Make or break: Conor McGregor may have to dance to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s tune if he is to rematch the UFC lightweight champion

Still technically retired, Dana White quoted him as saying he could be convinced to return if someone in this weekend’s lightweight fights puts on a “spectacular” performance.It was a move that some say was directed mostly at McGregor – a sort of “You want this? Also on rt.com
‘We’ll get him’: Conor McGregor says UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov ‘should be stripped’ of title if he doesn’t agree to rematch

In reality, it was the Irishman who was dropped by a Khabib overhand and summarily submitted in the fourth round. Prove it” kind of gesture. For a fighter who self-declares as “Mystic Mac”, one suspects that Conor McGregor doesn’t appreciate it when his soothsaying predictions are off the mark. His 2018 title challenge against Khabib Nurmagomedov, a fight borne out of a heated personal rivalry and criminal mischief charges inside a Brooklyn parking lot, certainly didn’t go to script.McGregor, as is his wont, predicted that his infamous left hand would deliver to Khabib the same result as many before him: unconsciousness, or at the very least an inability to continue. But as the Russian champion demands something “spectacular” this weekend to tempt him out of retirement, McGregor faces a make-or-break moment. Follow RT on

Conor McGregor has fervently sought a rematch with heated rival Khabib Nurmagomedov. He has set his legacy, as reflected by his pay-per-view numbers.Instead, the Dubliner is motivated by good old-fashioned revenge – the same overwhelming emotion he had when he demanded that the UFC “run it back” after he surprisingly lost to Nate Diaz in early 2016. Some months later, McGregor won the sequel. View this post on InstagramA post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma)Perhaps the trump card up Khabib’s sleeve is that he has cast himself in a position of being the prize. There is no bigger fight possible in mixed martial arts than a McGregor-Khahib rematch, and everyone involved knows it.Khabib, though, seems happy to only vaguely address the issue of his future. View this post on InstagramA post shared by Khabib Nurmagomedov (@khabib_nurmagomedov)That is why this weekend’s fight against Dustin Poirier is so important for McGregor. McGregor, along with the three other fighters involved in this weekend’s main and co-main events, aren’t just fighting for the sake of competition. Also on rt.com
‘I have so much to do, but fights are not in those plans’: UFC champ Khabib Nurmagomedov hints that he will stay retired (VIDEO) He has promised that it may be possible to defeat the dangerous Poirier in just 60 seconds, but has also suggested that he would welcome a long, drawn-out “war” between the two men.It remains to be seen which of these two options Khabib might potentially prefer, but it is interesting to see the impact that even a retired Khabib Nurmagomedov can have on the summit of the UFC’s lightweight frame. If he wants the rematch, McGregor may have to dance to Khabib’s tune – and when have we ever said anything like that about the fighter best known for calling his own shots? The pre-fight rancor was more than matched by the actions of Nurmagomedov and members of his team, marking the UFC 229 main event as one of the most notorious in the company’s more than quarter-century history.While the incident initially left a bad taste in the mouth of UFC president Dana White, that was quickly replaced by the promise of filthy lucre. Nor will it be solely for their fight purses.In McGregor’s case, the opportunity to rematch Nurmagomedov is far more attractive than the fight purse he will receive for his efforts this Saturday.He has made his money, the Forbes Rich List assures us of that.

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‘If Pogba says shut up, close your mouth, it’s end of discussion’: Kanchelskis on MUFC midfielder & agent Mino Raiola to RT Sport

If he says ‘listen shut up’ or ‘go away, close your mouth ok I [would] like to stay in Manchester’ it’s finish, close, finish discussion. Happy, worrying, angry.READ MORE: ‘If Liverpool were top of the Premier League, Klopp wouldn’t speak about penalties!’ Man United legend Kanchelskis to RT”This is a decision for him. Good player, but too much speaking in the papers. Follow him on Twitter @DannyWArmstrong

Man United legend Andrei Kanchelskis believes Paul Pogba should tell agent Mino Raiola to “shut up” if he is happy at the club, insisting it is the in-form midfielder’s responsibility to categorically express his wishes. I agree. I’m not saying Pogba is a bad player. I agree because too many time you hear it about this agent, bad story. If he says ‘I’m happy, thank you very much’ – ok, no problem,” Kanchelskis said.”It’s good for him and also for Man United you know. Paul Pogba is enjoying some fine form for Manchester United recently after years of sub-par performances – Reuters Pogba is currently enjoying a rich vein of form during an extended run in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first team, having scored the winning goals in each of the Reds’ last two Premier League wins against Burnley and Fulham and is apparently content with his football.Kanchelskis, speaking on ‘Down the Line’ on RT Sport, insists the World Cup-winning midfielder, believes that if Pogba is happy, he must himself take responsibility and tell Raiola in no uncertain terms his intentions to those who represent him to avoid unwanted headlines.”This is a decision for him, for Pogba. I don’t know what’s maybe agent speaking about him. “Football people, you know. But I’m seeing always in the headlines ‘Pogba, Pogba, Pogba’. READ MORE: ‘If Liverpool were top of the Premier League, Klopp wouldn’t speak about penalties!’ Man United legend Kanchelskis to RTDutch-Italian super agent Raiola has consistently been a thorn in United’s side having often hinted at Pogba’s alleged desire for a move away from Old Trafford, and voicing his own intentions to broker a move to either Real Madrid or PSG for his client, having said in December the Frenchman’s time is “over” at his current club. Three points, he scores the goal. If he’s happy, if he’s enjoying his time at Man United, why move? This is a decision for Pogba,” the 1991 European Super Cup winner added.Kanchelskis’ exit from Manchester United after four years was tainted by his own trouble with agents, with the Russian international leaving after talks between his own agent and United officials broke down amid rumors of attempted bribery and alleged threats. Ok, if you don’t like Man United please go, why?‘Pogba should tell agent Raiola to shut up’ – Andrei Kanchelskis Man Utd legend joins @DannyWArmstrong to discuss French World Cup winner’s Old Trafford future & danger of agents in football #MUFCFULL VIDEO: https://t.co/Gif5tRLZ8Ppic.twitter.com/rc5I4CJ8Zu— RT Sport (@RTSportNews) January 17, 2021″I never say he’s a bad player. Follow RT onBy Danny ArmstrongDanny Armstrong is a Moscow-based British journalist, reporter and presenter for RT Sport. Too many people say it about him,” he said. Maybe, I don’t know. If [he doesn’t] like then ok open the door go away. Maybe him. View this post on InstagramA post shared by Paul Labile Pogba (@paulpogba)The 51-year-old has expressed concern at taking heed of Raiola’s advice, who has been something of a thorn in the side of United fans, dating back to the Frenchman’s days coming through the Old Trafford ranks, and negotiated his move away from the club to Juventus for less than £1million in 2012. When quizzed during a talk last year as to why the highly-touted youngster had been allowed to leave for next to nothing, then-manager Sir Alex Ferguson opened up about the event and singled out Raiola as the problem, labelling him a “shitbag”, something that Kanchelskis admits sounds familiar. “Not only Sir Alex Ferguson say it about this agent, you know. In any papers: ‘Pogba is not happy, Pogba is angry’ blah blah blah. If you sell, it’s good money for the agent. Because they say it’s a bad agent. No problem.”What am I saying? What I’m saying is Pogba always speaks about Pogba. Maybe agent is always speaking about ‘move, move, move’ because the agent needs the money. I’m saying he’s a good player. He’s a good player. I agree with Sir Alex Ferguson.” This is a decision for Pogba.

