has since struggled, failing to win any of his last three fights, losing to Robert Whittaker and Derek Brunson prior to his most recent defeat against Du Plessis.

Islam Makhachev was able to see off the challenge of Alexander Volkanovski in the latter's home country as the Russian secured a unanimous decision to retain the lightweight title at UFC 284.

In front of an excitable crowd in Perth, Australia, both men put on a fine show in the main event as they also fought for the title of pound-for-pound best in the world.

Despite the unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46), it was an undeniably close fight, with Volkanovski getting some early shots in and denying the champion some takedowns.

After initially showing caution, Makhachev soon came to the party and eventually completed four of nine takedown attempts, and somewhat surprisingly bested his opponent in terms of total and significant strike percentage, though Volkanovski's volume was predictably higher.

"You like or you don't like, I am [the] best fighter in the world right now," Makhachev said after the win, much to the crowd's displeasure.

"I show why I'm No. 1. They have to improve more."

The Australian delighted his many fans in attendance with a late surge, but Makhachev had already done enough, particularly in the fourth round when he spent the vast majority of it on his opponent's back.

"He didn't respect my wrestling, grappling," Volkanovski said. "Maybe I didn't respect his striking enough, either. He landed some shots. Fair play to both of us."

In the co-main event, Yair Rodriguez submitted Josh Emmett in the second round to claim the interim featherweight championship with a dominant performance.

In his first ever UFC win by submission, Rodriguez – who also landed around three times as many total and significant strikes – was able to get Emmett in a triangle choke to tap the American out at four minutes and 19 seconds in round two.

Jamaican UFC Welterweight Randy “Rude Boy” Brown is brimming with confidence ahead of his upcoming fight with Australian prospect Jack Della Maddalena at UFC 284 in Perth on Saturday.

Brown enters the fight with a record of 16-4 and has won his last four bouts while Della Maddalena is 13-2 and currently on a 13-fight win streak. The 26-year-old Aussie has won all three of his UFC contests by knockout and Brown is wary of the challenge ahead.

“He’s young and dangerous,” said the 32-year-old.

“He’s a killer. I actually have a ton of respect for him and I’m a fan of his fight style but I know he has a long way to go,” Brown added.

A veteran of 14 UFC fights compared to three for Della Maddalena, Brown expects this advantage in experience to show up when the cage doors are locked on Saturday.

“I’ve been here and I’ve been doing this and he’s got a lot to learn so now’s the time to catch him early. He’s been using the term masterclass so I’m going to show him what it really means,” Brown said.

The bout will open the main card of the Pay-per-view which will be headlined by a Lightweight Championship fight between current Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski and defending Lightweight Champion Islam Makachev.

Conor McGregor will return to the UFC to fight for the first time since July 2021 later this year when he will go up against Michael Chandler.

McGregor, 34, has not competed in the octagon since he lost to Dustin Poirier, a fight in which he suffered a broken leg.

However, UFC president Dana White confirmed on Saturday that the Irishman will face Chandler later in 2023, though did not reveal a date or venue.

The fight will tie in to season 31 of The Ultimate Fighter, which will see McGregor and Chandler go head-to-head as coaches before ultimately fighting each other.

Coincidentally, Chandler will also be competing in his first bout since losing to Poirier at UFC 281 in November.

Conor McGregor avoided major injury when he was hit by a car while out cycling and the UFC superstar said it was his sporting expertise that saved his life.

The former featherweight and lightweight champion, who has not fought since a July 2021 loss to Dustin Poirier, posted a picture and videos on Instagram after the incident.

It appeared to have occurred on a country road, but it was not specified where the incident happened. McGregor has a home in Straffan, County Kildare.

The 34-year-old Irishman wrote: "Got a bang of [sic] a car just now from behind. A sun trap, the driver couldn't see me. Full speed straight thru me.

"Thank you God, it wasn't my time. Thank you wrestling and judo also. Having an awareness on the landing saved my life."

In a video, a panting McGregor tells the driver of the vehicle, who came to check on his wellbeing: "I could have been dead there mate."

The driver responds by saying: "I'm so sorry."

McGregor, who showed his trousers were torn, looked to brush off the incident and accepted the driver's apology before taking the offer of a lift home with his damaged bike.

In a video filmed while being driven back to his house, McGregor said: "I'm still here, thank God. That's all that matters."

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