Dustin Poirier has agreed to challenge Charles Oliveira for the UFC lightweight title in December.

After lengthy talks, Poirier, who has a 28-6 record, confirmed on Sunday that he will go up against Oliveira, tweeting "Signed, Sealed, Delivered."

ESPN subsequently reported the 32-year-old's representatives had confirmed the bout will take place at UFC 269 on December 11, as Poirier looks to continue an impressive 2021.

He has twice beaten Conor McGregor this year, first in January at UFC 257 and then again at UFC 264 six months later.

Poirier, a former interim champion, previously challenged former lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2019, though lost via submission.

Oliveira, a year Poirier's junior, will be a similarly stern test. The Brazilian took the title in May after defeating Michael Chandler and is on a nine-fight winning run.

Alex Volkanovski defended his featherweight belt after overcoming Brian Ortega in one of the most dramatic fights of the year at UFC 266.

Volkanovski withstood two submissions in a brutal showdown with Ortega in Las Vegas, where the Australian champion prevailed by unanimous decision (49-46, 50-45, 50-44) on Saturday.

Ortega (15-2) – largely outclassed – looked to be on the brink of victory after a mounted guillotine and then a triangle choke in the third round left Volkanovski in trouble at T-Mobile Arena.

But Volkanovski (23-1) silenced his critics, emerging from the jaws of defeat to celebrate his 10th consecutive win in the UFC.

"All you doubters, I'm going to prove you wrong time and time again," Volkanovski said in his post-fight interview.

"Bring it. About f****** time [you put respect on my name].

"Keep doubting me. I love it. I'll be underdog to the day I die."

Of the submission attempts, Volkanovski – who has not lost since May 2013 – said: "Some of them were pretty tight.

"For some reason I went to the ground with him. Obviously, he's good. ... I thought I was in his head and he came back even stronger."

Ortega added: "I thought it was done. That's what we trained for my entire camp. ... That little bastard is f****** tough as hell."

In the co-main event, Valentina Shevchenko completed her sixth straight title defence at the expense of Lauren Murphy.

Shevchenko (21-4) scored a devastating fourth-round TKO against Murphy in the flyweight title showdown.

Oscar De La Hoya has overcome coronavirus after spending three days in hospital, the boxing great has confirmed.

De La Hoya was due to come out of retirement to face former UFC champion Vitor Belfort in Los Angeles on September 11.

However, the 48-year-old had to withdraw from the fight after falling ill with COVID-19.

Former world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield, 58, has been named as a replacement for De La Hoya, though that decision has been met with scrutiny.

Indeed, the event has now had to be moved to Florida due to licensing issues.

Holyfield has not fought in over a decade.

Three days ahead of the bout that was supposed to make his return, De La Hoya offered an update of his recovery on his official Twitter account.

"Hey guys, I am out of the hospital. I was in there for three days," De La Hoya tweeted.

"COVID hit me really hard. I was in the best shape of my life and I really can't wait to get back in the ring.

"Thank you very much for all your well wishes and all your support. I appreciate it."

David Haye is ending his retirement to fight Joe Fournier in the headline bout.

Ciryl Gane is the new interim heavyweight UFC champion after dominating Derrick Lewis winning with a third round TKO in Houston on Saturday.

The referee intervened in the third round after Gane hurt Lewis numerous times before finishing the American with a series of hammerfists while he lay on the ground.

The Frenchman, who boasted an undefeated 9-0 record coming into the fight, dominated throughout, with Lewis' corner asking him to be more active to combat Gane.

Gane switched between jabs and leg kicks in a cagey first round, before asserting his dominance with a 34-2 advantage in significant strikes, controlling range and proving evasive for Lewis.

Lewis could not land any big hits before a series of strikes from Gane floored the 36-year-old American.

Gane's victory means he now has former teammate and heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou in his sights.

"The fight is gonna go up, so let's go, just let's go," Gane said during the post-game interview in the octagon.

STILL PLENTY OF FIGHT IN ALDO

Jose Aldo defeated Pedro Munhoz by unanimous decision to defend his men's bantamweight crown for the second time.

The 34-year-old Brazilian, who was formerly a champion in the featherweight division, was shrewd and sharp against Munhoz.

