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Conor McGregor starts sparring sessions with 8 rounds against ex-champ Paulie Malignaggi

LAS VEGAS — UFC star Conor McGregor shared a boxing ring with former two-weight world champion Paulie Malignaggi on Thursday. McGregor is preparing for an Aug. 26 bout with Floyd Mayweather. McGregor, 29, posted a photo from the eight-round session to social media. It shows McGregor with his hands behind his back, and the caption, “They say I’ve got no hands.” They say I’ve got no hands. pic.twitter.com/FJfvj5qjKi — Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) July 21, 2017 According to Malignaggi, who says he will continue to serve as one of McGregor’s regular…

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Robert Whittaker suffers knee strain against Yoel Romero

Newly crowned interim middleweight champion Robert Whittaker suffered a strained left knee during his victory over Yoel Romero at UFC 213 earlier this month. Whittaker (19-4), who fights out of Sydney, revealed the injury to the Australian Daily Telegraph. His manager, Rhys Dal Cin, confirmed the injury to ESPN.com. The camp did not offer a firm timeframe on Whittaker’s return, but Dal Cin said it’s “likely” Whittaker could accept a fight before the end of 2017. Whittaker defeated Romero via unanimous decision in a five-round 185-pound interim title fight, despite…

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Conor McGregor meets community service obligation

LAS VEGAS — UFC star Conor McGregor has completed the 25 hours of community service imposed by Nevada officials after a profanity-laced, bottle-throwing fracas with a rival during a prefight news conference last year in Las Vegas. A document obtained by The Associated Press shows McGregor talked with children and teenagers in Dublin about “physical and verbal bullying.” The Nevada State Athletic Commission disciplined McGregor and Nate Diaz after the men and members of their groups yelled at each other and eventually hurled water bottles and energy drink cans at…

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Headlining UFC’s Long Island card ‘a dream come true’ for Chris Weidman

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. — Chris Weidman isn’t your typical camp instructor. No wonder so many children were lined up to get his autograph or take a picture with him here at LAW MMA on a recent Tuesday afternoon. It was day two of a weeklong wrestling camp featuring the former UFC middleweight champion. He’s in the middle of training for a headline bout at UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum on Saturday, but has still found the time to teach a few camp sessions. “Wrestling is one of those sports…

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Aaron Pico returns to the cage at Bellator 183

Aaron Pico, Bellator MMA’s prized 20-year-old prospect, will return to the cage on Sept. 23 in San Jose. Bellator president Scott Coker told ESPN on Thursday that Pico (0-1) will be featured on the main card of Bellator 183, which will take place at SAP Center and air on Spike TV. According to Coker, the promotion is still in the process of finalizing Pico’s opponent. The bout will take place at lightweight. Aaron Pico will look to get his pro career on the right track at Bellator 183 after losing…

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Amanda Nunes will face Valentina Shevchenko, Demetrious Johnson to fight Ray Borg at UFC 215

The UFC has announced two title fights will co-headline its UFC 215 pay-per-view event on Sept. 9 in Edmonton. Dominant flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson will seek a record-breaking 11th straight title defense against Ray Borg, and female bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes will face Valentina Shevchenko. Johnson (26-2-1) tied former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva‘s mark of 10 title defenses earlier this year against Wilson Reis. ESPN ranks Johnson the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. He also won an ESPY this month for Best Fighter. The UFC wanted to…

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Eddie Alvarez – ‘Very real chance’ Conor McGregor knocks out Floyd Mayweather

Eddie Alvarez isn’t ashamed to admit it: He thoroughly enjoyed last week’s press tour featuring Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather. Alvarez, of course, has a unique perspective on McGregor’s trash talk. The two went back and forth during several news conferences last year, prior to their UFC lightweight title fight in New York. How should MMA star Conor McGregor — with no professional boxing fights on his résumé — approach his bout with Floyd Mayweather? Brett Okamoto asked many top trainers for their strategy. The Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor…

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Hispanic MMA promotion Combate Americas to show MMA event on ESPN

Mixed martial arts promotion Combate Americas has signed a deal with ESPN to broadcast its live event later this month. The televised event, Combate Clasico, will take place on July 27 in Miami and air on ESPN3 and the ESPN app. The host venue is Mana Wynwood Convention Center. Campbell McLaren, CEO of Combate Americas and one of the original creators of the UFC, said “Combate Clasico” is a play on one of international soccer’s best rivalries between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. “We are thrilled to collaborate with ESPN…

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How top MMA trainers would prepare Conor McGregor for Floyd Mayweather

When it comes to Floyd Mayweather versus Conor McGregor, there is no shortage of topics to discuss. Every Instagram post is a headline. And you can bet all these different angles of coverage will tirelessly seek out your eyeballs between now and the night of the fight. Today, we’re talking about the fight itself. Specifically, how a very good mixed martial artist can approach the task of fighting a world-class boxer in his own arena. What can McGregor do, if anything, to even the playing field? What does he actually…

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Who is Floyd Mayweather?

There have been certain boxers throughout history who have come to epitomize the eras in which they fought, their personas and fighting styles in sync with the prevailing cultural norms. It’s an elusive and rare quality that can’t be manufactured. The role chooses the fighter, not the other way around. We all knew the buildup to the Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor fight would feature posturing and hyper-masculine aggression — but it’s quickly devolved into bigotry and misogyny. espnW’s Sarah Spain asks: Are these people deserving of our admiration? The…

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