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Follow the leader: Ice queen Alina Zagitova edges past Evgenia Medvedeva to become Russia’s most popular Instagram figure skater

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The long-standing rivalry between Russia’s two figure skating champions, Alina Zagitova and Evgenia Medvedeva, has stretched far beyond sport – and now the 18-year-old has edged ahead in a tight race for social media followers. Also on rt.com
Captain marvels: Figure skating champions Alina Zagitova and Evgenia Medvedeva to lead rival teams at star-studded event in Moscow This week, reigning world and Olympic title holder Zagitova has achieved another feat outside of her sporting achievements, leaving behind her teammates – including Medvedeva – trailing as she became the most-followed Russian skater.Zagitova has amassed 855,000 Instagram followers – 2,000 more than Medvedeva has on her page.The two stars have been in the spotlight since 2018, when they first clashed for the European crown just months before the PyeongChang Olympics. View this post on InstagramA post shared by MedvedevaGagarinaForever (@medvedeva_gagarina_fo) View this post on InstagramA post shared by Team Tutberidze Fan 💥 (@_team_tutberidze_) View this post on InstagramA post shared by sailor medvedeva🎭🎪 (@zhenyasarchive)The two skating queens met again at the 2019 world championships, where Zagitova again got the upper hand, leaving Medvedeva, who’d changed coach, with a bronze medal.The women’s rivalry became legendary and added spark to any figure skating tournament – at least until Zagitova decided to take a break from competition to concentrate on her TV career.Despite not having competitive practice this season, the two rivals are set to face each other again at a team event in Moscow, where they will each captain a squad.The competition is set to take place at the Megasport arena from February 5 to 7, and is expected to garner fervent public attention. View this post on InstagramA post shared by Alina Zagitova (@azagitova) View this post on InstagramA post shared by Alina Zagitova (@azagitova) View this post on InstagramA post shared by Alina Zagitova (@azagitova)Back then, Medvedeva, who was still recovering from a foot injury, suffered a humiliating defeat by the first-year senior, who had the most technically complicated program at that time.Their fierce battle for Olympic gold was one of the toughest ever, with both skaters pushing themselves to the limits and delivering immaculate performances in South Korea.Less than a point separated the two stars in the final, with Medvdeva treating her second place as one of the most disappointing results of her career.

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‘We’ll get him’: Conor McGregor says UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov ‘should be stripped’ of title if he doesn’t agree to rematch

Ever since he tapped four times on Nurmagomedov’s forearm to signal his submission in the culmination of a prolonged blood-feud between the two UFC superstars more than two years ago, McGregor has been plotting a path to revenge.Those plans took a considerable blow last October when an emotional Khabib retired in the cage immediately following his title defence against the dangerous American brawler Justin Gaethje, leaving McGregor without a clear path to what he insists will be a redemptive second match with the undefeated Nurmagomedov. However, with Khabib’s future still unresolved amid talks with UFC boss Dana White aimed at tempting him to return for one final octagon assignment in pursuit of what would be a landmark 30-0 career ledger, Nurmagomedov has inserted further doubt into any potential comeback. “I don’t really care. “It’s now 2021. He did not say that – Dana said that,” McGregor declared.”Let’s just get through the fight. Also on rt.com
‘I have so much to do, but fights are not in those plans’: UFC champ Khabib Nurmagomedov hints that he will stay retired (VIDEO)

McGregor, though, asserts that this is a cop-out. The world knows this fight is not over, this war is not over. “I would make the case that that man is continuing to dodge this, the commitment of competing again.”The title should be stripped. Like I said, it was in 2018, a lot of time has passed. He’ll take Dustin apart in 1st round!’ McGregor sparring partner Dylan Moran to RT Sport (VIDEO) “The sport needs it to happen, the people need it to happen. Follow RT on

Conor McGregor has hinted that his animosity towards Khabib Nurmagomedov has dissipated since their fractious feud in 2018, but says that the Russian champ should be stripped of his title if he doesn’t agree to a rematch. We’ll see what happens.”UFC boss White was well-documented to have teased a concrete announcement on Nurmagomedov’s future on last Saturday’s UFC broadcast, but when the time came, that statement claimed Khabib is waiting to see something “spectacular” in the cage this weekend before making a definitive call. But if we talk about the fights, they are not part of my plans.”Speaking at Thursday’s UFC 257 press conference, McGregor said that a decision must be made – either Khabib returns and fights him, or he steps away from the world title.”We’ll get him,” McGregor said of the Russian champ. I’ll show the world what’s what over time and that’s it.”