Aldo beat Munhoz in total strikes 75-56 across to UFC Stats and appeared a class above.

"I've been working a lot," Aldo said via a translator after the bout. "I want to be a champ in this division. I've been dedicating myself a lot in Brazil. That's why I'm here."

LUQUE WINS AND CALLS OUT USMAN

American-born Brazilian Vicente Luque won his pivotal welterweight fight with a choke submission against Michael Chiesa.

Luque is lining up a bout with champion Kamaru Usman and called him out following the fight.

"I think it's our time," Luque said. "I'm the only guy up there you haven't fought yet. Let's go." Usman, who is due to face Colby Covington in November, responded on Twitter, indicating he was up for it.

Tecia Torres made it two-for-two against Angela Hill as she won by decision in the women's strawweight.

Conor McGregor has claimed he already had "multiple stress fractures" to his shinbone before stepping into the octagon to fight Dustin Poirier on Saturday.

The 33-year-old broke his leg in the first round of the UFC 264 event in Las Vegas after stumbling backwards and trapping his foot beneath himself.

The fight was subsequently stopped by medics and Poirier claimed the victory by TKO – his second win against McGregor in their trilogy of fights.

McGregor has since undergone surgery to repair a break to the lower tibia in his left shin, which could potentially keep the Irishman out of action for the next year.

But in a six-minute video posted on Instagram on Thursday in which he rides around on a motorised scooter, McGregor insisted he had informed UFC chiefs of his injury problems prior to the bout.

"I was injured going into the fight," he said. "People were asking me when was the leg break – at what point did the leg break? Ask Dana White. Ask the UFC. Ask Dr Davidson, the head doctor of the UFC. They knew.

"My leg – I had stress fractures in my leg going into that cage. There was debate about pulling the thing out because I was sparring without shin pads, and I was kicking.

"I kicked the knee a few times, so I had multiple stress fractures in the shin bone above the ankle, and then I had trouble with the ankle anyway throughout the years of fighting all the time."

Former two-weight world champion McGregor also revealed how he now has a titanium rod inserted in his "unbreakable" leg, which he joked makes him feel like fictional cyborg The Terminator.

"I used to just train on my back, and that's how I developed those ground-and-pound shots from the back. That's why Dustin backed away when he was on top of me and I was landing the upkicks and the elbows," he said.

"It's a horrible place to be in when you're against someone like me. You can't land.

"You take so much effort to try and land shots from your top position, and while you're trying to do that and losing your energy, you're getting lumped out by downward elbows and vicious upkicks. 

"It was a skill I developed because I had the damaged leg, and I had to adjust my training.

"What I needed was a titanium shinbone and now I've got a titanium rod from the knee to the ankle. The doctor says it's unbreakable. Once I keep building back, playing with the balance, then build the strength, I have an unbreakable titanium leg. 

"I'm like Arnie [Arnold Schwarzenegger] in Terminator 2! I've got all the tools to do this and I'm going to do it – what a story it's going to be."

Conor McGregor says he is "feeling tremendous" after undergoing successful surgery on the broken leg sustained in his defeat to Dustin Poirier.

The 32-year-old left the octagon on a stretcher at the UFC 264 event after stumbling backwards and trapping his foot underneath himself towards the end of the first round.

McGregor's defeat and potential long-term injury lay-off raised further questions over his future in UFC, but the Irishman has vowed to come back even stronger.

"Just out of the surgery room, everything went to plan, everything went perfect and I'm feeling tremendous," he said in a video update posted on social media. 

"We've got six weeks on a crutch now and then we begin to build back.

"A clean break of the tibia and it was not to be. Dustin, you can celebrate that illegitimate win all you want but you've done nothing in there. 

"That second round would have shown all. Onwards and upwards we go. We dust ourselves off, we build ourselves back, and we come back better than ever."

McGregor beat Poirier – the eighth fighter in UFC history to earn 20 wins – with a first-round TKO in 2014, but the American responded with a second-round TKO in January.

Speaking after Saturday's trilogy fight in Las Vegas, UFC president Dana White confirmed Poirier will fight for the lightweight title, currently held by Charles Oliveira.

However, Poirier has insisted his rivalry with McGregor is not over just yet.

