Here are all the top stories from the world of MMA making news today…
Gaethje unloads on lightweight rivals
Justin Gaethje has labelled Conor McGregor a ‘coward’ and claims former for Dustin Poirier Poirier‘s*** the bed’ against Khabib Nurmagomedov.
The extraordinary rant comes on the back of Gaethje’s latest devastating knockout win against Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone – his third in a row.
By living up to his name as ‘The Highlight’, Gaethje has fully thrust himself into the title picture. However, it seems Khabib is destined to finally fight Tony Ferguson next after calling for ‘El Cucuy’ in Moscow.
And as any top contender in this stacked lightweight division should, the 30-year-old has targeted the next biggest name after the champion and gone straight for McGregor.
“Conor keeps saying he is going to fight but I don’t think that’s true,” he told ESPN. “But if he doesn’t want to fight he’s calling out the likes of Frankie Edgar.
“No disrespect to Frankie Edgar but he’s 30 pounds lighter than us and that’s a coward move.
“The man is a coward deep down. I know that, he knows that, some of us know that. And if I fight him I get to show the world that, and that’s what he doesn’t want.”
When asked if he would consider a rematch with Poirier, who knocked him out in April 2018, Gaethje was less than impressed.
“I think Dustin Poirier s*** the bed,” he added. “He went out there and s*** the bed and got his ass whooped.
“He didn’t do what he needed to do and he didn’t even put up a fight. So I don’t want to go through him to get to Khabib.”
Mike Tyson names Cody Garbrandt as his favourite UFC fighter
Former undisputed world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson has named former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrant as his favourite UFC fighter.
Tyson, who is a huge supporter of MMA in general, revealed ‘No Love’ was his favourite fighter because of his association with ‘Tyson Ranch’, which is Iron Mike’s marijuana company.
The 53-year-old also told Garbrandt to ‘go for it’ as he talked up a potential fight against former welterweight champion Adrien Broner.
Garbrandt is currently on a three-fight losing streak in the octagon after suffering back-to-back title defeats to bitter rival TJ Dillashaw.
However, he is targeting a return to the octagon in March 2020 as he aims to recapture his 135lbs title.
“I’m hoping for March return, hopefully sooner,” Garbrandt told MMA Junkie. “I talked to Dana a few days ago. I would like for the UFC to come back to Ohio in March.
“There’s the Arnold Classic there. It’s a great time to go and do that, so we’ll see.
“We got Stipe (Miocic) as the champion again, so Stipe fighting in Ohio the home state, I would love to, and that’s where I’m at with that. I’m excited to come back.”
‘Karate Hottie’ lives up to her name in open workout
Michelle Waterson stunned fans at her open workout ahead of UFC Tampa by displaying the vast array of kicks she has at her disposal.
Known as the ‘Karate Hottie’, Waterson is preparing to face former strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC Tampa on Saturday night.
Although ‘JJ’ has endured a struggle trying to get down to the 115lbs weight limit, Waterson is ready to go on Saturday night at the Amalie Arena.
Ahead of the fight, Waterson exhibited her skills in front of her supporters by practicing a devastating strike known as ‘Uchi Mawashi Geri’ in front of her husband Joshua Gomez.
As she completed each strike, she moved closer and closer to Gomez as she performed each death-defying strike.
Thankfully, she managed to clear the head of the former US Armed Forces amateur boxing champion before planting a reassuring kiss on his cheek.
The main event of the evening has been thrown into doubt after Jedrzejczyk informed the UFC last week she would not be able to make the strawweight limit.
However, she will weigh in on Friday after promising to do ‘everything possible’ to cut the last remaining pounds.
Imposter gets choked out after forging real fighter’s passport
Batuhan Akduman may not be a household name amongst MMA fans, but the Turkish star clearly has an admirer.
Akduman technically lost the first fight of his career over the weekend, even though he never set foot into the cage.
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An impersonator stole his identity to enter into a fight and duly lost in the first round via a choke.
During the main card of the Gorilla Fighting Championship in Russia, the lightweight contender was scheduled to fight Armenian Rafael Abrahamyan.
However, the impostor forged a passport to enter the bout, even using a fake ID to enter the event. The security teams, the officials, the crowd and even his opponent were all stunned.
The night nearly ended in tragedy as Abrahamyan refused to let go of the choke, despite the referee ending the fight and telling him to release the choke.
Whoever entered the ring was left unconscious for an extended period of time and the referee called for assistance.
The real Akduman was angry about the situation and took to Instagram to vent his frustrations.
View this post on Instagram
@breakingnewsturkey için yaptığım açıklamayı sizlerle paylaşıyorum… "Batuhan'ı 15 Aralık'ta Ermenistan'da görecek!" "Abrahamyan 2. Raundu görmeyecek!" Sosyal medyayı sallayan ve birçok haber kanalında Ermeni kafes sporcusu Rafael Abrahamyan'ın Türk dövüşçü 3 dünya şampiyonluğu olan Batuhan Akduman'ı boğmaya çalıştığı video-haber yalan çıktı. Ermeni sporcunun ismini kullandığı Batuhan Akduman, "O videodaki Türk'ü boğmaya çalıştı, bayılttı dedikleri kişi ben değilim. Kendisine ulaştım ve karşıma çıkmazsa dünyaya rezil edeceğimi söyledim. 15 Aralık'ta gerçek Batuhan ile karşılaşacak. İkinci raundu görmeyecek"
He is planning a rematch and said in a Instagram caption: “He will see Batuhan in Armenia on 15 December! Abrahamyan will not see Round 2!
“Armenian cage athlete Rafael Abrahamyan strangled me in the video-[it is] lies.
“I’m not the person they say [got] knocked out. I reached him and told him that I would embarrass the world. On 15 December [you] will encounter the real Batuhan.”
The identity of the ‘fake’ Akduman is yet to be revealed.