Colby Covington beat Tyron Woodley by TKO before taking a call from United States president Donald Trump on Saturday.

Covington dominated Woodley in Las Vegas before a rib injury ended the fight in the fifth round.

The 32-year-old Covington attended a Trump rally last week and he received a call from the president after his win over Woodley.

"You are a great fighter man, I tell you, you make it so easy, I don't know how the hell you do that," Trump said in the call, which took place during Covington's interview on ESPN.

"Congratulations, I wanted to watch that fight tonight, I wanted to watch it, you were great."

Former interim welterweight champion Covington improved his record to 16-2 in his first fight since December last year, when he lost to Kamaru Usman for the title at UFC 245.

UFC president Dana White said he is working on some "fun stuff" for Irish star Conor McGregor as he hinted at a possible comeback next year.

McGregor announced his decision to retire in June, having returned to the Octagon in January after a 15-month absence and knocked out Donald Cerrone at welterweight in just 40 seconds.

Former featherweight and lightweight champion McGregor had been planning to fight three times in 2020, however, the coronavirus pandemic scuppered that strategy.

White previously said no bout was planned for McGregor in 2021 but he told ESPN's SportsCenter on Thursday: "We're actually working on some fun stuff for Conor at the beginning of next year.

"He should be back next year. I'm not saying he's coming back to fight, guaranteed, but we're talking right now about some stuff."

The 32-year-old McGregor boasts a 22-4 record, which includes wins over Eddie Alvarez, Nate Diaz and Jose Aldo, though he lost a blockbuster showdown to unbeaten Russian rival Khabib Nurmagomedov in October 2018.

McGregor's agent Audie Attar added to ESPN: "We had some very interesting talks with the UFC recently. We are excited about the future and working on some fun things. Exciting things to come in the near future."

Tony Ferguson's next fight has been booked and is "probably" against Dustin Poirier, UFC president Dana White said.

Ferguson lost the interim lightweight belt to Justin Gaethje at UFC 249 in May, taking plenty of punishment and suffering a broken eye socket.

But the 36-year-old appears keen to quickly get back in the Octagon and has hinted at a return on social media, posting on Twitter earlier this week: "Lightweight Division On Notice."

White has now confirmed Ferguson has agreed to fight again.

"We do [have a fight lined up]," said the UFC chief, who was then asked if it would be with Poirier. He replied: "Probably."

Poirier is also a former interim champion, losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov last September.

White was speaking after Saturday's event, where Frankie Edgar made his bantamweight debut and beat fifth-ranked Pedro Munhoz.

Edgar - a former lightweight champion who lost a featherwight title fight to Max Holloway last year - is now a contender, says White, although he will have to wait for his shot at the championship.

Indeed, White confirmed bantamweight king Petr Yan's next challenger would be Aljamain Sterling.

"Obviously there's some things that have to play out and there's people ahead of [Edgar]," he said.

"He put on a good showing and put himself in a good position, but he's got some work to do. Two or one [more fight], I don't know - it depends on who he fights next."

Conor McGregor declared Katie Taylor to be "Ireland's greatest" after his compatriot retained her status as undisputed lightweight champion with another knife-edge thriller against Delfine Persoon.

Taylor, 34, extended her unblemished professional boxing record to 16-0 with a narrow unanimous decision win over Belgium's Persoon, who she claimed a contentious triumph over in New York last June to unify the WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO belts at 135 lbs.

Saturday's return at Matchroom Fight Camp was another close encounter, with Persoon's relentless style again causing problems for the technically brilliant Taylor, but the champion's crisper work was enough to prevail 96-94 on two cards, along with being awarded a bizarrely wide 98-93.

McGregor, the recently retired UFC star, has long been a vocal admirer of Taylor and tweeted to claim she had found a definitive conclusion to the Persoon rivalry.

He tweeted: "Huge congrats Katie Taylor!!! Put that one to bed for sure, no questions!

"Top drawer stuff as always from Ireland’s greatest!"