"We are gonna fight again whether it's in the octagon or on the sidewalk," he told reporters.

"You don't say the stuff he said. He was saying that he was going to murder me, you don't say stuff like that.

"There is a chance somebody could die and you don't say that, you don't wish it on anybody."

Dustin Poirier has no doubt he will face Conor McGregor again "in the octagon or on the sidewalk" following his UFC 264 victory in their trilogy fight.

Poirier was awarded the win after McGregor suffered an apparent broken leg towards the end of the first round, leaving the octagon on a stretcher with his leg in a splint.

The Irishman continued to trash talk Poirier even after the defeat. Poirier claimed McGregor repeated threats to murder him that he made in the lead-up to the fight.

Asked in his post-fight media conference if the rivalry was over, Poirier replied: "We are gonna fight again whether it's in the octagon or on the sidewalk.

"You don't say the stuff he said. He was saying that he was going to murder me, you don't say stuff like that.

"There is a chance somebody could die and you don't say that, you don't wish it on anybody."

UFC president Dana White said Poirier would fight for the lightweight title, which is held by Charles Oliveira.

However, Poirier is in no rush to start preparing for such a challenge.

"I feel like I've been preparing for a fight since last year, because I was getting ready for Conor in January, I fought him, as soon as the fight ended I knew that was next so I got home from Abu Dhabi and started training for that fight," he added. 

"I had one trip I got to decompress a little bit but I was getting ready to fight him again.

"The last thing I want to do is go home and sign a contract and start getting ready right away. I just need to get home and think about some things and spend some time with my family."

Dustin Poirier has won UFC 264 by TKO after Connor McGregor suffered a nasty leg injury at the end of the first round on Saturday in Las Vegas.

American Poirier was firmly in control, dominating the early exchanges, before McGregor attempted a punch and fell on his own left leg causing an apparent fracture and a doctor's stoppage.

McGregor left the octagon with a leg splint on in a stretcher, casting doubts on his future in the sport.

"He fractured in one of the checks at the beginning of the fight," Poirier said after the fight. "Then it broke on a punch, for sure.

"When I pointed at him at the beginning of the fight, that's when I checked a good kick and I felt a crack. it was probably cracked and then on the twist of the punch it finished."

Despite the defeat and being unable to stand, the Irishman continued to trash talk Poirier as he had in the lead-up to the fight when he said he would "murder" the American.

Poirier added: "There's no holds barred with the trash talk but murder is something you don't clown around with.

"This guy was saying 'he was going to murder me, I was going to leave her in a coffin'. You don’t talk to people like that. I hope this guy gets home safe to his beautiful family."

He added: "This guy's a dirtbag… Karma's not a b****, she's a mirror and this guy's said the wrong s*** and I've been busting my ass."

Poirier had no doubt he deserved the win despite the circumstances of the victory, in the latest edition of their trilogy.

"Sometimes these things happen. I beat the guy," he said.

Poirier becomes the eighth fighter in UFC history to earn 20 wins.

Dustin Poirier will face Conor McGregor at UFC 264 in Las Vegas on Saturday in one of the year's most highly anticipated fights.

The trilogy bout take place at the T-Mobile Arena with a 100 per cent crowd capacity.

"I am so happy to finally be able to say: Vegas is back," UFC president Dana White said when the fight was announced in April.

McGregor had previously claimed the bout was off during an expletive-laden exchange on Twitter and that heated build-up has continued.

Poirier took victory in their previous showdown at UFC 257 in January in Abu Dhabi with a second-round knockout, after which McGregor conceded the result was "a tough one to swallow".

McGregor, who described his opponent's performance three months ago as "phenomenal", stopped the 32-year-old American in 106 seconds in their first encounter in September 2014.

The former two-weight world champion, who is also 32, has not won a UFC bout since January last year.

Fight build-up has been as entertaining you would expect, with McGregor aiming a kick at Poirier as the duo went head to head at the pre-fight news conference on Thursday.

Here are some of the best quotes from the event which took place with both fighters and a large crowd.
 

FIGHTING TALK FROM MCGREGOR

McGregor did not hold back when he explained what he planned to do with Poirier.

