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Austin police warn of ‘armed’ rioters planning to access buildings: reports Ground beef recall 2020: JBS Food Canada recalls more than 38,000 pounds of meat Dana White unhappy with cageside doctor in UFC on ESPN+ 31 main event

LAS VEGAS – UFC president Dana White had no issues with referee Herb Dean’s stoppage of Saturday night’s UFC on ESPN+ 31 main event between Derek Brunson and Edmen Shahbazyan, but he wasn’t too crazy about the cageside doctor.

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The doctor assigned by the Nevada Athletic Commission received criticism from White about how he handled his interaction with Shahbazyan (11-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) just before the fighter was cleared to go out for what turned out to be a TKO loss 26 seconds into the third round.

Brunson (21-6 MMA, 12-4 UFC) nearly finished Shahbazyan with vicious ground-and-pound in the closing seconds of the second round of the middleweight fight, but Shahbazyan was saved by the horn.

“Shahbazyan looked like he was out at the end of that round,” White told reporters, including MMA Junkie, at the post-fight news conference. “I think that the doctor could have stopped … first of all, the doctor’s obviously inexperienced. I don’t know anything about the doctor, but I’ve never seen him before.”

After the one-minute rest period between rounds, Shahbazyan stood in his corner, waiting for the call to start the third. But Dean signaled a timeout and called in the doctor. Then a relatively long conversation occurred before Shahbazyan was given the green light, which White thought was a disservice to Brunson.

“You’ve got Brunson, who ends that round strong, many could argue that fight could have been stopped there at the end of the round. I’m sure the ref thought that the guy would have time to go back,” White said. “What you don’t do is talk to the guy for (expletive) 10 minutes while he’s hurt. You know what I mean? Either stop the fight or let him continue, but go.”

At the end of the day, it was all moot, as Brunson went out and finished the job in short order for his third consecutive victory. But that doesn’t mean White likes the way things were handled.

“You’re letting the kid recover while you’ve got Brunson who did that work while he’s waiting for the bell to ring so that he can go in and finish the fight. Pull the trigger one way or the other. Stop the fight or don’t.”


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Conor McGregor has been teasing a comeback, and one option could involve a $250 million mega-bout against Manny Pacquiao

Conor McGregor. Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images

  • Conor McGregor appears to be teasing a fighting comeback on Twitter.
  • McGregor tweeted "I accept" last week, which could be a nod to a new bout agreement.
  • It is unclear who the other name on the bout agreement could be, though he had been challenged to fights against Mike Tyson, Tony Ferguson, and Khamzat Chimaev.
  • McGregor then tweeted "Tinatanggap ko" which means the same thing albeit in Tagalog, which is the language Manny Pacquiao speaks.
  • McGregor said earlier this year that he had been in discussions with Pacquiao regarding a mega-fight. The two athletes are even represented by the same management company, Paradigm SM.
  • UFC President Dana White is not enthused. "I don't care about any of that s---," he said.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Conor McGregor has been teasing a comeback, and one option could involve a $250 million mega-bout in boxing.

The Irishman announced his retirement from fighting in an abrupt social media post in June, citing boredom, tiredness, and feeling uninspired by the options presented to him by the UFC.

The UFC commentator Joe Rogan said at the time he did not believe McGregor would stay retired, multiple fighters including Dustin Poirier and Floyd Mayweather even challenged him to return, with the UFC president Dana White expecting to see McGregor fight once again within a year.

Though McGregor appears to be living his best life in retirement, celebrating his recent 32nd birthday with a drink and a smoke, he sparked speculation that he had signed a new bout agreement — one which would see him fight in the coming months.

Last week, he tweeted a two-word message saying: "I accept!"

—Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) July 30, 2020

It remains unclear whether McGregor was saying he accepted a fight, and so it is even more unclear who the other name on the bout agreement could even be.

However, McGregor's post did follow challenges from multiple fighters including the 58-year-old former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson, the well-rounded mixed martial artist Tony Ferguson, and the fast-rising MMA prospect Khamzat Chimaev.

Though a bout with Ferguson would be the most intriguing, it is the final name on that three-man shortlist which is the most surprising.

Chimaev was one of the stand-out performers at the inaugural "Fight Island" festival last month, as the Chechen "smasher" brutalized two opponents without taking as much as a scratch in return.

But though he is still new to the UFC, Chimaev has been trolling McGregor on social media and even told White he thinks he could beat McGregor, Nate Diaz, and Jorge Masvidal on the same night.

White was asked about the "I accept" tweet at a recent media event in Las Vegas.

"That was Khamzat … Khamzat posted, 'I want Nate Diaz, Masvidal, or McGregor,' and McGregor said, 'I accept,'" White told reporters. "That's what that was."

On whether there'd be any interest from the UFC's point-of-view in booking a match between McGregor and Chimaev, White laughed. "No," he said.

"Conor's retired and Conor's move right now is, sit back, see how this year plays out and see what's next for him."

But it wasn't McGregor's only tweet that week

McGregor tweeted the same message albeit in a different language on Friday, July 31.

He said: "Tinatanggap ko."

The message was posted in Tagalog, the national language of the Philippines and one spoken by the multi-weight boxing champion Manny Pacquiao.

—Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) July 31, 2020

McGregor's name has been linked to Pacquiao's before.

Ahead of the former two-weight UFC champion's UFC 246 match against Donald Cerrone in January, McGregor said he had been in talks with Pacquiao regarding a super-fight in boxing.

Manny Pacquiao. Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images

The bout could generate upwards of $250 million, an industry expert told Insider in Las Vegas earlier this year, and it is one Pacquiao's team was interested in at the time.When rumors started, Pacquiao's adviser Sean Gibbons challenged McGregor to a "proper" fight with his client.

The next month, Pacquiao signed management terms with Paradigm SM, an agency which also counts McGregor as a client, and made a mega-fight more likely.

Paradigm boss Audie Attar then said in May that a McGregor and Pacquiao fight remains possible, as "boxing is definitely something [McGregor] plans on doing."

White, though, does not seem enthused.

"I don't care about any of that s---," he told reporters Saturday when asked about the McGregor vs. Pacquiao rumors.

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