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‘Conor is creating a masterpiece. Also on rt.com
‘It’s old news’: Conor McGregor distances himself from Irish lawsuit allegations at presser for UFC 257 fight with Dustin Poirier

“I have so much to do that is planned… and fights are not in these plans,” Khabib told Russian media this week on “Fight Island”.”This is what I have been doing all my life, and I will continue to train constantly as well. There are plenty of challenges. What I will say is, as long as we fight again, there’ll be no issue. I’ll be interested to hear what the excuse is after the fight but I predict a title strip.” View this post on InstagramA post shared by RT Sport (@rtsportnews) View this post on InstagramA post shared by ufc (@ufc)Despite the lucrative financial possibilities of a rematch, the aftershocks of their rivalry from all those years ago are still being felt.The UFC took measures to ensure that the two lightweight standouts didn’t cross paths in Abu Dhabi this week – although that plan came VERY close to failure – for fear of an impromptu brawl.But McGregor says that as long as the two fight inside the cage once more, there will be no issues outside of it.”All of those events were in 2018,” he said. That’s it. It’s a tough business and there are things that have gone on in his personal life.”I don’t wish him any harm. I’m not going to chase it if he doesn’t want it.”I’ll keep my calm and move on, and that’s what I’m doing. If he continues to run, I’m not sure.

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Czech point: Cristiano Ronaldo has NOT scored the most goals by any player, say experts backing football icon Josef Bican (VIDEO)

🤔The History and Statistics committee of the Czech FA counted all the goals scored by the legendary Josef Bican and we can declare he scored 821 goals in official matches.Jaroslav Kolář, the Head of the committee shares more details. Also on rt.com
‘No one will ever beat this record’: Messi strikes to surpass Pele in all-time scoring charts for single club Goals from matches in the first and second leagues, national cups, the Central European Cup and national team selections are included.”The saga is reminiscent of the furore that surrounded Ronaldo and his chief rival, Messi, when they were widely accepted to have recently broken Pele’s records at club and individual levels.Pele himself appeared to claim that he had scored well over 1,000 goals, resulting in a prolonged round of mockery as fans joked that the fanciful total included goals scored outside of official competitions, including in his back garden and on computer game FIFA. Also on rt.com
‘He needs to chill’: More mockery for Pele as football legend personally responds in Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi goals saga

Ronaldo himself has occasionally been accused of using international friendlies against minnows to pad his goals record, with his critics pointing to those efforts against weaker opposition as a means to argue that Messi is the better of the two modern greats.Czech bosses appeared to nod to that debate when they elaborated: “On the contrary, friendly matches are not included in the statistics, with the exception of the national team.”It can be stated with full seriousness that this is a number that corresponds to the current state of the possibility of verifying all data, so it is the most accurate number possible.”

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‘The man is shameless’: Football legend Pele rejects Ronaldo’s claim to have broken his mammoth goal record by adding 526 to total

Santos, the club side that Pele spent most of his career at, put Pele’s total at 1,091 – a total that it would be almost impossible to envisage Ronaldo eclipsing.Should he continue at his current rate of around a goal a game, Ronaldo could be expected to score the required 62 goals that would satisfy the Czech record books within two years.The superstar striker made no public mention of the record on Thursday, although he did salute another man who has routinely broken footballing records – thanking veteran Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, whose accolades include the most appearances by a player in the Italian Serie A. An almost inevitable debate broke out after some celebrated Ronaldo as the all-time top scorer in football history on Wednesday night, when he netted the 760th goal of his astonishing career to put Juventus on their way to Italian Super Cup glory.Although some records put Czech legend Josef Bican’s total at 759, the country’s football association has now launched a staunch public counter-claim by arguing that one of their greatest ever players scored 821 times in his remarkable run.”The History and Statistics committee of the Czech FA counted all the goals scored by the legendary Josef Bican,” began a tweet by the Czech Football Federation, which released an in-depth statement outlining why Ronaldo is yet to reach his latest landmark.The best goalscorer in football history? Follow RT on

Cristiano Ronaldo has followed in the footsteps of Lionel Messi by becoming embroiled in a row over feats of net-busting, with the Czech FA wading into the argument by making a lengthy statement about one of their national heroes. pic.twitter.com/eYqTcGJf1p— Czech Football Team (@ceskarepre_eng) January 21, 2021Ronaldo when the Croatian FA starts counting goals Bican scored against pharmacists and engineers pic.twitter.com/sqSBMR8uPv— George Aitchison (@GeorgeAitchis11) January 21, 2021This guys are deluded they can’t even prove it. Cristiano is the record holder.— Antonio Spurs (@AntonioSpurs13) January 21, 2021″We can declare he scored 821 goals in official matches.

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‘It’s old news’: Conor McGregor distances himself from Irish lawsuit allegations at presser for UFC 257 fight with Dustin Poirier

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Conor McGregor has been embroiled in more than a few outside-of-the-cage scandals during his UFC tenure but told the media at Thursday’s UFC 257 press conference that a newly-surfaced lawsuit brought against him has no merit. I want to answer questions here, and I hope Dustin can bring it to me and we can have a good fight.”A spokesperson for McGregor, Karen J Kessler, addressed the allegations earlier this week. Also on rt.com
UFC star Conor McGregor sued by two women in multi-million dollar personal injuries lawsuit days before Poirier fight – reports