"I'm gonna go through his head, put holes in and take it off his shoulders - that's the goal here!

"He's done here, this is it for him. This is the end of the road. 

"Even after that last fight saying, 'Oh I don't love this [fighting] anymore' - he knew what was coming, he knew the smacks he took.

"Saturday night he's getting walked around that octagon like a dog and put to sleep."

POIRIER RESPECTS PUNICHING POWER

And Poirier did not dismiss the threat posed by the Irishman.

"I think he has a big advantage in some areas like his punching power.

"That's been worked on for years, and I'm sure some of it's God gifted, his timing is very good, but I truly believe he is a well-rounded martial artist.

"But he's so successful in those areas that he doesn't have to go in there and shoot for a takedown because he believes he's going to finish the fight on the feet.

"He doesn't have to play jiu-jitsu because he's so confident in what's been working for him, he's knocked out a bunch of greats. Don't fix it if it's not broken, I truly believe he is a well-rounded fighter."

MCGREGOR PROMISES CAREER NIGHT

A crowning moment for McGregor came when he defeated Eddie Alvarez in November 2016 to become the first UFC fighter to be world champion in two weight divisions simultaneously.

He insists there is better still to come from him.

"I'm an evolution of that guy. I'm better than that man. I feel like I've come full circle and I look forward to showing it.

"That night was widely regarded as the single greatest performance in UFC history. This performance on Saturday night, I'm going to top it."

POIRIER DOUBTS THAT IS POSSIBLE

But Poirier does not think McGregor is the same force he once was.

"For me, the aura's not there anymore. Not anymore. 

"A very dangerous fighter sitting right there for sure but I see a man. 

"You guys in the crowd, cheer it up, have fun. But I see a man that I've defeated and know that I can defeat again."

 

MCGREGOR COMPARES POIRIER TO BUSTER DOUGLAS

James 'Buster' Douglas achieved one of sport's greatest upsets by beating Mike Tyson in 1990 but immediately lost his next fight and his titles to Evander Holyfield.

McGregor says the same fate awaits Poirier.

"He's going to be known for that [like Buster Douglas].

"It was a fluke win and I'm going to correct it on Saturday night. It's on now."

POIRIER SAYS HE IS DIFFERENT

McGregor was asked by a fan why he was being so confrontational with Poirier in the build up to this fight after showing significant respect to his opponent around their second bout.

Poirier interjected with a put down, saying "Because he got knocked the f*** out!" before going on to criticise the falling quality of McGregor's trash talk.

"He was not McGregor fast but McGregor sleep. Respect to him and everything that he's done [but his trash talk is] f*****g weak. 

"I don't hate anybody up here. I'm in a different place mentally. 

"I am straight business. I've never really had that hype pushed. I know who I am. I'm the same guy and it's easy to be me.

"I knew this [rematch] was next. As soon as I got to my hotel room that night [in January], I knew this was next. I've kind of been preparing for this fight since that fight ended."

TALE OF THE TAPE

Poirier has 27 wins, six losses and one no contest on his record, while McGregor has 22 wins and five defeats.

Both men are southpaws, 5' 9" and 155 lbs, though McGregor has the reach advantage (74” to 72”).

In their last fight, Poirier attempted more significant strikes than McGregor (91 to 66).

He also landed more, 52 per cent compared to 43 for the Irishman.

McGregor landed 25 times, 23 to the head and just twice to the legs, while Poirer made an impact in both areas, with 30 significant strikes to the head and 18 to the legs.

Israel Adesanya successfully defended his middleweight title once again, beating Marvin Vettori by unanimous decision in their rematch at UFC 263 in Arizona. 

UFC star Adesanya – who defeated Vettori by split decision in April 2018 – navigated five rounds with minimal difficulty, prevailing 50-45 on all three judges' scorecards in his third title defence since taking the belt with a knockout of Robert Whittaker in October 2019. 

Adesanya's only potential trouble spot came early in the third round on Saturday when Vettori knocked down the Nigeria-born New Zealander, but he weathered that challenge and handled everything else the Italian threw at him. 

A rematch with Whittaker seems on the cards as Adesanya (21-0) called out the Australian following his win, demanding a showdown in Auckland, New Zealand.