Taylor, who also won the WBO light-welterweight title by beating Christina Linardatou last November, conceded she had been subjected to another gruelling night's work against Persoon, who slips to 44-3.

"It's never easy against Delfine, she is relentless. I knew I had to dig deep," Taylor told Sky Sports.

"I boxed better last time. I stuck to my boxing more. That got me through. I hit her with clean shots but she attacked all the time."

In the main event in Brentwood, Alexander Povetkin left Dillian Whyte's world heavyweight title ambitions in tatters by recovering from two fourth-round knockdowns to demolish his foe with a brutal left uppercut in round five.

Daniel Cormier declared it has "been a helluva ride" and paid tribute to victorious opponent Stipe Miocic in a farewell message to UFC.

The legendary Cormier took heavyweight champion Miocic the distance in Saturday's trilogy bout in Las Vegas at UFC 252 but suffered a unanimous decision defeat.

Cormier, who said his vision was impaired by a poke to the eye in the third round, insisted prior to the showdown the fight would be his last, a message he reiterated after his loss.

UFC president Dana White said he doubted the 41-year-old – a former champion in the light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions – would stay retired.

But Cormier is still sticking with his decision, writing on Twitter: "Thank you all for the love and support. Not what I wanted or expected but it is what it is.

"Congrats to @stipemiocic on a fantastic fight, was an honour and pleasure to share the octagon with you for 50 minutes. Boy did we give 'em a show every time.

"To my team: I love you all to death, you've made so many sacrifices. I hope I made you guys proud. Salina and the kids: thank you for being my motivation. To all the fans: I love you so much. You guys push me to try and be great.

"To @danawhite and the @ufc: I have loved every minute. Thank you for giving me the opportunity. Been a helluva ride, huh?"

Jon Jones said he has vacated his UFC light heavyweight belt in a social media post on Monday.

Jones – widely regarded as one of the greatest mixed martial arts fighters – previously announced in May that he was giving up his UFC title amid a pay dispute.

But the 33-year-old American star, who has been champion since December 2018 and boasts a 26-1-0 MMA record – wrote via Twitter: "Just got off the phone with @UFC, today I confirm that I'm vacating the light heavyweight championship.

"It's officially up for grabs. It's been an amazing journey, sincere thank you to all my competition, UFC and most importantly you fans."

However, Jones then tweeted two hours later: "Just had a really positive conversation with @UFC.

"Sounds like there will be negotiations for my next fight at heavy weight. All good news, the weight gaining process begins."

Jones has not fought since his unanimous decision win against Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 in February.

"In good faith I will be staying in the testing pool for probably the next half year or so," he added. "I'll continue to lift weights and train all the different martial arts."

Dana White does not believe we have seen the last of Daniel Cormier in the Octagon after his defeat to Stipe Miocic in the main event at UFC 252.

Cormier confirmed his retirement after losing the heavyweight title fight in Las Vegas on Saturday, Miocic securing a unanimous 49-46, 49-46, 48-47 points decision.

The 41-year-old American said he was unable to see out of his left eye after being "poked" by Miocic in what he described as a "very sad" end to his MMA career.

UFC president White suspects Cormier will have a change of heart over his decision to quit.

"I just think Cormier, the way that guy is, the competitor that he is - he says, 'I'm not going out like that.' I don't know, that's my prediction," White said of the former two-division UFC champion.

White added on Twitter: "Thanks for everything @dc_mma I look forward to seeing what the future holds for you."

Cormier was reportedly taken to hospital to get his eye examined but White says the injury cannot be used as an excuse for his defeat in the trilogy battle.

"There were two eye pokes, they both got poked in the eye," said the UFC boss.

"And Cormier, that eye was hurt before the poke. We got a big group text that goes on and I was like, 'There's something wrong with Cormier's eye' and he got poked after that.

"That didn't help. But they both got poked - you can't use that as an excuse."

Daniel Cormier said he was unable to see out of one eye after being "poked" by Stipe Miocic as he ended his career with a "very sad" defeat in the main event at UFC 252.

