Stipe Miocic will face the winner of Saturday's heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane, UFC president Dana White has announced.

Jones makes his long-awaited return to the UFC at heavyweight in Las Vegas.

A former two-time light heavyweight champion, Jones is facing Gane for the vacant heavyweight belt after Francis Ngannou left the UFC as a free agent.

Ngannou beat Miocic and Gane in his last two fights before quitting, and Jones will take on the same pair in reverse order if he comes through Saturday's bout at UFC 285.

"He's absolutely the next one," White said of Miocic. "So, whoever wins on Saturday night will face Stipe next."

But there will be no blockbuster return for Ngannou, who White says will not be allowed back into the UFC.

"We negotiated with him for years," he said. "It's over. That's over. He'll never be in the UFC again."

Conor McGregor will return to the UFC to fight for the first time since July 2021 later this year when he will go up against Michael Chandler.

McGregor, 34, has not competed in the octagon since he lost to Dustin Poirier, a fight in which he suffered a broken leg.

However, UFC president Dana White confirmed on Saturday that the Irishman will face Chandler later in 2023, though did not reveal a date or venue.

The fight will tie in to season 31 of The Ultimate Fighter, which will see McGregor and Chandler go head-to-head as coaches before ultimately fighting each other.

Coincidentally, Chandler will also be competing in his first bout since losing to Poirier at UFC 281 in November.

Jon Jones will return to the octagon for the first time since February 2020 when he takes on Ciryl Gane for the vacant heavyweight title at UFC 285.

The fight for the March 4 event in Las Vegas was announced on Saturday by UFC President Dana White, who also confirmed that heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou – who many expected to be Jones' opponent – is leaving the organisation.

Ngannou has a 17-3-0 record, but White confirmed the Cameroonian wanted to seek other opportunities and the UFC has agreed to release him from his contract.

"We did everything we could to try and make this fight happen and try to give him a fight, but he has got it in his head that there are bigger opportunities outside of UFC with lesser opponents," White said, also confirming he had offered to make Ngannou the best-paid fighter in the history of the company.

"We're going to let him do that. We're going to release him from his contract. We're going to give up our right to match and he can go wherever he wants and do whatever he wants."

Jones will now instead face Gane, whose only loss in an 11-1-0 career came by unanimous decision against Ngannou in a heavyweight title bout at UFC 270 last January.

It will be the 35-year-old Jones' debut at heavyweight, having gone 26-1-0 (1 no contest) at light-heavyweight, before he gave up his title at that weight following a dispute over pay.

UFC president Dana White says there is no need for him to be punished by the organisation after being involved in a physical altercation with his wife.

Video footage emerged of the 53-year-old and wife Anne celebrating New Year's Eve in Cabo, Mexico, when a dispute seemingly broke out between the couple.

Anne White had her head in her hands before slapping her husband, who struck back with slaps of his own. The video emerged via TMZ, and White apologised via the US news outlet after the incident.

"What should the repercussions be? You tell me," White said when asked if he should be punished by the UFC. "I take 30 days off? How does that hurt me?

"I told you guys as we were going through [the COVID-19 pandemic], COVID could last 10 years, and I could sit it out. It's much like COVID, actually. Me leaving hurts the company. Hurts my employees. Hurts the fighters. It doesn't hurt me.

"I could've left in 2016 [when the company was acquired by Endeavor]. Do I need to reflect? I've been against this. I've owned this. I'm telling you that I'm wrong.

"Here's my punishment: I have to walk around for however long I live – and this is how I'm labelled now. My other punishment is that I'm sure a lot of people – whether it be media, fighters, friends, acquaintances – who had respect for me might not have respect for me now.

"There's a lot of things I have to deal with the rest of my life that's way more of a punishment than, what, I take a 30-day or 60-day absence?"

White, who has been UFC president since 2001, added that criticism of him for the altercation with his wife was "100 per cent warranted" and moved to discredit anyone defending his actions.

"One thing I do want to clarify in this thing that I didn't talk about on TMZ, because I didn't expect it or I didn't see it coming, is the people that are defending me," he said.

