Conor McGregor says he’s boxing Manny Pacquiao next in the Middle East

It's always difficult to know when to take Conor McGregor's tweets at face value, but his most recent one was a doosie.After saying he was "in" to be the final opponent on Diego Sanchez's current UFC contract, McGregor then went on to explain how he tried hard, pre-COVID, to lock down a "McGregor event" with the UFC.After much back and forth, nothing happened, McGregor got frustrated, and he announced his retirement in June.UFC president Dana White recently said that he had been talking with McGregor about some "fun stuff" coming up in 2021, though he did not confirm that it would necessarily be a fight or fights.Who knows if he is serious, but after explaining his side of things, McGregor on Friday tweet that it was all "water under the bridge" and that he would next be "boxing Manny Pacquiao in the Middle East."* * *TRENDING > Conor McGregor agrees to be Diego Sanchez’s final UFC fight* * *Where this goes from here, who knows? McGregor has tweeted all kinds of things that have kept his profile up, but didn't come to fruition. But then again, that's what we all initially thought about him wanting to box Floyd Mayweather, as well, and he willed that fight into existence. So who knows? Do you think he is serious?https://twitter.com/TheNotoriousMMA/status/1309556090284249090?s=20 https://twitter.com/TheNotoriousMMA/status/1309558301861052417?s=20 https://twitter.com/TheNotoriousMMA/status/1309560270453342209?s=20

Conor McGregor agrees to be Diego Sanchez’s final UFC fight

It's not all that likely to happen, but Conor McGregor on Friday tweeted his agreement to be the final fight of Diego Sanchez's UFC career.Sanchez has four fights on his UFC contract. He'd like to finish out that contract strong, as he expects it to be his final deal with the UFC. The first of those four fights takes place at UFC 253 on Fight Island, where he faces Jake Matthews. The fight card is headlined by Israel Adesanya putting his middleweight belt on the line opposite Paulo Costa."My goals in these last four fights in the UFC is to finish strong, to finish healthy," Sanchez said during the UFC 253 media day. "I’m looking for legend fights. I’m not looking past Jake Matthews, but I’m looking for some legend fights."There is some history between Sanchez and Nick Diaz, who has indicated that he plans to return to the Octagon in 2021. That's definitely a fight that Sanchez would like, as well as one with Nick's brother Nate.But the target for his final fight is much bigger."Nick Diaz is coming back. There’s some other names, Nate Diaz, there’s a lot of big fights that would be appealing for the fans. I said I shoot for the moon. Conor McGregor is the number four fight," said Sanchez."I envision myself dominating these next three fights and finishing my career with a fight with Conor McGregor. That’s my dream. That’s my vision. As I build my legacy and his does what his does, I’ll be waiting if he wants to do it at the end of the road."For his part, McGregor on Friday accepted Sanchez's idea of fighting the final bout of "The Nightmare's" contract.In fact, the Irishman said he tried to fight Sanchez once before, but the UFC wouldn't go for it. McGregor actually tweeted screenshots of an alleged text conversation with UFC president Dana White, where a fight with Sanchez was quickly shot down."To Diego Sanchez... I seen your recent comments about your final bout and I am in! After you fought Pereira, I had requested for myself and you to compete in Dublin. This was back in February when I was working on opposition for my season, pre-COVID. Good luck this weekend!" McGregor wrote in his tweet.https://twitter.com/TheNotoriousMMA/status/1309554699671080960 * * *TRENDING > What makes Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa so special? Somebody’s O has got to go!* * * Is Conor McGregor retired or not?Though McGregor says he is in for a fight with Sanchez, it is still highly unlikely that the two would ever meet in the Octagon.McGregor is the biggest draw in the sport. And while a fight with Sanchez could be a fun one, it's not likely to be the type of draw that White would endorse for his biggest star.It's interesting to note McGregor's willingness, however, after he abruptly retired in June. He has since insisted he is retired, which White has backed, though he has not withdrawn from the USADA drug testing pool.* * * Trending Video > Israel Adesanya: Paulo Costa is "weak," Costa responds(Subscribe to MMAWeekly.com on YouTube)

Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa have to be separated during UFC 253 face-off

* * *While the rest of the UFC 253 weigh-in face-offs went off without a hitch, headliners Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa had to be separated by security and UFC president Dana White.Adesanya puts his middleweight championship on the line opposite Costa in the UFC 253 main event, while Dominick Reyes squares off with Jan Blachowicz for the light heavyweight title vacated by Jon Jones.(Video courtesy of MMA Junkie)* * *TRENDING > What makes Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa so special? Somebody’s O has got to go!* * * UFC 253: Adesanya vs. Costa full weigh-in face-offs(Video courtesy of UFC)

UFC 253 weigh-in results: Championship doubleheader set, but two fighters miss weight

