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Michael Chandler demands four-man tournament to crown UFC lightweight champ after Khabib retirement including McGregor

UFC newbie Michael Chandler wants a four-man tournament to find a successor to Khabib Nurmagomedov.

The sport was stunned at the weekend when Khabib announced his retirement after securing a stoppage win against Justin Gaethje.


It meant the Russian defended his lightweight title, and extend his undefeated record in MMA to 29 fights.

But the Dagestani revealed after the victory that he had made a promise to his mother to call it quits just months after his father and trainer Abdulmanap died.

Now Chandler, the former Bellator star who was on standby if either of the main-eventers had to pull out at the weekend, wants a chance to succeed the great Khabib.

And he wants the legendary Conor McGregor in the mix too.

Speaking to BT Sport, the 34-year-old American said: "I’d love the opportunity to fight in a four-man tournament for that title.

“Conor [McGregor], [Dustin] Poirier, myself, [Tony] Ferguson. There’s some names that need to be fighting for a title, so let’s make it happen.

"Let’s be honest: I’m the new guy. I’m not going to come in here and say, ‘Hey guys I deserve a title shot.’ I’d love my name to be thrown into the mix.”

Khabib cemented his reputation as one of the world's best with a second round submission win over Gaethje at UFC 254.



Despite UFC president Dana White admitting he 'has no idea' what the future holds, SunSport believes the four fighters mentioned by Chandler, plus Gaethje who is still interim champ, are the main contenders for Khabib's crown.

After his stunning victory on Saturday night, Khabib broke down in tears as he remembered his father.

Abdulmanap died in July after complications having contracted coronavirus.

After the emotional win, the 29-0 superstar said: “Today, I want to say this is my last fight.

“When UFC called me about Justin, I spoke with my mother and I said I wouldn't fight without father.

“And if I give my word, then I must follow it. UFC must make me No1 pound for pound fighter in the world, because I deserve it."

And McGregor, despite his bitter rivaly with Khabib before and after his stoppage loss to the now-retired star, congratulated him on his performance while vowing to carry on the lightweight division.

He tweeted: "Good performance @TeamKhabib. I will carry on.

"Respect and condolences on your father again also. To you and family. Yours sincerely, The McGregors."

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Lifestyle

Khabib vows to fight Michael Chandler after Gaethje as long as UFC new boy beats his training partner Islam Makhachev

KHABIB NURMAGOMEDOV has vowed to fight Michael Chandlder next – as long as the UFC new boy beats his training partner Islam Makhachev.

Russian Khabib defends his lightweight crown in a unification against interim champion Justin Gaethje next weekend.


Former Bellator champion Chandler – signed to the UFC as a free agent – is on Fight Island as a replacement for the title headliners.

But Nurmagomedov told the contender he will be next in line for the title should he beat his American Kickboxing Academy team-mate Makhachev.

Retired fighter Chael Sonnen revealed: “(Khabib) said, ‘Chael, I watch your videos, I need to tell you something. I want to make this very clear.

“He said, ‘There’s no one I’m closer to than Islam.’

"And he said, ‘I’m telling you right now, if Michael Chandler beats Islam, I will view Michael Chandler (as) the number one contender, and I want you to get the message out.’

"I said, ‘OK, Khabib, when I get the message out, I’m gonna say you called me, you told me this.’

"He goes, ‘That’s what I’m doing. Get that message out.’”

Makhachev was due to feature on Nurmagomedov's undercard in Abu Dhabi facing former champion Rafael dos Anjos.

But Brazilian Dos Anjos was withdrawn from the pay-per-view event after testing positive for coronavirus.

Ali Abdelaziz, Makhachev and Khabib's manager, challenged Chandler to fill in for the feature lightweight bout.

But UFC president Dana White shot down the idea.

He said: "Michael Chandler is here for the other fight, that's what he's here to do, that's what he's focussed on.

"If anything bad were to happen, he will fight Gaethje or Khabib. That's it, that's all that kid has to worry about.