Miocic retained his heavyweight title in Las Vegas on Saturday, earning a unanimous 49-46, 49-46, 48-47 points victory in the trilogy battle.

Former two-division UFC champion Cormier was reportedly taken to hospital following the eagerly anticipated showdown after suffering damage to his left eye.

The 41-year-old was not happy with the third-round incident that left him with restricted vision.

He said in a post-fight interview with Joe Rogan: "I mean, look at my eye. I couldn't even [expletive] see the rest of the fight. I can't see anything out of my left eye. It's black.

"It is what it is. It doesn't matter. I told Marc [Goddard, the referee] he poked me, but he said he thought it was a punch.

"But after the fight he said, 'Yeah, I saw it on the replay.' I just can't see out of my left eye. It doesn't matter, though. Whatever. It is what it is."

Cormier reiterated the third fight with Miocic would be his last.

He added: "It just sucks, being on the losing end of two big fights and trilogies – it's a very sad position to be in.

"But I will deal with it as I've dealt with things in the past. I'm not interested in fighting for anything but titles, and I don't imagine there's going to be a title in the future.

"So that'll be it for me. I've had a long run. It's been great. I just fought my last fight for a heavyweight championship, and it was a pretty good fight."

So that's it. Daniel Cormier, a two-weight UFC champion, has entered the Octagon for the final time.

Stipe Miocic claimed a unanimous-decision win at UFC 252 in Las Vegas on Saturday, edging a bruising contest to retain the heavyweight championship.

"It sucks, being on the losing end of two big fights and trilogies - it's a very sad position to be in," said Cormier. "But I will deal with it as I've dealt with things in the past.

"I'm not interested in fighting for anything but titles, and I don't imagine there's going to be a title in the future, so that'll be it for me. I've had a long run, it's been great."

The 41-year-old has certainly left a lasting mark on mixed martial arts and so, to mark the end of a memorable career, we take a look back at some of his highs and lows.

LOW: Jones keeps Cormier at bay

Cormier's first attempt at claiming a UFC championship did not go to plan. The former amateur wrestler had an unbeaten 15-0 record when he took on Jon Jones but was beaten by unanimous decision.

The conquered Cormier would never get his revenge against Jones. The pair met again in 2017 with Jones this time winning via knockout, although the result was later overturned as the winner tested positive for steroid metabolite turinabol.

HIGH: DC seizes light heavyweight chance

Cormier had been preparing to face Ryan Bader later in 2015 when news broke of Jones being stripped of his championship and suspended indefinitely after facing felony charges. The title was suddenly vacant and it was not an opportunity Cormier was going to pass up this time.

He saw off Anthony Johnson to seize the belt in May, recovering from an early overhand right that put him on the canvas.

HIGH: First title defence a classic

Hanging onto that light heavyweight belt would prove far from straightforward, Cormier quickly found. His first defence came against Alexander Gustafsson in a gripping encounter in October of the same year.

The entertaining bout went to a split decision in Cormier's favour, although the victor admitted afterwards: "I feel pretty beat up. This is the worst that I've ever been beat."

HIGH: Stipe stopped to top heavyweight division

Cormier was still the light heavyweight king in July 2018 when he sought to become a two-weight champion by taking on Miocic, then in possession of the heavyweight belt, for the first time.

He got his wish in ruthless fashion, dropping Miocic with his right elbow and completing the job on the ground late in the first round, becoming then just the second UFC star - after Conor McGregor - to simultaneously possess titles at two weights.

LOW: Miocic soon makes amends

An initial title defence was successful against Derrick Lewis, but Cormier - who relinquished his light heavyweight championship in December 2018 - then met Miocic again in August of last year. Cormier was ahead on all of the scorecards in the fourth round but an effective barrage of punches swiftly ended his reign.

It was that reverse that led Cormier to Saturday's trilogy fight for the final chapter of a storied career.

Stipe Miocic retained his UFC heavyweight championship and sent Daniel Cormier into retirement with defeat on Saturday.