“It was investigated thoroughly over the course of two long years and I was cleared of any wrong doing. “I’ve got a great challenge ahead of me on Saturday night and I’m very excited to get in.”I’ve put in an immense amount of work to get my frame correct at 155, to get my conditioning [in order]. Reports from McGregor’s native country of Ireland this week noted that a woman and her mother have filed a multi-million euro lawsuit against him stemming from allegations of criminality in 2018, with McGregor and an associate of his being named as co-defendants. The newspaper stated that McGregor vigorously denies any wrongdoing and adds that the alleged incident was thoroughly investigated by Irish police, who ultimately decided to not bring any charges against the former two-weight UFC world champion.”It’s old news,” McGregor said during Thursday afternoon’s press conference in Abu Dhabi when questioned by the media. Mr McGregor will dispute any claims and is confident that justice will prevail.”McGregor has come to the attention of authorities on several past occasions. She says that she has been unable to work since the alleged incident.McGregor, who is set to make his first UFC appearance in more than a year this weekend, didn’t elaborate further but signalled that he isn’t concerned by the claim, but sidestepped to focus on the upcoming fight. Also on rt.com
‘Get your act together’: Conor McGregor slams Novak Djokovic and whinging Australian Open tennis stars over quarantine complaints And that’s it,” he added, before explaining that his full focus was on Dustin Poirier and the UFC 257 main event this coming Saturday. According to information released by the New York Times, the lawsuit dates back to allegations of sexual assault against McGregor from December 2018, with the woman’s claim centered around seeking damages of between $1.79 million and $2.13 million for lost wages in the past and in the future, a new home and medical expenses to be paid. View this post on InstagramA post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma)”There’s so much positivity in my life,” he said. Also on rt.com
Close call: McGregor and Khabib ‘come within SECONDS’ of bumping into each other at Fight Island hotel (VIDEO)

“After an exhaustive investigation conducted by the Gardai (Irish police) which, in addition to interviews of the plaintiff, included interviewing numerous sources, obtaining witnesses’ statements, examining closed circuit footage and the co-operation of Conor McGregor, these allegations were categorically rejected,” she said.”The plaintiff knows the facts contradict the assertions in this lawsuit. In 2018 he was arrested and sentenced to perform community service after throwing a dolly through a bus containing UFC rival Khabib Nurmagomedov. He has also landed in hot water for smashing a fan’s phone in Miami and punching a man in a Dublin pub in recent years.

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‘It’s weird that I was alive’: Ex-NHL star Tommy Salo handed prison sentence for crashing car while three times over legal limit

The verdict was delivered on Wednesday by Västeras District Court in Sweden after the star was found guilty following a car accident last August.The former hockey champion, who helped Team Sweden to clinch the 1994 Olympic gold in Lillehammer, collided with the center railing on a highway between Strömstad and Surahammar.According to witnesses, his path went wobbly between road lines at a relatively low speed before he crashed his car into the boundaries.Tommy Salo has been sentenced to two months in prison after being convicted of aggravated driving under the influence. 😞KR— My City Hamilton (@MyCityHamilton) January 20, 2021“I do not remember anything directly from the journey or the speed. What I do know is that it was nice summer weather and I talked a lot on the phone.”Salo is expected to appeal in the hope of a more lenient verdict. He had no criminal background prior to the case.The 49-year-old is a widely celebrated goalie who, along with winning Olympic gold, also has seven medals from IIHF world championships.He spent ten seasons in the NHL, where he performed for the New York Islanders, Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche. Also on rt.com
‘Straight bullsh*t’: Fans blast NHL as Alex Ovechkin is one of four Russian aces punished alongside $100k fine for Covid-19 breach I cannot question the per-milliliter content. pic.twitter.com/RKNN20hD3V— COACH FRENCHY GREATNESS (@CoachFrenchy10X) January 20, 2021Police were called to the scene and obliged the hockey legend to take a blood test that showed 3.06 per milliliter of alcohol – a level that sharply exceeded the approved limit of 1.0 per milliliter.“Pro mille is pro mille, I cannot say anything about that. It’s weird that I was alive”,  Salo said in court.The much-loved star rejected a police investigation report that claimed he might have stopped several times to drink alcohol while making his car journey.“That is not true,” he insisted. “I had drunk quite a lot for two days on the West Coast and drank the night before, then I went home earlier than planned.”There was a lot of alcohol. Follow RT on

Former NHL star and Swedish national goaltender Tommy Salo has found himself in hot water after receiving a two-month prison sentence for driving under the influence of alcohol. My prayers are with him & his family. I try to tell what I remember. I do not remember why I had stopped the car, but my opinion is that I had just stopped.Loved him as a kid, really hope he can get some help and get his life together.— Mike (@DynoDangle) January 21, 2021I pray that he gets the help he needs while in prison it saddens me when those who seem to have a great life & handle on it falls from grace so dematrictqly.

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‘Straight bullsh*t’: Fans blast NHL as Alex Ovechkin is one of four Russian aces punished alongside $100k fine for Covid-19 breach

Prayers up that nothing happened virus wise& its just a minor inconvenience and that they can come on for Friday game— WiseBeyondMyYears (@sports_god1) January 21, 2021Many fans were confused by the ruling. “OK, so they can hug and high-five after a goal, practice, sit next to each other on a bench and so on,” observed one. “Such total insanity bullsh*t.”Another claimed: “They didn’t have someone come and visit them, and are just as likely to spread it – if not more likely, based on studies about the spread in hockey arenas in general – to teammates during the game.”They shouldn’t break the rules, obviously, but it’s a really dumb rule.”