"There's never an excuse. There's no defense for this, and people should not be defending me, no matter what. All the criticism I've received this week is 100-per-cent warranted."

Dana and Anne have been married for 27 years and have three children together.

Dana White said there could be no excuses for his behaviour after video footage emerged of the UFC president and his wife slapping each other in a club on New Year's Eve.

The 53-year-old and wife Anne were reportedly celebrating in Cabo, Mexico, when a dispute seemingly broke out between the couple.

Anne White had her head in her hands before slapping her husband, who struck back with slaps of his own.

The video emerged via TMZ, and White apologised via the US news outlet after the incident.

White said: "You've heard me say over the years, 'There is never, ever an excuse for a guy to put his hands on a woman', and now here I am on TMZ talking about it.

"My wife and I have been married for almost 30 years. We've known each other since we were 12 years old. We've obviously been through some s*** together. We've got three kids.

"This is one of those situations that's horrible, I'm embarrassed – but it's also one of those situations that right now we're more concerned about our kids. We have three kids and obviously, since the video popped up, we've shown the kids the video and we're more focused on our family right now.

"I'm literally making no excuses for this thing at all. It's never happened before. It's the first time it's ever happened."

White is prepared for criticism and accepted he could have little comeback, saying he would have brought it upon himself.

He said: "People are going to say what they're going to say and it is what is. Whatever people say is deserved. I deserve it."

Anne White told TMZ it was "an understatement" to describe her husband's conduct as being out of character.

"Nothing like this has ever happened before," she said, blaming a heavy alcohol intake that caused events to become "out of control".

Both have apologised, she said.

Las Vegas-based White has been president of UFC – the highly successful mixed martial arts Ultimate Fighting Championship – since 2001, signing up to a seven-year extension in 2019.

UFC chief Dana White has pushed back on suggestions this week's UFC media and fan blackout is due to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg as "total bulls***."

This weekend's Fight Night encounter between Mackenzie Dern and Yan Xiaonan will be closed to in-person attendance and coverage at the UFC Apex in Nevada.

Speaking at the event's media day, the former stated that attendance was a no-show as Zuckerberg had asked to rent the full venue for the event.

But White has now sought to shut down the claims, stating that the businessman, now chief executive officer and chairman of Meta, has not requested any such thing

"Mark Zuckerberg did NOT rent out the UFC Apex," he wrote on a post to social media. "That’s total bulls***."

Dern is looking for a 13th career victory in 15 bouts after bouncing back to winning ways with a split decision triumph over Tecia Torres in April.

Tom Brady could have ended up joining the Las Vegas Raiders, but their quarterback Derek Carr is not focusing on what might have been.

UFC president Dana White claimed last weekend he had previously set up a deal for Brady and Rob Gronkowski to join the Raiders, who made the move from Oakland to Las Vegas in 2020.

White claimed he had worked on a deal for Brady to head to the Raiders, rather than join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, after the veteran left the New England Patriots.

In an appearance on the UFC With the Gronks broadcast on ESPN, White said: "I worked to put that deal together for Brady and Gronk to come to the Raiders. It was almost a done deal. And at the last minute, [Jon] Gruden blew the deal up and said that he didn't want him and all hell broke loose, man. It was crazy.

"And Brady was already looking at houses. It wasn't said yet that Gronk was going to be coming. So Las Vegas would have had Brady and Gronk the year that the Bucs won the Super Bowl except Gruden blew the deal up."

A move for Brady might have signalled the end of the road with the team for Carr, who was drafted by the Raiders in 2014 and has been their starting quarterback since.

Carr, though, is paying little attention to what could have happened, and is instead focused on the here and now.

"It was a moment to put things in perspective," the 31-year-old told reporters. "It really doesn't matter.

"At the end of the day, anything I say will just be blasted out there so I'm just going to completely remove myself and just keep trying to play football. It's been nice just answering football questions.

"Hopefully, no more drama in the city."

Carr signed a three-year contract extension with the Raiders in April, a deal that includes a no-trade clause.