The first event in the UFC's return to Fight Island is set with a championship doubleheader following Friday's UFC 253 weigh-in, although two fighters missed weight.All four championship bout competitors hit the mark.UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya weighed 184 pounds for his defense against challenger Paulo Costa, who stepped on the scale at 185 pounds.In the history of the UFC, there has only been one men’s UFC title fight between undefeated fighters. That was Rashad Evans vs. Lyoto Machida at UFC 98 in 2009.Saturday's UFC 253 main event will be the second such bout, as Adesanya enters the fight at 19-0 and Costa holds a 13-0 record. But somebody's O has to go at UFC 253.The second half of the UFC 253 championship doubleheader features Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz squaring off for the light heavyweight title vacated by Jon Jones.Reyes and Blachowicz each weighed 205 pounds, spot-on for their championship bout. Two UFC 253 fighters miss weightZubaira Tukhugov stepped on the scale at 150 pounds for his featherweight bout with Hakeem Dawodu, a full 4 pounds over the allowed limit of 146 pounds. Dawodu weighed 145 pounds.Late replacement L’udovit Klein also weighed 150 pounds for his featherweight prelim with opposite Shane Young. Young weighed 146 pounds.UFC officials had not yet confirmed the status of either of those bouts at the time of publication. As long as the fighters are medically cleared, both bouts are likely to continue with the Dawodu and Young likely receiving a percentage of their opponents' fight purse to keep the bouts intact.* * *TRENDING > UFC 253: Adesanya vs Costa Beach Face-Offs on Fight Island* * * UFC 253: Adesanya vs. Costa weigh-in resultsMain Card (10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ Pay-Per-View) * Israel Adesanya (184) vs. Paulo Costa (185) * Dominick Reyes (205) vs. Jan Blachowicz (205) * Kai Kara France (126) vs. Brandon Royval (126) * Ketlen Vieira (136) vs. Sijara Eubanks (136) * Hakeem Dawodu (145) vs. Zubaira Tukhugov (150)*Preliminary Card (8 p.m. ET on ESPN+) * Brad Riddell (156) vs. Alex da Silva (156) * Diego Sanchez (170) vs. Jake Matthews (170) * Shane Young (146) vs. L’udovit Klein (150)* * William Knight (205) vs. Aleksa Camur (206) * Juan Espino (255) vs. Jeff Hughes (258) * Khadis Ibragimov (206) vs. Danilo Marques (206)*Tukhugov and Klein missed weight* * * UFC 253 weigh-in: Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa UFC 253 weigh-in: Dominick Reyes vs. Jan Blachowicz(Videos courtesy of MMA Junkie)

UFC 253 Beach Press Conference: Adesanya and Costa throw the smack down!

* * *Watch as Dana White hosts the UFC 253 pre-fight press conference on the beaches of Fight Island.UFC 253 headliners Israel Adesanya, Paulo Costa, Dominick Reyes, and Jan Blachowicz field questions from the media ahead of their Saturday, Sept. 26, showdowns.Adesanya puts his UFC middleweight title on the line opposite Costa, while Reyes and Blachowicz square off for the UFC light heavyweight championship recently vacated by Jon Jones.(Subscribe to MMAWeekly.com on YouTube)* * *TRENDING > Dana White on Dark Tone of UFC Vegas 11: ‘This is the Fight Game!’* * * UFC 253: Adesanya vs Costa Beach Face-Offs on Fight Island(Subscribe to MMAWeekly.com on YouTube)

UFC 253: Adesanya vs Costa Beach Face-Offs on Fight Island

* * *Ahead of their UFC 253 showdown, middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and challenger Paulo Costa, as well as light heavyweight title challengers Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz faced off on a Fight Island beach for some intense staredowns.UFC 253: Adesanya vs. Costa takes place on Saturday, Sept. 26, at the Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island in Abu Dhabi. It is the first of a series of five weekly events that will take place during the UFC's second stint in Abu Dhabi since emerging from a near-global lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic.(Subscribe to MMAWeekly.com on YouTube)* * *TRENDING > Dana White on Dark Tone of UFC Vegas 11: ‘This is the Fight Game!’* * * Trending Video > Colby Covington trashes LeBron James and 'woke athletes' as 'spineless cowards'(Subscribe to MMAWeekly.com on YouTube)

Ketlen Vieira’s coach first COVID-19 positive on UFC Fight Island, but she will still fight

Ketlen Vieira's coach, Andre Pederneiras, became the first UFC-related person to test positive for COVID-19 on UFC Fight Island. Though he won't be in her corner, Vieira will still be allowed to fight.Vieira is slated to face Sijara Eubanks on the UFC 253 main card on Saturday. The headlining bout features Israel Adesanya putting his middleweight belt on the line opposite Paulo Costa.While many fighters have been scratched from previous UFC fight cards because a teammate or coach tested positive, that won't be the case for Vieira. Although Pederneiras has tested positive, according to a report by MMA Fighting, Vieira will be allowed to fight.Unlike the first go around at UFC Fight Island, where Brazilian fighters and their support teams were tested before flying directly from Sao Paulo to Abu Dhabi, this time the Brazilians were first flown to London on commercial flights before boarding planes to Abu Dhabi. Because of this, Vieira did not have contact with Pederneiras en route to Fight Island and will be allowed to fight.Pederneiras believed he had contracted COVID-19 back in May when he had tested positive ahead of cornering Jose Aldo and other fighters on Fight Island in July. He was asymptomatic at that time, but quarantined away from his family for two weeks before resuming work.According to Vieira, Pederneiras is experiencing mild symptoms this time, but appears to be doing okay.With Pederneiras sidelined, Vieira will face Eubanks with just Marcos Galvao in her corner. “It’s going to be the two of us against the world,” Vieira said (via MMA Fighting). “We went through a lot to get here, several issues. I’ll only have one corner on the fight, so I just want to leave with my hand raised.“[Pederneiras’ situation] only motivates me to go there and make him prouder.”* * *TRENDING > Dana White on Dark Tone of UFC Vegas 11: ‘This the Fight Game!’* * * Ketlen Vieira UFC 253 Media Day(Video courtesy of MMAFightingSBN)