"We'll get him a fight once this is over and we're working on a fight for Islam too."

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World News

Michael Gove claims EU 'not serious' about Brexit talks and says No Deal is 'increasingly likely'

MICHAEL Gove has said the EU is "not serious" about Brexit talks and that a No Deal result is "increasingly likely".

His comments came after the Prime Minister told Britain to "get ready" for a No Deal Brexit, as EU leaders refused to give ground at a critical Brussels Summit last week.

⚠️ Read our Brexit live blog for the latest news & updates


Having previously put the chances of an agreement with the EU at 66%, Mr Gove told Sky's Sophy Ridge On Sunday the chances were now "less".

He said: "It's less. I can't be precise but one of the reasons why it's less is the position that's been taken in the last couple of weeks by European Union leaders."

Boris Johnson last week blamed the failure of reaching a deal on the EU’s refusal to take talks seriously and their refusal to offer Britain a Canadian-style free trade agreement.

'NOT SERIOUS'

Describing the EU's position today, Mr Gove said: "What we've seen and what our negotiators have found is the European Union side have not been willing to produce the detailed legal text.

"They've not been willing to intensify the talks in a way that would indicate that they were actually serious about reaching an agreement.

That seems to me to be the behaviour of an organisation and an institution that is not serious about making the compromises necessary to secure a deal.

"They've also insisted that both we accept a level of control over our autonomy that an independent country can't really accept.

"And at the same time they're saying they should continue to have exactly the same access to for example to our fishing waters and our fishing stocks as before."

"That seems to me to be the behaviour of an organisation and an institution that is not serious about making the compromises necessary to secure a deal," he added.

The former Vote Leave campaigner admitted in The Sunday Times that ending the post-Brexit transition period in December without a deal "is not my preferred destination". 

He accused the EU of trying to "tie our hands indefinitely" but said the ball was in EU negotiator Michel Barnier's court as to whether Brexit talks continue next week.

He told Sky's Sophy Ridge: "The ball is in his court. We've made clear that we need to see a change in approach from the European Union."

'COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE'

Mr Gove's intervention came after Boris Johnson lashed out at Brussels on Friday for trying to keep control of British laws, freedoms and fisheries in a way that was “completely unacceptable to an independent country”. 

The PM told reporters in Downing Street: "From the outset we were totally clear that we wanted nothing more complicated than a Canada-style relationship based on friendship and free trade.

"To judge by the latest EU summit in Brussels, that won't work for our EU partners.

"They want the continued ability to control our legislative freedom, our fisheries in a way that is completely unacceptable to an independent country.

"And since we have only 10 weeks until the end of the transition period on January 1, I have to make judgment about the likely outcome and get us ready."

Responding to the PM's comments, EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said a deal would not be done "at any cost".

She wrote on Twitter: "The EU continues to work for a deal, but not at any price.

"As planned, our negotiation team will go to London next week to intensify these negotiations."

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Lifestyle

Michael Che Teases Involvement in Colin Jost, Scarlett Johansson’s Wedding

Dishing on their big plans! Michael Che gave an update on his pal and Saturday Night Live costar Colin Jost’s upcoming wedding to fiancée Scarlett Johansson.

Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost’s Relationship Timeline

During an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Monday, October 12, host Ellen DeGeneres asked the SNL writer, 37, whether he will be in the engaged couple’s wedding.

“I hope so, not if they want it to go over smoothly,” the comedian joked. “But if not, I would love to go and just disrupt everything, you know.”

Che added, “I think they’ll let me in because they feel like they have to. And I think that’s going to be a big mistake.”

DeGeneres, 62, said that she would “love to be invited as well” because she’d “like to watch” Che in action. Meanwhile, the Weekend Update cohost replied: “You’ll be my plus one. It’ll be awesome.”

‘Saturday Night Live’ Stars Who Landed A-List Romances: Photos

Jost, 38, began dating Johansson, 35, in 2017 after connecting on the set of SNL. While the Very Punchable Face author has stated that the pair originally met in 2006, the Avengers: Endgame actress’ earliest memory with her husband-to-be occurred in 2010 when they worked on a skit together.