Tom Brady almost joined the Las Vegas Raiders in 2020 after a deal was brokered by UFC chief Dana White – only for Jon Gruden to walk away from negotiations in the final stages.

Elite quarterback and perennial winner Brady entered the 2020 season as a free agent, despite boasting six Super Bowl titles and nine AFC championships.

The Raiders, aided by the involvement of White, were reportedly set to swoop for the former New England Patriots star before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers secured a deal for one of NFL's most coveted names.

Brady would throw 4,633 passing yards and 40 touchdown passes as Tampa Bay won eight consecutive games en route to his seventh Super Bowl title in his maiden Buccaneers term.

The intervention of then-Raiders coach Gruden proved the stumbling point as Brady and colleague Rob Gronkowski, who was contracted to the Patriots at the time, ended up playing for Tampa Bay.

"I worked to put that deal together for Brady and Gronk to come to the Raiders," White said on ESPN during Saturday's UFC 278 coverage after being convinced by Gronkowski to tell the story.

"It was almost a done deal. And at the last minute, Gruden blew the deal up and said that he didn't want him and all hell broke loose, man. It was crazy.

"And Brady was already looking at houses. It wasn't said yet that Gronk was going to be coming. So Las Vegas would have had Brady and Gronk the year that the Bucs won the Super Bowl, except Gruden blew the deal up."

While Brady was said to have been a long-term target of the Raiders should he become a free agent, White believes the Las Vegas franchise could have comfortably secured Gronkowski as well.

Neither arrived and duly went on to Super Bowl success with the Buccaneers, with Gruden resigning as Raiders coach in October 2021 – yet Gronkowski has no regrets.

"I'm glad it did not go through," Gronkowski added. "It all worked out for the best, man. I'm glad we went to Tampa, man. It just worked out. I love that place."

Tampa Bay are preparing for their third campaign with Brady as their quarterback, though the veteran has not appeared at their training camp in pre-season.

Conor McGregor could make his comeback to the Octagon later this year, UFC president Dana White has said.

McGregor has not competed since his TKO loss to Dustin Poirier last July, when he broke the tibia and fibula bones in his left leg.

The 33-year-old Irish fighter has an MMA record of 22-6-0, losing three of his past four bouts in UFC including two in a row to Poirier.

White was speaking after the UFC Fight Night event at London's O2 Arena on Saturday, saying: "Conor's not cleared by the doctor yet.

"When he's cleared, some of these fights are going to happen this summer, we'll see what the landscape looks like, and we'll see where his head's at, at that time, and we'll pick a fight for him."

British heavyweight Tom Aspinall secured victory in the main event in London with a dominant showing against Alexander Volkov, while featherweight Arnold Allen knocked out Dan Hooker.

Liverpool pair and long-time friends Molly McCann and Paddy Pimblett both earned wins against Luana Carolina and Rodrigo Vargas respectively.

UFC boss Dana White is hopeful Conor McGregor's latest comeback is on the horizon.

The Irish superstar fractured the fibula and tibia of his left leg in a first-round defeat to Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 last July.

McGregor, who claimed he started that fight in Las Vegas with multiple leg fractures, has been recovering after undergoing surgery.

White told TMZ he is optimistic the 33-year-old will be back in the Octagon before too long.

He stated: "I think so, yeah. He's doing all the right things with his leg. I'm hoping he can come back this summer."

McGregor has been beaten in three of his past four bouts, with Poirier consigning him to back-to-back losses.

He revealed a plan for his return back in November.

"I will be full mixed martial arts sparring by April. Easily! By then a return will be imminent. But I must be patient. I will beat this!" McGregor tweeted.

Jake Paul, the YouTuber-turned-boxer, has published a five-strong list of opponents he wishes to take on in the ring.

Paul knocked out Tyron Woodley on Saturday, with the latter having stepped in at short notice for a rematch following Tommy Fury's withdrawal.

After the win, Paul expressed his desire to get in the ring with either Jorge Masvidal or Nate Diaz, both UFC stars.

However, the 24-year-old has now turned his attention to five other candidates, including Fury's brother, heavyweight champion Tyson.