"You don't get to decide -- I get to decide," Adesanya said. "Because I'm the mother****** king, b****!"

Whittaker responded with a tweet that read "rest up, see you soon." 

 

 

Moreno first Mexican-born champ

In the co-headline bout, Brandon Moreno dominated Deiveson Figueiredo to take the Brazilian's flyweight strap and become the first Mexican-born UFC champion. 

Saturday's fight was in sharp contrast to the pair's draw at UFC 256 in December, as Moreno (19-5-2) had his way with the titleholder from the beginning. 

The 27-year-old from Tijuana submitted Figueiredo with a rear naked choke at 2:26 of the third round and exulted in his victory.

"UFC released me," Moreno said. "I wasn't that proud of my life but watch me holding this belt. I feel so amazing."

Figueiredo (20-2-1) was gracious in defeat, saying Moreno was "the better man tonight."

 

Edwards holds off late Diaz flurry

Leon Edwards and Nate Diaz made UFC history with the first non-main event, non-title bout to be scheduled for five rounds, and Diaz nearly made the extended term pay off. 

Edwards had his way for most of the fight but had to survive a furious flurry from the bloodied 36-year-old American in the fifth to win by unanimous decision, 49-46 on all cards. 

The pair had been scheduled to face off at UFC 262 last month, but the bout was pushed back when Diaz got cut in training. 

New UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira told Conor McGregor "I'm going to put you on your a**", but warned the former two-weight king he needs to focus on a rematch with Dustin Poirier first.

Oliveira made a narrow escape in the first round against Michael Chandler at UFC 262 on Saturday before dropping his opponent with the first punch of the second to claim the title vacated by Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Afterwards, McGregor congratulated Oliveira on Twitter, while hinting at a potential fight with the Brazilian.

He wrote: "Congrats to Oliveira on becoming the 11th UFC lightweight champion. Wonder who Twelve is..."

And Oliveira is clearly keen to face the Irishman on home soil but only if McGregor avenges his defeat to Poirier in January.

"Conor, worry about Dustin," Oliveira told reporters.

"Conor, since you're so tough: First of all, you beat Dustin, and then you come over to Brazil and I'm going to put you on your a**.

"First, he's got to get past Dustin. He's one of these guys that just talks a lot. He's got to beat Dustin first."

Charles Oliveira made a narrow escape from the first round against Michael Chandler at UFC 262 before ending things in a hurry in the second. 

Oliveira (31-8) dropped Chandler with his first punch after the break and won by TKO 19 seconds into the second round to claim the UFC lightweight title in Houston. 

In his 28th UFC fight, the Brazilian earned his first strap, a belt left vacant when the unbeaten Khabib Nurmagomedov decided to retire. 

Chandler (22-6) had won the first round 10-8 on two judges' scorecards and 10-9 on the other, but he could not put Oliveira away. 

Once the 31-year-old had a chance to compose himself, he showed his class with a single shot. 

It was Oliveira's 17th career finish, moving him past Donald Cerrone for the most in UFC history. 

In the co-headlining bout, Beneil Dariush dominated Tony Ferguson to win unanimous decision.

The defeat was the third in a row for Ferguson (25-5), the former UFC lightweight interim champion, who previously lost by unanimous decision to Oliveira at UFC 256 in December. 

The Iran-born Dariush (21-4-1) said his seventh consecutive win should put him in the conversation in the lightweight ranks, but he plans to take the next several months off as his daughter is due to be born in June. 

Also on the card, Rogerio Bontorin defeated Matt Schnell and Katlyn Chookagian beat Viviane Araujo, both by unanimous decision, while Edson Barboza knocked out Shane Burgos at 1:16 in the third round. 

For the second time in as many UFC events, an undercard fight ended with an apparent broken limb. 

Brazilian veteran Jacare seemed to break his arm in losing by technical submission to Andre Muniz at 3:59 in Round 1. It was the first loss by submission for the 41-year-old Jacare (26-10).

At UFC 261 a fortnight earlier, Chris Weidman broke his leg landing a kick on Uriah Hall. 

UFC superstar Conor McGregor has reiterated he is interested in purchasing Manchester United and has also held discussions over buying shares in Celtic.