In the third bout between the pair, Miocic edged Cormier in Las Vegas to win a sixth heavyweight title fight.

The judges scored the fight 49-46, 49-46 and 48-47 in Miocic's favour, giving him a second win in three with Cormier.

Both fighters suffered pokes to the eye during the even contest, which eventually fell Miocic's way.

Cormier had confirmed heading in he would retire after the fight, and the former champion delivered a fine performance in his final bout despite later saying he was unable to see out of his left eye following the eye poke.

But Miocic landed more blows throughout, including the best strikes late in the second round.

WHERE WAS THE FIGHT WON?

In what was a battle, Miocic delivered the key blows late in the second round. A late flurry, set up by a huge right hand, rattled Cormier, who managed to survive the final seconds of the round.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

Miocic further cemented his status as arguably the greatest UFC heavyweight of all-time. He joined Randy Couture for the equal most heavyweight title fight wins with six.

THEY SAID WHAT?

"He's an amazing champion, amazing ambassador, another guy I have no ill will towards, I know we had our thing for a trilogy, but I think that's what makes it better," Miocic said of Cormier after his win.

NEW RECORDS (W-L-D):

Miocic: 20-3-0
Cormier: 22-3-0

REST OF THE CARD

Sean O'Malley saw his unbeaten record come to an end. The American (12-1) suffered a suspected leg injury before being on the end of a TKO loss in the first round to Marlon Vera (16-6-1) in their bantamweight bout.

Daniel Cormier remains adamant this weekend will be his final fight and there is no finer way to sign off a legendary career than with a trilogy bout against UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic.

After taking Miocic's title away from him in July 2018, the belt went back to his opponent – after one successful defence against Derrick Lewis – 13 months later to leave this rivalry locked tantalisingly at one victory apiece.

Cormier has enjoyed a storied UFC career, holding belts in two divisions, and only Jon Jones and Miocic have claimed wins over the all-time great.

Now, he is going out with a decisive rubber against Miocic at UFC's APEX facility in Las Vegas on Saturday and with that in mind we have profiled the story so far.


WHAT'S THEIR STORY SO FAR?

Cormier further enhanced his status as one of the greatest fighters of all time when he defeated Miocic with a first-round knockout at UFC 226 in July 2018, meaning he had won belts in two divisions.

A crunching right hand sent Miocic to the canvas and a flurry of unanswered blows brought an end to the contest, after which Cormier called out Brock Lesnar.

But a fight with Lesnar did not come to fruition and a little over a year later Miocic regained the strap with a stunning fourth-round win at UFC 241.

In a title thriller, Miocic was behind on the cards but hurt the champion with a shot to the liver before a series of power punches floored Cormier and saw the belt return to his opponent.


WHY DO WE WANT TO SEE THEM GO AGAIN?

First and foremost because this is a great rivalry that deserves a conclusion.

And also because Cormier has again insisted this will be his last fight, so what better way than for a legend of the MMA game to go out with such a huge bout with the heavyweight title on the line?

Many fans clamoured for Cormier to have one last dance with Jones, but unless 'Bones' stepped up a division that never truly looked a realistic prospect.

Cormier and Miocic have a great history of their own and one last fight between the two is a fitting sign-off if this is truly the end.


HAVE THEY FOUGHT SINCE?

No, neither man has been in action since their last showdown, with the focus purely on securing a trilogy bout.

Miocic suffered a nasty eye injury in their second fight that he needed to fully recover from before getting back to work, while Cormier was quite clear the next fight is his last.


WHY IS IT HAPPENING?

The smart money was always on these two dancing for the third time.

Cormier and Miocic both spoke about the desire for a rubber match, which was slightly held up by the torn retina sustained by the latter in his victory last August and partly by the coronavirus pandemic.

With one win apiece, there is unfinished business and the only way to settle it is by mixing it for one last time inside the Octagon.


WHO WILL WIN?

If ever there was a 50-50 question in the MMA game then this is it. There are those with the school of thought that say Miocic was able to stop Cormier last time around and nothing has really changed to say he cannot do the same again.