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Alexander the Great? https://t.co/b45XOZRtQJ— Rick (@Rick_City) January 21, 2021And not for nothing, if they had a visitor outside the rink come visit them and then they tested positive, that'd be a huge domino effect if the rest of the team caught it because they hung out in a room together and then infected the team.— Scott Wasilewski, CRCST; CfA-RS (@scottywazz) January 21, 2021But they didn't have someone come and visit them, and are just as likely to spread it – if not more likely, based on studies about the spread in hockey arenas in general – to infect teammates during the game. Such total Insanity BS— John Davis (@jwdodu) January 21, 2021pic.twitter.com/QXFGakEOdA— Spudly Tinkergton (@CaptainMcKlide) January 21, 2021Good thorough breakdown JJ. Because no one's watching to see if they're being safe? “I will learn from this experience.”The players’ inclusion on the list means that the Russian quartet will not be allowed to train with the rest of their teammates, although it remains unclear whether they will be allowed to play Washington’s next game against the Buffalo Sabres which is scheduled for Friday.Ok so they can hug and high five after a goal, practice, sit next to each other on a bench, etc. etc. Ovechkin, who is chasing NHL legend Wayne Gretzky’s goals record, joined fellow center Evgeny Kuznetsov, defenseman Dmitry Orlov and goaltender Ilya Samsonov on the league’s sanctions list.The compatriots are believed to have gathered in one hotel room in a violation of Covid-19 restrictions requiring all players to stay alone in a single room, with no guests allowed except for hotel staff.The players have been sanctioned by the league for “social interactions among team members who were in close contact and who were not wearing face coverings.”In addition to the #caps $100,000 fine, the team has added Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov, Alex Ovechkin and Ilya Samsonov to the NHL's COVID Protocol list.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) January 21, 2021pic.twitter.com/8RYGk9x2lu— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) January 21, 2021This is the first time the Capitals players appeared on the league’s protocol list this season, which includes those who test positive, have a potential exposure or face quarantine requirements.”Our training staff has worked extremely hard to create a safe environment for our players and staff to be able to compete this season,” the Capitals said in a statement.”We are disappointed by our players’ choice to interact in their hotel room and outside of team approved areas.Not saying he should have broken the rules, but why do the rules forbid spending time with teammates in the hotel when they're on the ice and in the locker rooms together? NHL hotshot Ovechkin ‘offered new RECORD $10mn-a-year deal’ to put Russian in sight of Gretzky’s goals record “I regret my choice to spend time together with my teammates in our hotel room and away from the locker room areas,” he said. Follow RT on

Fans have questioned the NHL’s decision after hockey star Alexander Ovechkin and three of his countrymen at Washington were placed on the NHL’s Covid-19 protocol list, earning a $100,000 fine for a reported breach in a hotel room. etc. They shouldn't break the rules, obviously, but it's a really dumb rule.— Becca (@BeccaH_JR) January 21, 2021″We accept the NHL’s decision and once again will reiterate the Covid-19 protocols in place to make sure the players are in full compliance moving forward.”Ovechkin released his own statement.

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Russian MMA icon Fedor Emelianenko hospitalized by Covid-19

Emelianenko, 44, is being treated at Clinical Hospital No. “I feel fine, I am going into recovery. I’m grateful to the doctors and medical staff for their care and hard work.” View this post on InstagramA post shared by Федор Емельяненко (@fedoremelianenkoofficial)Emelianenko is known to mixed martial arts fans as one of the most dominant heavyweight fighters in the sport’s history due to an unmatched run through Japanese promotion PRIDE which saw him capture their heavyweight crown and remain undefeated as he rampaged through the division, taking down fighters such as Mirko Cro Cop, Mark Coleman and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira along the way.The Russian great has most recently been a member of the Bellator roster and was last in action in December 2019, when he defeated fellow PRIDE alumnus Quinton Jackson by first-round stoppage. More than 20,000 new cases were identified on Wednesday. The virus has ravaged global sport for several months now and has previously impacted the top level of Russian MMA as Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, father and mentor to Russian champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, passed away in July due to complications from a Covid-19 infection. 52 in the Russian capital. News of Emelianenko’s admission to the medical facility was reported by RIA Novosti citing information given to them by the medical institution.Specific details as to Emelianenko’s condition have not yet been made public, but a message posted to the fighter’s Instagram page issued thanked people asking after his wellbeing.”Thanks to all who are genuinely concerned for my health,” the message reads, via translation by RT Sport. Follow RT on

Former PRIDE heavyweight champion and Russian mixed martial arts pioneer Fedor Emelianenko has been admitted to a Moscow hospital which specializes in treating patients suffering from coronavirus, according to local reports. He came up short in his prior fight against Ryan Bader in a bid to capture the promotion’s heavyweight title. Emelianeko’s run in MMA is notable for him having never set foot in the UFC octagon throughout his two-decade fighting career, though UFC boss Dana White did attempt to engineer a fight between Fedor and former UFC champion Brock Lesnar in 2012 before negotiations between all three parties broke down. Also on rt.com
The show goes on: Fedor Emelianeko says Russia’s passion for MMA will continue, despite Khabib’s retirement View this post on InstagramA post shared by RT Sport (@rtsportnews) View this post on InstagramA post shared by RT Sport (@rtsportnews)In addition to his numerous world titles in mixed martial arts, Emelianenko is also a nine-time Russian champion in combat sambo. Since last March, more than 3.6 million coronavirus infections have been reported in Russia, with more than 66,000 deaths recorded.

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Frank Lampard on the chopping block? Chelsea boss set for Roman Abramovich wrath unless results improve – reports

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Knockout blow: Zidane raises a wry smile as Real Madrid suffer cup humiliation – then insists shock exit is ‘not a shame’ (VIDEO) Also on rt.com
Granovskaia relations & absent fans: The reasons to suggest why Chelsea owner Abramovich WILL NOT wield axe with Lampard

However, Abramovich and Chelsea are only thought to be considering a change if they believe that a new boss could engineer improved performances from the club’s galaxy of stars.Lampard’s fellow Premier League managers Ole Gunnar Solksjaer and Mikel Arteta have also endured prolonged periods of poor form during their tenures but recent evidence suggests that they have managed to reverse their fortunes – leading to suggestions that Lampard should be afforded similar time to turn things around.Chelsea’s upcoming games with Luton Town in the FA Cup and Wolves and Burnley in the Premier League are thought to be crucial for Lampard’s future with the club, lest Abramovich decide to make a change at the top and install what would be his 13th manager since he purchased the club 18 years ago. Further pressure was heaped upon Lampard by his side’s 2-0 defeat to Leicester City this week, the team’s fifth defeat in eight league games – a run which has left big-spending Chelsea rooted in eighth position in the English top flight.The run of poor form has been compounded by the considerable spending spree overseen by Abramovich prior to the start of the current Premier League campaign, which saw Lampard bring in a host of top talent including highly-regarded German internationals Kai Havertz and Timo Werner. Neither have hit the ground running, leading to concerns that Abramovich may opt to cut his losses on novice manager Lampard and look to steady the Stamford Bridge ship by installing one of Europe’s more experienced coaches.  View this post on InstagramA post shared by Chelsea FC (@chelseafc)Lampard sprung to the defence of his “transitional” side following their defeat to Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester, but admitted in his post-match interview that his future at the club at which he is the all-time top goalscorer is out of his control. Chelsea’s outlay, including the additions of England defender Ben Chilwell, former Ajax creator Hakim Ziyech, Brazil captain Thiago Silva and ex-Rennes shot-stopper Edouard Mendy, saw the club part with more than $200 million during the summer transfer window. Chelsea’s promising start to the campaign led to suggestions that the team could be realistic challengers for the Premier League title but the slump in performances appears to have ended talk of that possibility. Names being linked include former Juventus boss Max Allegri and Thomas Tuchel, the German who was recently replaced at Paris Saint-German by Mauricio Pochettino. Follow RT on

