UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor was scheduled to challenge lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos for his title at UFC 196 on March 5th, but dos Anjos was forced to pull out of the fight after breaking his foot during a training session.
The injury presented UFC president Dana White with a conundrum. Who would be up for the challenge of facing one of the hottest fighters in the industry on short notice?
After a day long search, White announced that Nate Diaz will replace dos Anjos and the fight will be bumped up to welterweight (170 lbs) because Diaz will not have the proper amount of time to complete a weight cut.
It didn’t take very long for Diaz to begin talking trash on Twitter.
Back in December, McGregor called out essentially everyone in the UFC with this tweet:
Diaz clearly didn’t forget about this:
For Diaz this is an opportunity to not only jump to the front of the line for a rematch with dos Anjos – Diaz lost to RDA in December of 2014 – but a chance to become the first man to defeat McGregor in the UFC.
One thing is for certain, the trash talk over the next 10 days is going to be insane. Buckle up.
As live sporting events start to creep back onto the calendar, one will be eagerly awaited by MMA fans: UFC 249.
The event was supposed to be on April 18, but will be in Jacksonville, Fla., on Saturday. No fans will be in attendance.
The main card — originally a showdown between perhaps the world’s best fighter, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson — has changed from the initial plan. Travel restrictions prevent Nurmagomedov from fighting. So Justin Gaethje will be vying against Ferguson.
Also on the card are Henry Cejudo, who will defend his title against former champion Dominick Cruz. Additionally, some of the top Heavyweight fighters in the world, Francis Ngannou and Jairzinho Rozenstruik, will face off in the octagon.
How do I watch UFC 249?
It will be air live as a pay-per-view event on ESPN+.
How much is it?
Given you have to subscribe to ESPN+, there are a few options. You can sign up for a free trial, then purcahse the event for $64.99. (A membership is $4.99/month.) Or you can do a bundle for new subscribers. That would be $84.98 and includes UFC 249.
What time is UFC 249 tonight?
Early Prelims (Airing on UFC Fight Pass, starting at 6:30 p.m. ET)
- Vicente Luque vs Niko Price
- Bryce Mitchell vs Charles Rosa
- Ryan Spann vs Sam Alvey
Prelims (Airing on ESPN and ESPN+, starting at 8 p.m. ET)
Main Card (Airing on ESPN+, starting at 10 p.m. ET)
- Tony Ferguson vs Justin Gaethje
- Henry Cejudo vs Dominick Cruz
- Francis Ngannou vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik
- Jeremy Stephens vs Calvin Kattar
- Greg Hardy vs Yorgan De Castro
Check back here on Saturday night and Sunday morning for more on UFC 249.
MIAMI — Mixed martial artist and boxer Conor McGregor has been arrested in South Florida for stealing the cellphone of someone who was trying to take his photo, authorities said.
According to a Miami Beach police report, the 30-year-old McGregor was arrested Monday afternoon and charged with robbery and criminal mischief. An attorney for McGregor called the altercation “minor” and said the popular fighter would cooperate with authorities.
McGregor was leaving the Fontainebleau Miami Beach shortly after 5 a.m. Monday when a 22-year-old man attempted to take a picture of McGregor, the police report said. Police said McGregor slapped the phone out of the man’s hand and then stomped on it several times. McGregor then grabbed the phone and left the area, the report said. Police later found McGregor at his local address.
McGregor was being held on $12,500 bail.
“Last evening Conor McGregor was involved in a minor altercation involving a cellphone that resulted in a call to law enforcement,” Samuel J. Rabin Jr., a Miami-based attorney representing McGregor, said in a statement. “Mr. McGregor appreciates the response of law enforcement and pledges his full cooperation.”
McGregor, who’s from Ireland, is the former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion and one of the biggest draws in MMA. He returned to UFC last fall after a hiatus during which he made his boxing debut, a loss to Floyd Mayweather. He was suspended from UFC for six months and fined $50,000 for a brawl after his loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov in October.