Cormier, though, is one of the best to ever get in the Octagon and has an incredible fighting IQ, which may just give him the slightest of edges.

Daniel Cormier believes his name will belong in the same bracket as Michael Jordan and Peyton Manning if he retires by winning back the UFC heavyweight title from Stipe Miocic on Saturday. 

Win or lose in the Las Vegas trilogy bout, Cormier (22-2-0) will go down as an all-time great in the mixed martial arts world, having reigned in the light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions in UFC. 

Cormier it set to bid farewell to the fight game but says he should be considered alongside Chicago Bulls legend Jordan – a six-time NBA champion - and Manning, who retired a Super Bowl winner, if he can regain the belt he dropped to Miocic a year ago. 

"I think it puts you right alongside the greatest sports athletes of all time. Michael Jordan won with the Chicago Bulls when they beat the Utah Jazz, unfortunately he came back, I won't come back," he told a pre-fight news conference ahead of UFC 252. 

"Peyton Manning won a Super Bowl in his last season, it would put me in that type of sphere with some of the greatest athletes that have competed in any sport. So, when I win on Saturday, I will retire in that way." 

Cormier's legacy is without question, but a defeat would mean he ends his career with losing records against the two fighters who have also reigned in the same era - Miocic and Jon Jones. 

While admitting such a scenario would be damaging to his own ego, Cormier says he has earned the respect of his fellow professionals. 

"I'm a guy with a big ego and that would suck, I gotta be honest. To think there would be two guys in my career that were just better than me and I had multiple chances to beat them, it would suck," he added.  

"But Dana [White] didn't just go 'hey DC, you're a great guy I love you, fight for all these championships', I earned all these opportunities.

"So, all these tough guys I fight, again 10 title fights in a row, that's all earned, it's not because they like me. These guys aren't my friends to the point where they just give me championship fights.  

"I train, I fight and I win - that's why I continue to find myself in this position. But all this pressure is earned. The pressure of fighting a guy like Stipe Miocic, the pressure of fighting a guy like Jon Jones twice - when Jones beat me and he got in trouble I beat everyone else until he got back then I beat everybody else again until I fought Stipe.

"All this s***'s earned, man, it's not given and I think people need to recognise that." 

Miocic (19-3-0), who lost the first bout between the two back in July 2018, has no qualms with the focus being on his retiring opponent. 

"All good. He can take it all, man. It's all good. I don't mind it. Listen, good for him. I'm just going to hang out in the back," he said. 

"Thank God we're done with this. It's been great. We're done. Rubber match, everyone wants a trilogy, but when it's all said and done, it's going to be over.  

"I think it's always personal whenever you fight, because [your opponent is] trying to do something. They're trying to beat you. They're trying to take something away from you. 

"I've got no ill will towards the man and he's going to have a good retirement. God bless him, and I wish nothing but the best for him."

Khabib Nurmagomedov welcomed Justin Gaethje's bold promises as he predicted "the best fight this year" on October 24.

The pair will go head to head in a lightweight unification bout at UFC 254.

Khabib is the current champion but his withdrawal from UFC 249 due to travel restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic saw Gaethje step in and beat Tony Ferguson for the interim title.

Gaethje now fancies his chances against the Russian, telling Michael Bisping's Believe You Me podcast: "There's going to be a zone in front of me.

"It's not very big. It's going to be a zone of death, and I have to represent death every time he enters the zone. That's what I'm the best at, creating carnage, creating car crashes.

"My only goal when I step in there is to create as many car crashes as possible, whether it be our bodies hitting, our heads hitting, our shoulders hitting, our fists hitting, my fist hitting his head, his fist hitting my head.

"It doesn't matter. I need to create car crashes, because that's the only way to beat this guy."

Khabib appears to be relishing the challenge, though, as he swiftly responded.

Posting a comment on Instagram, he wrote: "Class. I like how he talks and his confidence.

"So this fight promises to be the best fight this year. I have something to show the world."