The 32-year-old has accumulated significant wealth through a number of high-profile bouts, including a crossover into boxing when taking on Floyd Mayweather in 2017.

He moved into the world of business when launching a whiskey brand in 2018 and the Irishman is now looking to add a sports team to his profile.

McGregor revealed last month he was considering buying United amid the fallout from the collapsed Super League proposal, with the Glazers under pressure to sell up.

Pressed on Twitter whether that remains the case, McGregor said: "A conversation came up regarding Celtic first to be honest. To acquire shares from [majority shareholder] Dermot Desmond.

"I am certainly interested in acquiring a sports team at some stage! 

"Both Celtic and Man United are teams I like for sure. But I am open. I feel I could do big things for a club."

Irish businessman Desmond is the largest individual shareholder of Scottish giants Celtic and previously held a stake in United before selling them to the Glazers in 2005.

McGregor, who has made no secret of his admiration for Celtic, was knocked out by Dustin Poirier in his last fight four months ago and will face the same opponent in July.

Anderson Silva has posted a message of support for Chris Weidman after the American suffered a gruesome leg injury at UFC 261. 

Just 17 seconds into his fight with Uriah Hall in Jacksonville, Florida, Weidman's lower right leg appeared to snap as he landed a kick to Hall's shin. 

Weidman, 36, was removed from the Octagon on a stretcher and transported to a local hospital. 

The injury came more than seven years after Silva suffered a nearly identical fate while fighting Weidman. 

In December 2013, Silva broke his left leg landing a kick on Weidman's leg early in the second round of their UFC 168 match-up in Las Vegas. 

Not long after Weidman's injury Saturday, Silva tagged the American in a message posted to Instagram: "My deepest and most sincere sentiments champ. Have faith, I wish you a speedy recovery. In this moment I wish you and your family light, love and knowledge.

 

"To the fans of the sport, please respect this moment of this incredible warrior and let's wish that he is 100% very recovered soon. May God bless you and your family." 

Though many expected Silva's injury to end his career, the Brazilian returned to the Octagon a little over a year later, beating Nick Diaz at UFC 183 in January 2015. That victory was overturned due to doping violations, but Silva would fight six more times -- most recently a TKO loss to Hall last October. 

That was Hall's last fight before Saturday, and he took no joy in the way the Weidman bout ended. 

"I just want to make sure he's OK," Hall told ESPN. 

"There's just no way to celebrate after this. It's unfortunate. I'm sure he put in a lot of time and dedication away from his family, and for this to happen ... I just wish him well."

Kamaru Usman knocked out Jorge Masvidal before a packed arena Saturday, retaining his welterweight title at UFC 261. 

Usman (19-1-0) dropped Masvidal (35-15-0) with a right hand to the jaw one minute, two seconds into the second round.

The devastating blow landed seconds after the American had faced Usman with his hands lowered, smiling at the Nigerian. 

Usman has won 14 consecutive fights, trailing only Anderson Silva's 16-fight run from 2006 to 2012 in UFC history. 

"I know with my fundamentals I am the pound-for-pound best fighter on the planet right now," Usman said. 

 

Usman's strike prompted an eruption from the crowd of 15,269 in Jacksonville, Florida, capping an evening billed as the first full-capacity indoor event since the coronavirus pandemic took off in March 2020. 

The marquee fight was a rematch from UFC 251 in Abu Dhabi last July, which Usman won by unanimous decision. 

Saturday marked only the second time in his long career that Masvidal has been knocked out, with the previous one occuring in 2008. 

In the co-main event, Rose Namajunas (11-4-0) knocked out Zhang Weili (21-2-0) with a kick to the head at 1:18 in the first round to reclaim the strawweight title -- the first woman to do so in any weight class in UFC history. 

The American originally won the belt in November 2017 but lost it to Jessica Andrade in May 2019. She defeated Andrade in the rematch at UFC 251. 

Andrade (21-9-0) also was on Saturday's card, falling via TKO to Valentina Shevchenko (21-3-0) in the second round. 

Earlier, veteran fighter Chris Weidman's lower right leg appeared to snap on a kick 17 seconds into his bout with Uriah Hall (17-9), ending the match in a TKO. Weidman, 36, was carried out on a stretcher. 

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