Last May, Johansson’s publicist Marcel Pariseau confirmed the twosome’s engagement to The Associated Press. There had been no date set for their wedding at the time.

Che congratulated his buddy after the engagement news broke, sharing a throwback photo of the duo to his Instagram Story. “One of us is marrying a movie star. The other is gonna get too drunk and ruin that reception,” he quipped at the time.

Celebrity Couples Who Prove That Love Isn’t Dead

Months later, Che spoke to ET Canada about his pal’s big day. “It’ll be fun and I’m really, really proud of those guys,” he said in July 2019. “I’m sure that they’ll have beautiful white babies.”

Earlier this year, Jost admitted that Jost’s not sure when his nuptials to Johansson will occur due to the COVID-19 crisis. “We don’t know what’s even legally allowed, right?” he said on SiriusXM’s Andy Cohen Live in July. “This is also not the time to get all your elderly, at-risk relatives together in one big group.”

Johansson was previously married to Ryan Reynolds from 2008 to 2011 and Romain Dauriac from 2014 to 2017. She shares her 6-year-old daughter, Rose, with Dauriac.

Following her 2019 engagement to Jost, the Marriage Story star told Elle that October that she is “very happy and fulfilled” in her personal life.

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Celebrities

Madison Prewett and Michael Porter Jr.: Yup, We’re Dating!

Madison Prewett has scored herself a new boyfriend.

And, as luck would have it, he’s very good at scoring when it comes to professional basketball.

Prewett, who finished second on Peter Weber’s season of The Bachelor, has confirmed that she’s dating Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr.

The two recently went on a double date with Porter’s sister, Bri Porter and her husband, Reece, as Bri shared a photo on Instagram on Saturday of the quartet enjoying their evening out.

“My fave double date,” she captioned the picture.

Madison, for her part, commented on the post, “Love you” along with four heart emojis.

Prewett was a major player on season 24 of The Bachelor, which aired on ABC earlier this year.

The featured pilot proposed to Hannah Ann Sluss — only after Prewett removed herself from the competition because she felt as if Peter’s mom hated her and the circumstances surrounding their relationship simply wasn’t healthy.

Weber and Sluss later called off their engagement and Peter reunited with Prewett on the live “After the Final Rose” special in March, with the reality stars deciding to try and date themselves.

Two days later, Weber confirmed the pair had “mutually decided” to split.

It was quite the romantic whirlwind.

In August, Prewett got flirty with Baltimore Orioles player Adley Rutschman via Instagram.

“Roses are red, violets are blue, whoever finishes this best, dinner on me for two,” she captioned a photo of herself in a red dress.

The Major League Baseball hurler replied as follows: “Roses are red, violets are blue … I’ll change your name to Rutschman from Prew.”

Now, though, it looks as if Prewett has moved from the baseball diamond to the basketball court.

Porter Jr. just completed his first full, healthy season in the NBA.

Playing for a top team in the Western Conference, he adveraged 9.3 points per game in just over 16 minutes, coming on strong in the playoffs when Denver made a run to the league’s final four.

He struggled on the defensive end, however.

Porter also stepped into scalding hot water this fall for saying the coronavirus was being “overblown.”

“Personally, I think the coronavirus is being used obviously for a bigger agenda,” Porterr said several weeks ago on social media.

“It’s being used for population control just in terms of being able to control the masses of people. Because this virus, the whole world is being controlled.

“You’re required to wear masks and who knows what will happen when this vaccine comes out. You might have to have the vaccine in order to travel, that’d be crazy.

“I’ve never been vaccinated in my life, I’ve never had any shots or anything like that.”

Good luck with this one, Madison!

Prewett, a well-known virgin, told Us Weekly in June that she wanted her next partner to be a man of faith.

“I would say my number-one thing, obviously, would be faith for me,” she said at the time. “That’s going to be something that’s a make or break.”

