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McGregor claims he was beating Khabib before submitting at UFC 229

Conor McGregor insists he was beating ‘pitiful’ Khabib Nurmagomedov by TWO ROUNDS before submitting in their iconic bout at UFC 229 as the Irishman breaks down the fight for fans

  • McGregor claims he beating Nurmagomedov before submitting at UFC 229
  • The Irishman broke down the fight for fans on Twitter on Tuesday evening
  • He argued that he won the first and third round, while giving Khabib the second
  • McGregor also believes he was winning the fourth until he was made to submit
  • Khabib admitted that a hotly-anticipated rematch with McGregor ‘makes sense’

Conor McGregor has insisted that he was winning his fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov by two rounds before he submitted at UFC 229.

The Irishman ended up tapping out in the fourth round of their lightweight title fight over two years ago, before the blockbuster bout was marred by clashes between the two fighters’ teams in and around the octagon.

The bad-blooded feud will go down in UFC history for it’s controversy, violence and high-octane drama – and McGregor believes he had Khabib right where he wanted him before the ‘trip’ in the fourth.

Conor McGregor claims he beating Khabib Nurmagomedov before submitting at UFC 229

Many fans believe that Khabib was in total control of the fight and had won both rounds one and three before emphatically making his enemy tap out with a rear-naked chokehold.

However, McGregor believes that he in fact won the first and third round, while he handed the second to the Dagestani champion.

When a fan on Twitter claimed McGregor was ‘mauled’ by Khabib, the 32-year-old replied: ‘I won round one. Out struck him three to one here. Elbows, knees, clatters. He held on entire round. Round two he won.

‘This round had the kimura attempt you speak of. I kneed him full force into his eye socket here and broke the grip fully. A lovely shot! I won three also and four up until the trip.’ 

McGregor broke down the fight on Twitter, where he claimed he was winning by two rounds

Fans asked McGregor about the fight before he replied with a round-by-round breakdown

Another fan backed up his claims by saying that a ‘motivated’ McGregor would have won, which he replied: ‘On the mula! Round 1’s mine. Out struck 3-1. Elbow, knees, clatters! He held on.

‘Two is his but I land multiple knees. One from standing after the overhand, and one from bottom into the eye socket at kimura attempt. Not a scratch end of round also. I won round three, and four until the trip.’

The two-time champion then posted a picture of himself up against the cage, saying: ‘Ye, not a scratch. Relaxing before I bounced up and bet his brother and his cousin round.’

McGregor is now preparing to return to the octagon and fight Dustin Poirier for the second time in his career with the bout looking to take place on January 23. 

Khabib (left) knocked McGregor down once, scored three takedowns before winning the bout

McGregor also believes he was winning the fourth until he was made to submit at UFC 229

McGregor claimed he was ‘relaxing’ on the cage following his defeat in the main event

Talks of a hotly-anticipated rematch between McGregor and Khabib looks to be on the cards, with the Russian admitting that a second fight would ‘make sense’.  

Khabib revealed he will be keeping an eye on McGregor but said that a rematch between the two of them will not be happening if he fights at welterweight.

The Russian told the Mike Swick podcast: ‘If he beats him (Dustin Poirier) in 155, it makes sense. But if they fight in 170, how can you fight in 170 and then next fight be in 155.

‘They want to make everything easy. If you want to take it the easy way, you will never deserve another title shot. 

‘Remember before I fought him, I said ‘I am going to make you humble and I am going to put you on the line’ and now after 2 years people understand my words. 

Khabib refused to rule out a rematch with McGregor if he beat Dustin Poirier at welterweight

Former UFC champion Georges St-Pierre has been linked as a future opponent for Khabib

‘I am going to put him on the line and I am going to make the decision. If he fights 170, bye bye.’

Khabib will defend his lightweight title against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 this weekend as he looks to extend his perfect record to 29-0.  

He admitted that he would consider retiring from fighting should he reach 30-0, but it is yet to be decided who he will fight after Gaethje.