There had been speculation Khabib would retire from the sport after losing his father at the age of 57 in July, but his manager refuted that claim before UFC president Dana White confirmed the Gaethje fight.

UFC president Dana White said Conor McGregor will not fight again this year, while adding no bout is planned for the Irish star in 2021.

McGregor announced his decision to retire in June, having returned to the Octagon in January after a 15-month absence and knocked out Donald Cerrone at welterweight in just 40 seconds.

Former featherweight and lightweight champion McGregor had been planning to fight three times in 2020, however, the coronavirus pandemic scuppered that strategy.

And White insisted there are no plans for McGregor to return to UFC in 2020.

"This year, he is retired," White told Barstool Sports on Monday.

"He doesn't have a fight this year, and he won't have a fight this year. Conor McGregor will not fight in 2020.

"I'm not saying he won't fight in 2021, but I'm telling you we don't have a fight planned for him in 2021. But I guarantee you he will not fight in 2020. Conor McGregor is retired."

White added: "Do we all believe he'll stay retired? I think most of us don't believe that he'll remain retired, but let me put it to you this way: I owe fighters that are under contract with me three fights a year.

"OK? If I don't deliver those three fights a year, I have to pay them. Conor McGregor is retired, whether people want to believe it or not.

"He is not fighting right now, so when he's not fighting, I don't even think about him or what he's doing or any of that stuff on a business level. I'll still shoot him a text personally, but on a business level, he's out of the mix. He's not fighting at all. So everybody keeps asking questions about him, and I'm like, 'Manny Pacquiao? What the f*** are you talking about?"

Derek Brunson could be heading towards a shot at the UFC middleweight belt after brutally handing Edmen Shahbazyan a first defeat in the Octagon.

The experienced Brunson was a big underdog for the main event showdown at UFC Vegas 5, yet he dominated against the 22-year-old rising star who entered the bout on an 11-fight winning streak.

Now Brunson, 36, wants a look at the winner of the big clash between Jared Cannonier and Robert Whittaker, which will reportedly go ahead at UFC 254 in October.

His swamping of Shahbazyan also drew the attention of divisional champion Israel Adesanya, who tweeted: "Nice one Brunson. Really showed your level of experience in this fight."

Brunson looked to have the fight won after two rounds but referee Herb Dean and the fight doctor let it run on, after a lengthy delay that irked UFC boss Dana White, with the stoppage coming just 26 seconds into the third.

“Shahbazyan looked like he was out at the end of that [second] round," White said. “I think the doctor could have stopped… I don’t know anything about the doctor, but I haven’t seen him before.

“You've got Brunson who ends that round strong. Many could argue that fight could have been stopped right there at the end of that round.

“What you don't do is talk to the guy for 10 minutes while he’s hurt. You either stop the fight or let him continue. But you're letting the kid recover while you've got Brunson, who's just done that work and is waiting for the bell to ring so he can go in and finish the fight. Pull the trigger one way or another. Stop the fight or don't."

A satisfied Brunson said in a post-fight news conference: "I'd had enough of coming out, putting up bad fights, just stinkers, so I was really locked in for this fight and making sure I was out there executing it.

"There's a lot of good fights to make - Cannonier-Whittaker, that's a good fight, I'll try to come up on the winner of that fight. You've got Darren Till and I know he's just lost [to Whittaker] but he has a huge name. You've got the BMF bill. I want big fights."

Brunson aimed a dig at his doubters, saying: "All the people on social media... and so many people betting against me, having so much negative to say, but I had so much support and that meant way more than any negative.

"I had to get off social media all week. Everybody was just saying, 'You're going to get beat up real bad'. I looked really good tonight; I got the finish.

"I'm just believing and trusting what I've been doing lately and that's what made the difference."

He cited previous fights where illness and misfortune disrupted his preparations, recalling how a hurricane in North Carolina meant he was barely able to train on one occasion.

Now Brunson is getting back to being able to shape the course of his career, and he added: "I'm not given enough respect in this division. I'm okay with earning it."

Page 1 of 13
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.