UFC: Nurmagomedov agrees to return Oct. 24 against Gaethje

UFC: Nurmagomedov agrees to return Oct. 24 against Gaethje
In this Sept. 7 2019, file photo, Russian UFC fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov, right, fights with UFC fighter Dustin Poirier, of Lafayette, Louisiana, US during lightweight title mixed martial arts bout in Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Khaled, File)
Short Url
Updated 29 July 2020

UFC: Nurmagomedov agrees to return Oct. 24 against Gaethje

UFC: Nurmagomedov agrees to return Oct. 24 against Gaethje

Undefeated UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has agreed to face interim champ Justin Gaethje on Oct. 24.
UFC President Dana White announced Nurmagomedov's return to mixed martial arts Tuesday.
Nurmagomedov (28-0) holds the longest active unbeaten streak in MMA, and he became the UFC's lightweight champion in April 2018 by defeating Al Iaquinta for the vacant belt. He has defended his title just twice, but he defeated interim lightweight champ Dustin Poirier by submission last September in his most recent fight.
Nurmagomedov became one of MMA’s biggest stars at UFC 229 in October 2018 with his fourth-round stoppage of Conor McGregor and his subsequent leap over the cage and into the stands to fight members of McGregor’s entourage for their perceived disrespect.
Although the UFC’s pay-per-view sales figures are private, UFC 229 is widely thought to be the most-bought event in MMA history.
Nurmagomedov has been in mourning this month after the death of his father, Abdulmanap. Nurmagomedov’s camp says his father, a prominent MMA figure and wrestler in Dagestan, died from complications of COVID-19 and heart surgery in early July.
Gaethje (22-2) presents a stark challenge in style for Nurmagomedov, a world-class wrestler and grappler who has been extraordinarily successful on the ground.
Gaethje is an exceptional striker who proved his world-class ability in May with a fifth-round stoppage of longtime contender Tony Ferguson, claiming the interim belt in an upset victory. Gaethje has won four straight fights with his sensational brawling style.
The promotion didn't announce a location for the fight, but White has said the UFC is unlikely to host fans at any events for the next several months.
White has previously suggested Nurmagomedov would return at Fight Island, the UFC's secure bubble on Abu Dhabi's Yas Island where the promotion hosted four shows earlier this month. Nurmagomedov beat Poirier in Abu Dhabi last year.
The UFC's next several events are scheduled for Las Vegas, but Nurmagomedov was sharply critical of the UFC's hometown and the Nevada Athletic Commission after he was sanctioned for leaving the cage and brawling in the stands.
Nurmagomedov lives in Russia, but usually trains for his fights in the Bay Area.


Australia says ‘no’ to tennis stars’ calls for COVID-19 quarantine change

Australia says ‘no’ to tennis stars’ calls for COVID-19 quarantine change
Updated 19 January 2021

Australia says ‘no’ to tennis stars’ calls for COVID-19 quarantine change

Australia says ‘no’ to tennis stars’ calls for COVID-19 quarantine change
  • ‘People are free to ask for things, but the answer is no’
  • ‘They knew what they were traveling into and we are not cutting corners or making special arrangements’

SYDNEY: Australian authorities said mandatory hotel quarantine for people arriving for the Australian Open tennis tournament was essential to stop COVID-19, as the country recorded another day with no new locally acquired cases on Tuesday.
Some of the world’s top tennis players including world No. 1 Novak Djokovic have questioned the country’s enforced 14-day hotel quarantine, suggesting they should be allowed to complete the process in accommodation with tennis courts before the tournament which starts in Victoria state on Feb. 8.
But Victorian premier Daniel Andrews said he would not make changes.
“People are free to ask for things, but the answer is no,” Andrews told reporters in a televised news conference.
“They knew what they were traveling into and we are not cutting corners or making special arrangements.”
More than 70 players and their entourage are confined to their hotel rooms after passengers on three charter flights returned positive tests for the coronavirus. Victoria recorded four new cases in hotel quarantine on Tuesday, but these are not counted as community transmissions.
Andrews came under substantial pressure in 2020 after putting the country’s second-most populous state into a months-long lockdown to fight a second wave of infections of the new coronavirus.
In neighboring New South Wales state, Hollywood actor Matt Damon was granted an exemption from hotel quarantine after arriving to film a “Thor” sequel in Sydney.
Damon flew in on a private jet, will stay in a rented house under security and pay for hospital-grade cleaning for his 14-day quarantine, a doctor involved in his quarantine was quoted saying in local media.
As Australia’s hard-line border controls keep daily numbers of new coronavirus cases at zero or low single digits, tourism operators have called for additional subsidies after health authorities suggested the country would not fully reopen its borders in 2021.
If the industry did not receive an extension of federal wage subsidies that are due to end in March, “we’ll be lucky to have a tourism industry in 12 or 18 months’ time,” Tourism and Transport Forum CEO Margy Osmond told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
But Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said the country would be unlikely to fully reopen its border soon, even though it hopes to start a vaccination program next month.
“There will be a process through 2021 of returning to some sort of normal,” Kelly told reporters.
“Unfortunately, international borders changes will be one of the last things to change, rather than the first.”