Frank Lampard could be the next casualty to land on the Premier League managerial scrapheap amid reports that owner Roman Abramovich is considering a change as stuttering Chelsea continue to stagnate.

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Knockout blow: Zidane raises a wry smile as Real Madrid suffer cup humiliation – then insists shock exit is ‘not a shame’ (VIDEO)

I still have the same opinion. Under Zidane I just see a team that's not well coached. Think of it as the person that is currently managing Real Madrid. (@madridreigns) January 21, 2021Exactly. These are things that happen. When you lose, things are always talked about. “Apart from the last games, we have played good games this season.”Now we have to concentrate on the league and the Champions League. Zidane's job hits another snag— SEGRO©🌪️ (@___jo21) January 21, 2021Even Zidane was laughing 😂😂😂🤣🤣. If this continues, no one deserves to stay as the manager of this club, regardless of the name.But when the time comes, it'll still hurt. Also on rt.com
Re-Juve-nation? The responsibility is mine. It is difficult because we play against a Segunda B side and we have to win the game.”It’s not a shame, nothing like that. I think the players believe in me, you have to ask them.”📃 The decision about Zidane's future will come at the end of the season, but neither Zidane is considering dismissal, nor will the management make a decision about it. We don’t like to lose, we’re not going to go crazy.”We will think and we will continue working. Record-chaser Cristiano Ronaldo admits Juventus needed confidence as cup win follows latest league setback (VIDEO)

“I take responsibility and what will happen will happen. Under Zidane we play HOPEFUL football. Rival fans fume as ‘golden boy’ Messi escapes with two-match ban for flooring opposition player Noone is avaliable right now & after the end of season we will evaluate our options.— R. All we do most times is to cross and nod.— VERSATILE (@Israel_Tallest) January 21, 2021″The players have tried. pic.twitter.com/42c4ibTwgU— Allu (@GreatWhite_9) January 20, 2021Madrid lost to Athletic Club in the Supercopa Espana last week and have won one of their last five matches.”We worked, we tried,” claimed Zidane. Follow RT on

Under-fire Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane told reporters to ask his players if they believed in him after their stunning cup exit to third-tier hosts, as the likes of Eden Hazard and Karim Benzema failed to prevent a huge upset. Now in the team, everything indicates a complete loss of confidence in Zidane's speech. When we are on the field we try to win the game, but sometimes different things happen.”A trip to Alaves, who are a place and a point above the relegation zone, looks like an ideal opportunity to win a first away match in four when Madrid return to Liga action on Saturday.”Think of it as the person who is currently managing Real Madrid,” said one fan, encouraging others not to be swayed by Zidane’s remarkable record of success at the club.”If this continues, no-one deserves to stay as manager of the club – regardless of the name.”

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Not enough? Like he couldn't believe his eyes😂😂😂🙄 https://t.co/UttRtx9tvG— AbdulGaniyu (@001Legendary) January 20, 2021Zidane after Alcoyano scored their second pic.twitter.com/F420qN6rNG— Real Madrid Analysis (@rmdanalysis) January 20, 2021Despite winning the Champions League three times as Madrid boss, Zidane has never come close to winning the domestic cup, leading to accusations that he does not treat the competition seriously.The manner of the defeat, coming in a season when his side have lost to Shakhtar Donetsk twice in the Champions League and are four points off Liga leaders Atletico having played two games more, has intensified the pressure on the France legend.Zidane was seen smiling as Alcoyano scored their second and defended his players afterwards. “I am the coach, the responsibility is mine and I am going to assume it,” he responded.Zidane dropped a small smirk after Alcoyano scored the winner over Madrid 👀 pic.twitter.com/HVp9hmnyyY— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 20, 2021I told before the game that Zidane should end this season & resign. Disbelieving fans turned on Zidane on social media after the Spanish giants crashed out of the Copa del Rey in dramatic fashion at numerically disadvantaged Alcoyano, who play in the Segunda Division B.Supporters and experts had already been stunned by the underdogs’ equalizer with 10 minutes of normal time remaining, only for the lowly home side – who were reduced to 10 men when they had a man sent off – to score the winner five minutes from the end of extra time.Hazard, who has been massively underwhelming since arriving from Chelsea for a fee that could rise to $206 million, was introduced to no avail as a substitute, and top scorer Benzema also failed to find the net after coming off the bench.Real Madrid were knocked out of the Copa del Rey by third-division side Alcoyano. Don't think of his history. #rmlive 🇪🇸 — MARCA pic.twitter.com/JjxlrDdR78— Los Blancos Live (@blancoslive) January 21, 2021When Covid restrictions ease Lampard and Zidane can book a lads holiday.— ManxRam (@manx_ram) January 21, 2021Don't think of it as Zinedine Zidane.

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‘Get your act together’: Conor McGregor slams Novak Djokovic and whinging Australian Open tennis stars over quarantine complaints

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Conor McGregor buys $1million worth of protective equipment for Irish hospitals to fight Covid-19

Ahead of his first fight since global sport was ravaged by Covid-19 last year, McGregor says that the complaining tennis players should realize the privileged position that they are in.”I would urge the tennis players to get their act together and also embrace it and relish it and be happy they get to compete,” he said.”People can’t go to work and children can’t even go to school. Professional athletes are complaining about a bit of isolation? View this post on InstagramA post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma)”I am surprised the tennis players would be kicking up,” the Irishman said on Wednesday to Australian television.”We have got to correct ourselves here, you know. Follow RT on

UFC star Conor McGregor has issued furious criticism at Novak Djokovic and other tennis aces complaining about their quarantine requirements ahead of the Australian Open, telling the pampered players to “get their act together.”