A rematch with McGregor is a possibility while UFC legend Georges St-Pierre has been linked with a comeback to fight Khabib. 




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Soccer

Solskjaer says PSG win was more deserved than famous victory last year

‘It’s a BETTER performance this time’: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Manchester United’s win in Paris was more deserved than their famous victory over PSG in March 2019 as Marcus Rashford hits late winner again

  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer rated this performance higher than last year’s win at PSG
  • Marcus Rashford struck the winner late as United deservedly claimed 2-1 victory 
  • Solskjaer also praised Bruno Fernandes, Scott McTominay and Axel Tuanzebe

Marcus Rashford was Manchester United’s hero in Paris once again as he fired a late winner at Parc des Princes on Tuesday night.

Rashford, who scored an injury-time penalty when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side famously knocked out Paris Saint-Germain last year, lashed home in the 87th minute to give United a 2-1 victory in their Group H opener.

‘They were both opportunities to win the game,’ said Rashford. ‘As a striker, in the game late on, that’s the mentality. You might only get one chance – it gets us the three points.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said their performance was better than when they won at PSG last year

‘Of course, it’s a nice feeling. We’re in a strong position now in the group, but it’s the first game.’

PSG lost at home in the group stage for the first time in nearly 16 years. Last season’s beaten finalists had not even conceded a goal there in Europe since Rashford’s winner in March 2019.

Solskjaer, who was without captain Harry Maguire and started with Paul Pogba on the bench, rated it an even better display than the Miracle of Paris.

New signing Alex Telles made his debut and Axel Tuanzebe was outstanding on his first outing since December, helping to nullify the threat of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

Marcus Rashford was the hero in Paris last time and hit the winner on Tuesday night

‘It’s a better performance this time, even though we won 3-1 last time,’ said Solskjaer.

‘It’s a different feeling. It’s at the start of the group stage. Last time it was a knockout and it was euphoric. This is sterile without the fans but it’s still excellent and we deserved to win.

‘Axel did fantastic. He’s been out for 10 months and to put in a performance like this against Neymar and Mbappe almost surprised us as well.’

Solskjaer paid tribute to stand-in skipper Bruno Fernandes who had a penalty saved for the second time in four days but stepped up to retake it and score after VAR spotted keeper Keylor Navas encroaching. PSG equalised through Anthony Martial’s own-goal before Rashford struck.

Solskjaer was impressed with how well Axel Tuanzebe coped with PSG star Kylian Mbappe

Solskjaer added: ‘Bruno missed two penalties in a row but he’s not going to stop taking them. He showed focus and character.

‘I’m not surprised. After the Newcastle one and this, I was sure he would want to take it again. There were no nerves.’

The United boss also singled out Scott McTominay, revealing that the midfielder played on despite losing a contact lens.

‘Scotty played first half with only one eye,’ he said. ‘That was the most impressive thing because he lost his contact lens.’

PSG boss Thomas Tuchel was at a loss to explain his team’s lack-lustre display.

He said: ‘It was a performance without intensity, without aggression, without counter-pressing. It was a bit bizarre, I don’t know why.’

He also gave praise to Scott McTominay, who played second half without a contact lens






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Soccer

Gareth Bale 'was the ONLY Real Madrid player to REJECT a pay-cut'

Gareth Bale ‘was the ONLY Real Madrid player to REJECT a pay-cut’ to his £500,000-a-week wages at the height of the coronavirus pandemic… with rest of the dressing room ‘accepting 10% cut without hesitation’

  • Gareth Bale was the only Real Madrid player to refuse to take a pay cut this year
  • The club asked the players and staff to take a 10 per cent cut due to coronavirus
  • Welsh star was unwilling to forfeit 10 per cent of his £500,000-a-week salary
  • Those that did accept a pay cut helped the club save a total of 50million euros 

Gareth Bale was reportedly the only Real Madrid player that refused to take a pay cut earlier this year as the club struggled with the financial ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic.