She added:

“I guess someone who is passionate about something, someone who knows who he is and knows his purpose.

“Someone who shares just similar, I guess, passions to make the world a better place and to help out and add value wherever he can.”

The Bachelor Stars: Ranked By Relationship Length!Start Gallery

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Lifestyle

Yankees add Michael King, drop Erik Kratz for ALDS roster

The Yankees dropped catcher Erik Kratz from the 28-man roster for the best-of-five ALDS against the Rays that started Monday night at San Diego’s Petco Park and added right-handed pitcher Michael King.

Kratz didn’t appear in the two AL Wild Card Series games against the Indians last week in Cleveland.

King was added from the 12-man player pool. With a possible five games in five days, the Yankees apparently figured another arm capable of pitching multiple innings was more important than carrying a third catcher.

Prior to the start of the Wild Card Series, Aaron Boone mentioned 24-year-old Clarke Schmidt as a possible pitcher who could provide length in the postseason. The highly regarded right-handed prospect, who made three big league appearances (one start) this season, could be in play if the Yankees advance to the best-of-seven ALCS.

King, 25, appeared in nine regular-season games and made four starts. He was 1-2 with a 7.76 ERA. In 26 2/3rd innings. King allowed 30 hits, walked 11 and struck out 26.

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Lifestyle

Michael Jamieson health: Olympic swimmer’s ‘unrecognised’ condition – the symptoms

Michael Jamieson, 32, retired from competitive swimming in 2016. He broke his own British record to finish second in the 200m breaststroke in the 2012 Olympics, but missed out on a medal at the 2013 World Championships following a series of shoulder injuries.

Overtraining in preparation for the 2014 Commonwealth Games led to Jamieson’s heart being restarted.

He failed to qualify for the World Championships in 2015, and he also missed out on selection for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Speaking to BBC Scotland, the swimmer said it was common for many elite athletes to over-analyse their day-to-day performance.

He explained: “A poor training performance on one particular day can put you in a negative mood state for quite a long time.

“I was just becoming far too analytical of my performance, expecting far too much of myself on a day-to day basis in training.

“I think that kind of habitual negative thought starts to grow arms and legs until it becomes extremely difficult to reverse that without the help of professionals.”

He added: “I just always felt a huge deal of responsibility to do the best possible job I could and I just went really too far with that.”

Jamieson said he revealed his depression in an interview with The Sunday Times because he knew many other elite athletes who also suffered with the condition.

“I became aware that there was a lot of athletes that had similar issues,” he said.

“I think it’s important that other athletes are comfortable to come forward, particularly the ones that aren’t quite able to get to the top level. I would argue that they’re more vulnerable to that sort of thing.”

What is depression?

Depression is more than simply feeling unhappy or fed up for a few days, says the NHS.

It explains: “Most people go through periods of feeling down, but when you’re depressed you feel persistently sad for weeks or months, rather than just a few days.

“Some people think depression is trivial and not a genuine health condition. They’re wrong – it is a real illness with real symptoms. Depression is not a sign of weakness or something you can “snap out of” by ‘pulling yourself together’.

“The good news is that with the right treatment and support, most people with depression can make a full recovery.”

What are the symptoms of depression?

The health body says depression affects people in different ways and can cause a wide variety of symptoms.

It explains: “[Symptoms] range from lasting feelings of unhappiness and hopelessness, to losing interest in the things you used to enjoy and feeling very tearful. Many people with depression also have symptoms of anxiety.

“There can be physical symptoms too, such as feeling constantly tired, sleeping badly, having no appetite or sex drive, and various aches and pains.

“The symptoms of depression range from mild to severe. At its mildest, you may simply feel persistently low in spirit, while severe depression can make you feel suicidal, that life is no longer worth living.

“Most people experience feelings of stress, anxiety or low mood during difficult times. A low mood may improve after a short period of time, rather than being a sign of depression.”

If you think you may be depressed, see a GP.

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