Also on the list is one of boxing's greats, Floyd Mayweather Jr, who has not fought since 2017, though the 44-year-old has previously been touted as a possible exhibition opponent for Paul's older brother Logan.

Canelo, the first boxer in history to become an undisputed champion at super middleweight, was also named on Paul's hit list, as was the legendary Mike Tyson.

UFC boss Dana White, meanwhile, was another inclusion. 

There is some animosity between the pair, however, with Paul previously criticising White's treatment of UFC's fighters.

"I make more than every UFC fighter f****** combined, including Conor [McGregor]. Y'all work for f****** Dana, y'all work for WME, Endeavor, that's who you work for," he said on his brother Logan's podcast.

"I make more than all of you silly m*****f******. Why would I go into the UFC? Sign a contract and give away rights. I own my content, I own my platform, I own everything. They don't own s***, they are literally employees."

Paul also said he would knock White out, to which the UFC boss, in an interview with MMA Junkie, replied: 'It actually makes sense. I'm 52 years old. I'm in the age bracket of guys he fights, so yeah, I could see him wanting to fight me. All he fights are 50-year-olds."

Glover Teixeira defied father time as the evergreen veteran sensationally upset Jan Blachowicz in their light heavyweight title fight at UFC 267 to become the oldest first-time champion.

Teixeira showed age is no barrier after the 42-year-old forced defending champion Blachowicz into a rear-naked choke submission in the second round of Saturday's main event in Abu Dhabi.

Blachowicz (28-9) was making his second title defence and riding a five-fight winning streak before being stopped in his tracks by the evergreen Teixeira.

Teixeira (33-7) last had a chance at a UFC light heavyweight title seven years ago and lost to then-champion Jon Jones.

"Never give up on your dreams, no matter what people say, don't listen to them," Brazilian fighter Teixeira said afterwards. "They're gonna put you down.

"Don't listen to those negative people. Believe in yourself.

"I'm breaking the rules, 42 years old. And I'm gonna keep breaking the rules."

UFC president Dana White added: "Glover Teixeira is and has been one of the toughest guys in the division for a very long time, this was his dream forever to get this title shot.

"He finally gets it and did it tonight."

Blachowicz was coming off his first title defence, a unanimous decision victory against previously undefeated middleweight champion Israel Adesanya at UFC 259 in March.

"I think I left legendary Polish Power in the room," Blachowicz said.

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.


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."


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."


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."


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."



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."


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."


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.

Dustin Poirier will face Conor McGregor at UFC 264 in Las Vegas this year.

The much-anticipated trilogy fight will take place at the T-Mobile Arena on July 10, UFC president Dana White confirmed on Wednesday.

"I am so happy to finally be able to say: Vegas is back," he said in a video posted on social media.

"This summer, Las Vegas is back open for business and on July 10, UFC 264 will be at the T-Mobile Arena at 100 per cent capacity.

"This card will be headlined by the third fight between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor."

The update comes after McGregor claimed the bout was off on Monday during an expletive-laden exchange on Twitter.

Poirier claimed 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.

Khabib Nurmagomedov has thanked Dana White and the UFC for their support and understanding as his retirement was confirmed.

Khabib, who boasts a 29-0 record in the UFC, announced after his most recent victory against Justin Gaethje last October he was quitting the sport.

The fighter's father and coach, Abdulmanap, passed away earlier in 2020 and Khabib said: "There's no way I'm going to come here without my father."

UFC president White retained hope of changing his star performer's mind, but he accepted defeat on Thursday.

White posted on Twitter following a meal with Khabib that he was "officially retired".

The UFC chief also thanked for the Russian for his efforts, and those feelings of gratitude were reciprocated by Khabib in his own social media post.

"It was a good dinner with some great people," he wrote on Instagram. "@danawhite thank you so much brother and the entire @ufc team for the opportunity to prove myself, you guys have changed many live forever because of this sport.

"Dana - I'll never forget your attitude towards me, my father did not forget and my sons will remember you. Today there was a real conversation between real men.

"Also thank you to all team, sparing partners (sic) and all fans. I hope you will accept my decision and understand me."

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