With the club losing revenue due to the suspension of football, the staff and players were asked to accept a 10 per cent cut to their annual salaries, with that rising to 20 per cent if the league was unable to continue.

It is believed that the entire first-team were in agreement over the wage reduction, except Bale. The Welshman was advised by his representatives to refuse the cut on his mammoth £500,000-a-week wages.

Gareth Bale was the only Real Madrid player to refuse to take a pay cut amid the pandemic

Sergio Ramos was responsible for liaising between Real Madrid chiefs and the squad but it was Zinedine Zidane who helped the players recognise the importance of helping the club, according the Cadena Ser via Marca.  

Bale, who had a difficult relationship with Zidane and the club’s fans, is reported to have been the only Madrid player who wanted to keep getting paid his full salary.

The players and staff who did forfeit 10 per cent of their wages helped the club save just under 50million euros (£45m). 

Zinedine Zidane had helped the other players recognise the importance of helping the club

Bale, who earns £500,000-a-week, was unwilling to part ways with 10 per cent of that cash

Bale, who became the most expensive footballer in history upon signing for Real Madrid seven years ago, was pocketing £24million a year at Madrid – and would have saved the club £50,000 a week if he agreed to the reduction. 

The Welsh forward has always been a controversial figure in the Spanish capital and following a turbulent time at Real Madrid, Bale was finally offloaded as he returned to Tottenham in the summer. 

Bale will likely make his second debut with Spurs against their London rivals West Ham on Sunday.




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Soccer

Fernandes was left shocked after Aaron Wan Bissaka's stunner

‘We didn’t know he can shoot!’: Bruno Fernandes reveals Manchester United dressing room were left shocked by Aaron Wan Bissaka’s stunner against Newcastle as midfielder praises full-back for being ‘more positive’

  • Bruno Fernandes revealed he was shocked after Aaron Wan Bissaka’s goal
  • The Manchester United right-back scored a stunner as they beat Newcastle
  • Fernandes said the United players ‘did not know he can shoot’ after his goal 
  • READ: Manchester United score late goals in comfortable 4-1 win over Newcastle

Bruno Fernandes revealed he was shocked after Manchester United team-mate Aaron Wan Bissaka’s goal against Newcastle as he said: ‘we didn’t know he can shoot!’.

United won their second match of the Premier League season against Steve Bruce’s side despite the worst possible start after an own goal from Luke Shaw in the second minute.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side quickly responded as Harry Maguire headed the visitors level at St James’ Park before Wan Bissaka stole the headlines with a stunner.

Bruno Fernandes revealed he was shocked after Aaron Wan Bissaka’s goal vs Newcastle

Fernandes said ‘we didn’t know he could shoot’ after the defender scored a rare goal

The Newcastle defence finally crumbled late on as Fernandes made amends for a saved penalty earlier in the second half and a goal from the right back and Marcus Rashford topped off a resounding victory.

After the match, Fernandes said that the United players did not know that Wan Bissaka could strike the ball so well. 

‘[We were so happy] because we didn’t know he can shoot!’ the midfielder told MUTV. ‘So it’s difficult for us believing he can score because we never see him shooting.

‘We were talking about it now in the dressing room and asking him because we all were thinking he wanted to cross and he makes a bad ball and scores.

‘But I’m happy for him, he deserved the goal and we always ask this from him. Be more positive, be more in the box, try and improve because he has such good qualities.

‘Everyone knows about him being a defensive player and everything but he needs to show that he’s more than a defensive player and I think he has the qualities to show that.’

Before the international break, United were battered by Tottenham 6-1 at Old Trafford and the Portuguese midfielder insisted that a result like that can not happen again.

‘What happened against Tottenham can’t happen again. We play for such a big club and such a big team,’ he said.

‘This club deserves better than that. Everyone needs to be better, starting with me, I need to look at myself first and then at what the group needs to do better.

‘Today it was perfect, after that defeat. I think we need to continue improving, don’t concede goals, as I said before, and keep scoring.’




