NEWS ITEMS: FRIDAY NEWS DIGEST 2/2: Conor McGregor: Should Floyd Mayweather not fight in the UFC, “it will follow him for the rest of his days”. (w/ Mojgani’s analysis)

Ali Mojgani MMATorch contributor

Floyd Mayweather, Dana White, Conor McGregor (photo credit Gary A. Vasquez @ USA Today)

Reporters caught up with “The Notorious” Conor McGregor in New York. McGregor was asked about Floyd Mayweather’s recent tease videos featuring himself in a cage. McGregor told Adam Glyn “He’s engaging, we’re engaging. So, we’ll see. I’m currently in negotiations to face my next opponent. We have many options. There’s the current interim lightweight champion (Tony Ferguson), there’s an undefeated Dagestani (Khabib Nurmagomedov). There’s maybe a big Russian event. There’s obviously the [Nate] Diaz trilogy. Of course, the Mayweather fight is there. There’s many options. We’re just at the table at the moment, so times is good. Life is good.”

McGregor believes Mayweather is in fact “flirting” with the idea of entering the octagon. While “The Notorious” stated “’I’d do as I please against him inside the Octagon”, he also admitted Mayweather would earn his respect. Part of McGregor can see Mayweather’s recent antics as well-planned endorsement, and believes it would be something that haunts the boxing legend. McGregor also stated, “said I would do it and I stepped up and I done it. It’s his time now.”

Mojgani’s Analysis: McGregor certainly has plenty of options in his return to fighting. As unlikely as it seems, after their record breaking boxing match its possible they rematch inside a cage. A trait both men share is a love for money, which this fight would surely bring both. Time is surely ticking though as the forty-year-old Mayweather decides.

Friday News Notebook

UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker explains recent health problems.

The Middleweight champion Robert Whittaker has been plagued with injuries, and illness recently. In his first title defense set at UFC 221 versus former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold he was forced to withdraw do to a staph infection. Whittaker spoke at the open workouts at UFC 221 via a video from Submission Radio. Addressing his medical troubles Whittaker said, ““Everyone knows I like to fight injured, half the fights I’ve taken I’ve always been injured. Just before I got ill, I pulled my hamstring. We could work around it and we were doing things to compensate for it, we were working around it, but then I got a really bad infection and the infection and the antibiotics just took it out of me. I was really struggling to recover and then right at the end of the infection, I got the chickenpox [laughs]. That’s why I’ve got the scars all over my face. It was an absolute mess. If anyone’s had it, it’s just horrible [laughs].” With Whittaker having been pulled from the card Cuban powerhouse Yoel Romero stepped in to fight Rockhold for the interim title. Whittaker said he was “delighted” when this match up was announced because as a fan its what he wants to see. Whittaker is planning a big return to defend his title mid-year.

Mojgani’s Analysis: Whittaker has definitely been hit hard by injuries lately. In 2017, he secured huge wins over Jacare Souza, and Yoel Romero. While Rockhold and Romero fight it out at UFC 221 for the interim belt Whittaker will surely be keeping a close eye. After the unification bout hopefully mid-year the 185lb rankings should be back in order. George St Pierre vacating the title, and Whittaker’s recent injuries definitely created a logjam.

Erik Anders makes weight after first attempt, two others miss weight for UFC Belem.

Erik Anders weighed in 1.9lbs over weight for his main event bout with the former light-heavyweight champion Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida. Fortunately for Anders, the Brazilian athletic commission and Machida’s team allowed him an extra hour to cut more weight. Upon his second attempt he was successful weighing in at the limit of 186lbs. Others weren’t so lucky, Pedro Munhoz came in at 140lbs for his bantamweight fight with John Dodson. Michel Prazeres weighed in at 161lbs for his lightweight clash with Desmond Green. Prazeres has missed weight in three of his four UFC appearances, and will be forced up to welterweight now.

 UFC London headlined by Fabricio Werdum vs. Alexander Volkov

The event in London finally has an official main event. The event will be headlined by former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum vs. Former Bellator heavyweight champion Alexander Volkov. March 17th in London, England both men will attempt to climb the ranks to challenge for the title.

Beneil Dariush vs. Bobby Green official for UFC 221

The two lightweights will meet in Las Vegas March 3rd as confirmed by MMA Fighting. Beneil Dariush last fought Evan Dunham to a draw, prior to his knockout loss to Edson Barboza. Bobby Green is looking to make a quick turnaround, after just defeating Erik Koch last weekend. Both lightweights are looking to move back up the ladder at 155lbs.

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