McGregor is days away from his return to the UFC octagon, where he will rematch former foe Dustin Poirier on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi.The Dubliner has completed several periods of isolation in advance of being cleared to fight, and says that that top level sports stars shouldn’t complain about their quarantine requirements – particularly ahead of a such a prestigious tournament.World number one Novak Djokovic was among the players to petition authorities for a reduction of the mandated two-week period of isolation designed to inhibit the spread of Covid-19. There is a lot going on. It is everyone’s duty here on this Earth to do what they can.”To get to compete in such a prestigious tennis tournament or any tournament, a two-week lockdown prior – they should welcome that with open arms.”McGregor has been a vocal supporter of methods designed to curb the spread of the deadly virus since it emerged last year. Upon the first lockdown in his native country, he released a video message asking for patience and for his fans to obey the strict measures introduced by the government. He bought more than $1.2 million of medical equipment for Irish frontline health workers, ranging from personal protective equipment to ventilators. Come on, guys.”

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‘I genuinely care about my fellow players’: Tennis No1 Novak Djokovic hits back at critics to defend his Australian Open ‘demands’ There is a lot at risk. Also on rt.com
Zen master: Relaxed Conor McGregor arrives at Fight Island on luxury yacht before final preparations for UFC 257

The Serb also asked that players be allowed quarantine in private homes, and with access to tennis courts and their coaches.Vanessa Sierra, the Instagram influencer girlfriend of Bernard Tomic, was also the target of social media rage after she released a vlog during her isolation alongside Tomic in which she complained, among other things, about having to wash her own hair.McGregor isn’t having any of it.

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Re-Juve-nation? Record-chaser Cristiano Ronaldo admits Juventus needed confidence as cup win follows latest league setback (VIDEO)

Being the greatest player does. Cristiano has proved himself all over the world, domestically and internationally. The guy is awesome of course. “It’s wonderful.“It’s rare that two teams play well in a final. It was difficult, especially as the pitch was terrible, but we got it done.“Milan and Inter are very strong but I believe we have what it takes to win. pic.twitter.com/jxOjUfToHe— Brett Lear (@HawthornFC73) January 20, 2021Pele scored 40 against his son in the back garden so still some way to go— martin (@martin87137369) January 20, 2021Legendary Italy midfielder Pirlo, who has faced criticism in his first senior managerial role, said he felt “great joy” and described winning a cup as a coach as “different”.”I think [it is] even better than as a player, because I am leading such a great squad and at an historic club,” he purred. View this post on InstagramA post shared by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano) View this post on InstagramA post shared by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano) View this post on InstagramA post shared by Juventus (@juventus)There was an element of relief to the cup final win after Juventus lost 2-0 at Inter Milan on Sunday, leaving them languishing seven points behind their second-placed title rivals and a mammoth 10 points short of leaders AC Milan, on whom they have a game in hand.A defeat at the San Siro is not necessarily an indication of demise, but the result brought an abrupt halt to a run of three league wins – including a much-needed 3-1 win at Milan – since a disastrous 3-0 home defeat against Fiorentina in their final game of 2020.“We showed a different attitude to the bad performance against Inter,” Ronaldo told RAI Sport after collecting his fourth trophy since he joined from Real Madrid in 2018. I’m used to it, though, as I had ups and downs in a very long playing career.”I know there’s a solid club behind me, so I can focus and continue doing my work. What an achievement. The important thing is to win. View this post on InstagramA post shared by Juventus (@juventus) View this post on InstagramA post shared by Juventus (@juventus) View this post on InstagramA post shared by Juventus (@juventus)”That is the past, this is a very important trophy and we hope this can give the team more confidence going into the future.“We are very happy with the win. It’s easy to build people up and knock them down. 👏🏻👏🏻— Gary Lineker 💙 (@GaryLineker) January 20, 2021🤔🤔🤔🤔 Really? Ronaldo struck with less than half an hour of the showpiece remaining to break the deadlock against Napoli, although Juve survived a scare when Lorenzo Insigne missed a penalty before Alvaro Morata scored with the last kick of the game to ensure boss Andrea Pirlo won his first trophy as a manager.That goal alone could represent a cause of celebration for Ronaldo, as some statisticians say it puts him one goal ahead of five-time Ballon d’Or winner Josef Bican as the highest scorer of all time.Official FIFA figures show that the Czech legend remains 45 goals ahead of Ronaldo, on 805, and there is an ongoing debate over Pele’s questionable claim to have scored more than 1,000 goals – but Ronaldo is more concerned about his misfiring side’s chances of failing to win the Italian Serie A for the first time since 2011. “It’s natural there is going to be criticism when you come from nowhere to lead Juventus, but the results will speak for me and the team.”

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‘He needs to chill’: More mockery for Pele as football legend personally responds in Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi goals saga His record speaks for itself. Follow RT on

Cristiano Ronaldo may have broken another record to become the top goal scorer in the history of football as Juventus won the Italian Super Cup, but the phenomenal striker accepts the club’s title hopes are firmly in the balance. A great athlete, goalscorer and perhaps the best off the ball movement I've seen…but Messi is just better overall!— Laurie Newton (@mrnice1892) January 21, 2021Because scoring the most goals doesn’t make you the greatest player. When you play with this determination, then luck can go on your side.How can anyone put Messi above Cristiano is beyond me. No brainer!— Shammas Anwar (@shammas_anwar) January 20, 2021Having watched football for 30 years I cannot fathom why anyone thinks Ronaldo is a better individual footballer than Messi! Which is Messi— Jammy Wise (@WiseJammy) January 20, 2021“We wanted to prove that we are not the team seen against Inter, so when you play with this grit, determination and attitude, you draw luck your way.“Since the start of the season we’ve been trying to play this fluid style of football, but unfortunately every week someone is missing, so it’s difficult for us to keep the same line-up with any regularity.“After the game the other night, we didn’t deserve that much criticism considering all we’ve done this season – so I am glad they got this trophy tonight.”