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Rugby

‘I was just praying’: Wallabies superboot Hodge relives near-miss kick

Reece Hodge didn't get much sleep on Sunday night.

That's not unusual for professional athletes, who often struggle to get a good night's sleep just hours after their body has been pumping with adrenaline.

Reece Hodge says he would have no hesitation in putting his hand up to take another clutch penalty at Eden Park on Sunday.Credit:Getty

The next six minutes were frantic and both teams had their chance to secure a 1-0 series lead.

But it was the kick Hodge replayed "hundreds" of times in the early hours of Monday morning.

"Last night wasn't a great start, I'll give you that. It was a bit of a broken sleep last night. I probably replayed it hundreds of times by now," Hodge said when asked if he was restless overnight.

Hodge is the Wallabies' long range specialist. He nailed a similar kick in the 2017 Brisbane Bledisloe to secure a 23-18 win.

As soon as he saw referee Williams stick his right arm out and award the Australians an advantage, the Melbourne Rebels star started thinking about the kick that could win the Wallabies the game.

The blustery Wellington wind – which wreaked havoc with the goal kicking of James O'Connor and Jordie Barrett all afternoon – was front of mind.

"It was obviously pretty swirly wind in Wellington. Throughout the warm up they were going everywhere. Left, right, you always get told to aim just straight down the middle," Hodge said.

"I went to Rabs (O'Connor) for a bit of a heads up on which way it had been going in that second half and he said the wind was left to right. But you can't really trust it too much in Wellington.

"I aimed it just inside the left post and it turns out, just outside the left post would have been a bit better.

"I struck it as well as I could have. I was just praying when it was in the air."

The weight of the situation didn't play on Hodge's mind. He has shown many times – at both Test and Super Rugby level – that he is up to taking and making clutch kicks.

If the same scenario plays out this Sunday at Eden Park, Hodge will call straight for the kicking tee.

"Yeah, absolutely," Hodge said when asked if he would put his hand up for the same kick on Sunday.

"Any time you get a chance and feel confident – why not step up and have a crack?

"When it's in my range, it's something you just have to step up and do and have the confidence to try knock it over."

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Sports News

'What he did was perfect!' Kevin Pietersen backs Ravi Ashwin's Mankad stance

Kevin Pietersen has backed Ravi Ashwin over his use of the Mankad dismissal and says batsmen need to ‘wind their neck in and play by the rules’.

India spinner Ashwin chose not to Mankad Australia batsman Aaron Finch in Delhi Capitals’ recent Indian Premier League victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore.

But the 34-year-old has used the dismissal before – most famously against England’s Jos Buttler – and vowed to use it again during IPL 2020 if he feels batsmen are stealing ground at the non-striker’s end.

England legend Pietersen was against the use of Mankads during his playing career but says his opinion has changed over the past year.

He told talkSPORT’s Following On Podcast: ‘It almost happened in one of my son’s games over the summer and I said to one of the coaches, “are you serious? Have I just seen that? Did that actually just happen?”

‘You’ve got 10-year-olds thinking about the Mankad. Apparently it’s in the manuals now to be taught and to be allowed.

‘It was frowned upon when we played and it wasn’t the thing to do.

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Soccer

De Bruyne admits he was inspired by ex-Liverpool hero Owen growing up

‘When I was really young it was Michael Owen!’: Manchester City star Kevin de Bruyne admits he was inspired by former Liverpool hero Michael Owen growing up… after picking up UEFA’s midfielder of the year award

  • Kevin de Bruyne has admitted he was inspired to play as a striker growing up
  • Belgian looked up to former Liverpool forward Michael Owen in his youth
  • He was speaking after being named UEFA midfielder of the year
  • UEFA’s awards ceremony during Champions League draw dominated by Bayern
  • Robert Lewandowski won player of the season as well as striker of the year 

Kevin de Bruyne may be looking to usurp Liverpool from the top of the Premier League this term but the Manchester City star has admitted he was inspired by former Reds star Michael Owen while growing up.

The Belgian was speaking after being named UEFA’s midfielder of the year ahead of the Champions League draw, an accolade awarded following a vote by players across the competition based on last season’s performance.

De Bruyne admitted he played as a striker as a child and looked up to Owen, who also featured for Man City’s local rivals Manchester United during his career. 

Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne (above) admits he was inspired by Michael Owen

De  Bruyne claimed the former Liverpool hero influenced him to try and play as a striker

‘When I was really young it was Michael Owen!, he told UEFA. ‘I was playing as a striker so it was similar at the time. When I became a midfielder I just loved the game but no one individual I really admired. I just liked football as a concept.’

Although City only reached the quarter-finals before a shock elimination by Lyon, his peers still recognised his influence and importance to Pep Guardiola’s side, and the 29-year-old revealed the secrets behind his success.

‘It is really nice because you compete against the best players in the world in the Champions League. In one way I would say my mind (is my best asset). As a midfield you have to think constantly and be ahead of the game. I try to find space we can exploit and put team-mates in the best positions for goal.’

The Man City star was speaking after being named UEFA’s midfielder of the year

UEFA EUROPEAN PLAYER AND MANAGER OF THE YEAR AWARDS

PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

Men’s – Robert Lewandowski 

Women’s – Pernille Harder (Chelsea*)

* Played at Wolfsburg last season 

GOALKEEPERS

Men’s – Manuel Neuer (Bayern)

Women’s – Sarah Bouhaddi (Lyon)

DEFENDERS

Men’s – Joshua Kimmich (Bayern)

Women’s – Wendie Renard (Lyon) 

MIDFIELDERS

Men’s – Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)

Women’s – Dzsenifer Marozsan (Lyon)

STRIKERS

Men’s – Robert Lewandowski (Bayern)

Women’s – Pernille Harder (Chelsea*)

* Played at Wolfsburg last season

MANAGERS

Women’s – Jean-Luc Vasseur (Lyon) 

Men’s – Hansi Flick (Bayern) 

PRESIDENT’S AWARD

Didier Drogba

De Bruyne was the odd man out in a mens’ category that was dominated by players from the Champions League winners Bayern Munich, including Robert Lewandowski who was named player of the year and striker of the year.

The Polish hitman was pivotal to Bayern’s success having scored an incredible 15 goals in just 10 games last term. 

The German outfit also claimed best goalkeeper of the year award with Manuel Neuer as well as defender of the year with Josh Kimmich, while manager Hansi Flick who helped mastermind the success collecting coach of the year.

‘It’s a big dream came true, Manuel (Neuer) knows the feeling but for me it was the first time and seeing the pictures and videos it is still amazing,’ Kimmich said.

The men’s awards were largely dominated by Champions League winners Bayern Munich

Robert Lewandowski was named player of the season as well as striker of the year

‘We had a lot of special moments, a great game against Tottenham and two great games against Chelsea. The season was outstanding.’

Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba picked up the UEFA President’s Award becoming the first African player to do so in the process.  

The award, which was first awarded in 1998 and won by Eric Cantona last year, according to the governing body ‘recognises outstanding achievements, professional excellence and exemplary personal qualities. The accolade focuses particularly on players who have advanced the game’s development and success, 

His Bayern team-mates Manuel Neuer (left) and Josh Kimmich also collected awards for being named goalkeeper and defender of the year respectively 

Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba picked up the President’s Award

‘I am really proud of this and this should be an example of what African people and people from other non-European countries can go on to achieve, Drogba said after picking up his award.

‘The most important thing is football unites, it brings people together. Being here today receiving this award is something that makes me really proud.

‘I think we as players have a responsibility. Football is a reflection of society and so we have a responsibility towards the community. It is the community that goes to the games and entertains us as well. They give a lot. In these last few games we saw how much we miss them and that is why our goal is not just to play well but to help and give something back.’




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