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Air Force Ron: Cristiano Ronaldo stuns fans with gravity-defying leap as he sets ANOTHER goalscoring landmark (VIDEO)

“[Scrutiny is] part of the game. It’s going to be very difficult, but I believe the Scudetto [Italian title] is still possible.”The incredible @Cristiano has scored his 760th career goal tonight, overtaking Josef Bican as the highest goal scorer in the history of football.

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‘I have so much to do, but fights are not in those plans’: UFC champ Khabib Nurmagomedov hints that he will stay retired (VIDEO)

But if we talk about the fights, they are not part of my plans.” View this post on InstagramA post shared by Khabib Nurmagomedov (@khabib_nurmagomedov)Khabib tearfully announced his decision to step away from mixed martial arts shortly after defeating Justin Gaethje by second-round submission in Abu Dhabi last October, saying that he made a promise to his mother that he would not continue his combat career outside the influence of his late father and trainer.Despite speculation to the contrary – much of it stoked by White – Khabib said that it would take a lot to get him to reverse his word to his mother.”My mother is the most precious thing that I have left. I don’t even have any plans for the UFC in the near future. What should I do? “There was a tournament in Abu Dhabi. A lot of people don’t want to understand my side. We don’t know what will happen in 2022, 2023, you know? I’ve achieved almost everything in this sport, and there isn’t someone who I would like to fight now.”I know there are many fighters who would like to earn money, who strive for something. I don’t see that yet.”Khabib was on “Fight Island” to help his cousin Umar prepare for was a successful UFC debut on Wednesday, beating tough Kazakh Sergey Morozov by second-round submission.Khabib says that he has a lot of future projects on his plate, none of which involve him setting foot on the octagon canvas. “Something has to happen for me to come back,” he said. “Hunger. “In the near future we have Zubaira (Tukhugov), Islam (Makhachev) and Tagir (Ulanbekov). The biggest thing that gives me pleasure is training. So let’s not talk about it. I don’t even have any thoughts about preparing for a fight. And if we talk about all my business projects – I have so much to do that is planned… and fights are not in these plans.”I train for myself. There will be a tournament in Moscow, St. Petersburg, in Krasnodar. “No one knows what will happen tomorrow. I enjoy when I wrestle, run, spar, work on pads, when I work on the punch bags.”This is what I have been doing all my life, and I will continue to train constantly as well. Don’t torment me – let me enjoy what I have for today.”

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‘He’s gone to sleep!’ Khabib cousin Umar chokes rival UNCONSCIOUS on UFC debut (VIDEO) The league itself that will make the tournaments in Tashkent, Bishkek, Alma-Ata, Dubai. “I saw how Umar was preparing now and I think: Alhamdulillah I have left it behind. There must be some motivation, some hunger.”If you’re not hungry… you know, I’ve been in sports for so many years, I’ve been doing it all my life. Come on, you won’t push me to do things that will disappoint my mother,” he explained.For now, though, Khabib says he has grown weary of the constant speculation.”They constantly discuss: he will come back, he will not come back. Today we have 2021. UFC supremo Dana White appears relentless in his optimism that he can persuade the undefeated Nurmagomedov to return for a money-spinning final career fight in pursuit of an unparalleled record of 30-0 – a one-time stated aim of both Khabib and his late father and mentor Abdulmanap. White trumpeted a clarification of Khabib’s fighting future after a sit-down meeting with him on “Fight Island” last week, but later revealed during the UFC on ABC 1 broadcast that Nurmagomedov hadn’t yet come to a definitive conclusion as to his future.The promotion president added that Nurmagomedov may opt to return if he sees something “spectacular” from some of the men involved in the UFC 257 lightweight bouts – Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, Dan Hooker and Michael Chandler.However, days after that meeting Khabib has hinted that he suspects his return to the cage is unlikely.”Let’s start with what drives people,” Khabib said in an interview with Sport24ru. Umar fights (Wednesday).”Usman… Our fighters who are in the Eagle Fighting Championship league. A year ago, it was 2020, the same time, January.”And so much has happened. Follow RT on

Combat sports retirements can often be temporary but reigning UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has given the strongest suggestion yet that he intends to stay retired from the UFC, as he says he has “no plans” to fight.

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‘Father’s plan‘: Khabib‘s coach reveals key moment when Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov‘s influence inspired Umar to UFC debut win (VIDEO)

The lesser-known Nurmagomedov enjoyed an emphatic second-round win over former M-1 champion Sergey Morozov on Wednesday, leaving Mendez beaming when he was asked about the rear naked choke finish.Revered coach Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, who was Khabib’s father and the mentor and mastermind behind the camp and its succession of terrific talents, has clearly left a lasting legacy after his tragic passing from Covid-19 complications at the age of 57 last July.”We got a little bit comfortable,” explained Mendez, discussing the opening round on “Fight Island”.”Then I said, ‘we go into father’s plan’. Basically, as soon as I said ‘father’s plan’, he went right into it.”The phrase is one that Mendez could often be heard saying while he watched Khabib in sparring, telling the lightweight champion to deploy the inspirational knowledge his father had imparted to him – particularly his fearsome ground game.Umar also heeded that direction in decisive fashion, choking Morozov until he was unconscious before being congratulated by Khabib in the octagon.”It was a great first-time performance – I was very pleased,” said Mendez, although Umar and Khabib had both emphasized that the 25-year-old Russian considered himself to have underperformed.”We said kickboxing range to start off with, don’t get in close. “I loved his performance – he fought fantastically, he did exactly what we asked him to do.” Follow RT on

Javier Mendez was a satisfied coach after watching Umar Nurmagomedov win on his UFC debut – and the man in the corner for many of cousin Khabib’s greatest nights has revealed the words he told the newcomer to fire up his victory.

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